Never turn a page again

This video is only 1 minute 25 seconds and yet, by the end of it I had forgotten what it was meant to be about. Lost in learning! Lost in intrigue. Lost in the wonder of all that was occurring. It’s all physics. It’s a video which makes people want to know and find things out. On top of that, it is funny. It’s a carefully planned, well thought out , high impact lesson. It would have taken brainstorming, discussion, trial runs. There would have been a feedback loop and collaboration. It’s a video which arouses a lot of curiosity and engages the audience. A one minute video can do a lot!

Introduction to Graphic Design

Introduction to Graphic DesignI  have just completed the free Introduction to Graphic Design on Udemy course by Sean Berg. Amongst other things he works on custom templates for WordPress in Brazil. His course was different from the other ones I have done in that it was 100% focused on delivering the content. It was a lesson in methodology as much as anything else. This doesn’t mean the other courses did not concentrate on content. They did , but they did it differently. Sean Berg’s shining moment was the squares. The way he was manipulating the squares to illustrate the points he was talking about was very clever. His command of visual literacy to illustrate his spoken content is expert. As he is talking about graphic design he is showing you. There were no exercises as in the other courses but this course really was about concentrated focus on content. It is an excellent example of how to utilise teaching very effectively. Sometimes you just need to master delivering the message so that you are time efficient. I really enjoyed learning this way because there were no distractions at all. No swamping. Just the things he was trying to teach me. His course was a good practical use of using design elements to ensure learners were in control all of the way.

Windows 10 themepacks

theme packsI always decorated my school laptop with a theme to suit the content and the feedback I constantly received from students was that it was a positive. They always wanted to know how I made the themes, how I blended images, where I had got the images and they were always asking questions about what I had put up as a theme. It creates a whole new level of learning. For me, at the moment, I am putting a desktop theme on my computer to match in with someone’s overseas trip. That way I get to see where they are, what it looks like and I have found it has made me want to find out more. It’s and easy and natural way to learn . Windows 10 comes with some nice themes and a spot to find them online. I have also found themepack.me which has a very good selection of quality themes for Windows and helpful hints as to how to improve your themes. There is an aquarium on there which I plan to try later. I love aquarium themes! You just click on the appropriate file for your version of Windows and then double click on the downloaded folder. It installs that easily.

Gifs for learning

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Image: Educational gifs (see link below)

It hasn’t really until I have been on Instagram for a while now that I have realised just how powerful animated gifs are as teaching and learning aids. A well made animated gif can show you easily how to do something and it plays non stop until you get it. Repetition is part of brain based learning and so it should not be surprising that animated gifs are so effective in teaching someone how to do what you can do or understand what you understand. Little videos achieve the same thing. They are effective because they are targeted, concise, precise and visual. As a learner you can just keep playing them until you really understand the concept or skill. Educational gifs has a nice selection so you can get started. Mashable also has a good selection to show how powerful animated gifs can be in an educational context.

Go with a mood board

ubuntu mood boardThis  gomoodboard site is so easy and intuitive and it’s not just for designers. It brings design so easily into anyone’s life or classroom. Mood boards are not new but they are in fashion with designers because they are a really good way to demonstrate skills, effects, ideas and ,yes, mood. Gomoodboard has been created by the freelancer community Crew where you just drag and drop your images. It intuitively arranges them and then, if you don’t like the arrangement, you can customise it yourself. There are some nice templates to choose from. You can  publish the mood board so you can share it with others if you choose.  By default it is private. It is also available for the iPad/iPhone.

If you want a hands on approach and more of a maker mood board you can use the ideas on bustle.

There is a PowerPoint mood board here which a student has created to focus on green.

You can see one of the mood boards I created quickly about what I have done on my Ubuntu 14.04 laptop in the last 3 weeks.

mood boardThat is the thing. A mood board can get your ideas together quickly and effectively. I like how the text comes up as I do a mouse over the comment icon. The site itself is demonstrating sound and interesting design principles.

These mood boards have a wide application but for the classroom let me suggest 10 ideas:

1. Meet and greet in a new home group
2. Language learning – theme, specific grammar, recounting the weekend
3. Impact of learning about – WWII, lizards, solar system, mood boards, quadratic equations
4. Reaction to a novel, film, play
5. Visual poem
6. Exploring an era
7. Exploring an historical event
8. Reacting to climate change
9. Creating a strong point of view about something
10. Exploring and comparing visual styles

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