Simplicity & Power of Authentic Learning…

 

This week I stumbled upon Wanda’s Terrel’s Tweet about Day 2 of #SketchCue &  at first thought, “what an opportunity for me to further explore using Google Drawings”. The focus of #SketchCue supports the tenets of learning to create Sketchnotes. A sketchnote is exactly how it sounds. One uses the creative power of drawing and design to capture notes from lectures, research, and etc…  Sketchnoting supports an individual with expressing their content knowledge in a visual format. I found this opportunity to share my Google Drawings Sketchnotes to be engaging and motivating. It was then when I realized a simple activity such as this has the ability to develop into a  “Powerful Authentic Learning Tool” supporting student engagement.

I found myself exploring clipart designs along with examining the meanings for the #SketchCue word topics. After sharing my first sketchnote and receiving a “Like” it dawned on me how this simple use of social media could engage students with further developing vocabulary skills. It always amazes me how a simple activity shared in an authentic manner has the power to motivate the creator. I found myself wanting to contribute new creations every day as well as enjoying reading the creative shares of educators from around the world. It became evident to me authentic learning opportunities are engaging and leads to furthering one’s content knowledge base.

My #SketchCue Day 1 Entry

Word: Arrows

#SketchCue Arrows (1)

My #SketchCue Day 2 Entry

Word: Banners

#SketchCue Banners (1).jpg

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Collaboration Leads to Innovation

pexels-photo-263370 (1).jpeg

I recently witnessed how communication and collaboration skills support both creative and critical thinking along with innovation. After spending a week at Sloan Kettering in NYC due to a family members cancer journey. During the week I noticed not one doctor made a decision without consulting a team of experts. I saw true collaboration and experienced the positive effects which develops from such teamwork. More than ever I understand why this cancer research center has one of the best reputations for providing innovative therapies and medicines.

The experience was a good example of how collaboration and communication naturally supports both creative and critical thinking. It is these very skills which lead to the development of innovation. I immediately connected this experience with the the 4C’s of learning. Now with greater reasons when integrating educational technology the skills are valued more than ever by me.

One of the reasons I’m passionate about integrating G Suite for Education products is due to the variety of tools they offer for strengthening and exploring the 4C’s. It is my belief the 4C’s are important skills to nurture when guiding students onto a pathway for both academic and future professional success!

It Felt Like Christmas Morning…

There I was creating a tutorial using Google Slides when all of a sudden my eyes fell upon some new tools. I wanted to scream out with glee but knew no one in my household would understand. As both an Artist and Ed Tech Nerd I appreciate the addition of both the shadow and reflection tools in a Google Slide.

Google Slides is growing into one of my favorite publishing tools for creating. It has a lot to offer educators, students and creators alike. A Google Slide offers vast versatility for creating may different types of projects such as:

  1. Design images
    1. Clip art, logos, design art & etc…
  2. Presentations
  3. Publishing
    1. Books
    2. Newsletters
    3. Posters
    4. Flyers
    5. Cards
    6. Labels
  4. Animation
  5. Interactive Manipulatives
  6. Assessments
  7. Collaborative Brainstorming Tool
  8. Communication Tool
  9. Web Newsletters
  10. Basic Web Site builder

How to Create Shadows

 

Exploring Web Based Publishing Tools…

artist-1466245949beq

License: CC0 Public Domain

 

As an artist I feel there is no better tool than a piece of paper and pen or paintbrush.  Okay my confession there are those moments where I lean towards using digital creativity tools. One appeal for using a web based design tool is the ease of use for designing. This is an important characteristic when considering the time constraint within a school day. Another factor to consider is if the design tool provides an environment where the students can create “Original works of Art” from scratch. Last but not least how does the tool help students or teachers share the designs with an authentic audience. Considering these factors I’ve narrowed down my choices to three designing tools.

VISME

Visme allows the user to quickly design a beautiful poster, presentation, downloadable image and etc… They offer a wide variety of templates for designing infographics, presentations, charts, reports and much more! This design tool is easy and quick to use for making quick eye-catching designs. It is a tool which supports students and teachers with focusing more on content than design itself. Visme provides a wide variety of clipart, banners, background and etc… for designing that just right presentation project. Teachers and students will love the eye pleasing designs and ease of use.

CANVA

Like VISME this design tools allows the user to create quick designs focused more on content versus creativity. Canva provides a vast amount of templates, clipart, backgrounds and etc… I found Canva to lend itself more to creating from scratch. This design program offers a huge amount of background designs. The design program is perfect for creating informational project to be shared via social media. I believe teachers and students would find Canva to be a perfect tool for creating social media projects for an authentic learning experience.

GOOGLE DRAWINGS

Google Drawing is very different from the above two mentioned design programs. The student or teacher may create posters, memes, infographics, Graphic Organizers, Charts and etc… all from scratch. The student or teacher can import images and backgrounds from internet resources. One could also insert an image via taking a snapshot. A program like this supports the student with using both critical and creative thinking skills.

Why? This is due to creating the design completely from scratch. There are no templates or suggested ideas. I also like the share setting which are built into the core Google Products. The share settings allow the user to share privately with a limited group or publicly. What is unique when one shares a Google Drawings with others they maybe able to comment depending upon owner settings. This supports an environment where students may learn to collaborate by communicating via comments as they construct a group project using drawings.

Avoid Copyright Issues by Empowering Students to be Creative

Lately I’ve noticed two topics mentioned over and over in my Twitter feed as well as in some educational articles. It seems both copyright issues and how to engage students with being creative are hot topics. Sorry for this old cliche but, “Why not kill two birds with one stone?

Understanding copyrights along with the Teacher’s Act and Fair Use is complicated due to the internet and public sharing. The question keeps arising what is meant by “Within the Four Walls of a Classroom”? In this post I’m not going to talk about the issue itself. Instead I’m going to suggest supporting the students creative thinking skills by showing them how to use Google Drawing to create clipart. This way one can avoid the whole copyright issue by supporting the students creativity.

  • Go to Google Drive
    • Click New
    • Scroll down to more
    • Then click on Google Drawings

Open Google Drawing-2

  • Layer shapes to Create Images
    • Insert a shape
    • Change the color
    • Adjust the border
    • Create a second shape
    • Move to back

Create clipart

  • Keep repeating above steps until the clipart is finished

THIS IS MY COMPLETED GOOGLE DRAWINGS CLIPART 

Create Clip Art Creativity

  • Download Google Drawing as a png or jpeg to use clip art with computer or web based programs

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 11.27.22 AM

TIPS:

  • You can use the Scribble Tool to draw freehand style

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 11.10.30 AM

  • Don’t forget about using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D or CMD+D for duplicating shapes

CTRL + D