Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Graphics and Text

I really love working with graphics and if I was going to do things over again I might go into graphic design. I have used and still use high end graphics programs, both vector (drawing with shapes and objects) and raster (painting, image/photo editing). For image editing there are a lot of good online applications available, some that are full featured and many that have a few unique tools for interesting effects. For my assignment, I looked for an online vector graphics editor and found that most are not yet ready for prime time. For now, I'll stick to locally installed applications for both types of graphic editing. Either the tools and features are not there or don't yet work well or the latency (lag time) makes it difficult to work with over the Internet, either because of a slower connection (or a  bottle-necking pipeline with 20 students all going crazy on the Internet at the same time) or older computers. Because Inkscape and Gimp among others are free, there is no reason schools cannot install these editing programs on student production computers.

The other side of online graphics are the cool, cute make a picture, story or video websites. I've played around with quite a few of these and know they can have a definite place in schools for the right purpose at the right time. Go for it and use them.One gripe I have with a lot of these websites is that they don't always give you a demo mode to try it out before you sign up. Another gripe is that some really cool create it sites have a lot of inappropriate content for school use/endorsement.

For my graphics assignment, I contrasted an old school text only classroom poster of classroom procedures with a graphic version.

Here is my presentation: Graphics Taiwan

Onto the text of our class. It's been a while since "I done book learning." Up till now, it's been easy for me to play with computer hardware and software and get the work done. Now I have to turn on my brain.

Oh..... the standards, and the documentation and the justification and the  .......

My experience in education has mostly been like this. I worked in a large private English language school in Taiwan for about 10 years. Great methodology, great resources, great freedom to do what works for you and your students. No standards to comply with. No governmental red tape. No hassles. The bottom line was this, we (meaning the company, the teachers and the students) were successful. Students learned to speak (and listen to, read and write) English. They kept coming back for more. The company was the largest adult English language school in Taiwan because we were good at what we did. My present experience is in a small private choice school where let's say, (at my particular school - not to say all choice schools are this way) things are a little looser than in a typical public school.

I do understand why we need to learn about and put into practice the ideas and concepts in the book but sometimes it just seems a little bit too much. I'd like a show of hands from those of you that teach and have the time to make the kinds of lesson plans we all see examples of. In writing and formatted: goals, objectives, justification, plan of attack, follow up,extensions, inclusions, standards addressed, assessment, evaluation - and then look back at it and think, what have I missed, how can I make it better?

I know we need to think this way. I just don't know what it's like in the real world  in public schools. I've never taught in one. Does anybody really do this?

1 comment:

  1. “For now, I'll stick to locally installed applications for both types of graphic editing.”

    And that’s great. It truly is about having options and recognizing that not all programs do all things. Great observation.