Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Assignment 6 - #edtechcca6

This weeks challenge  was to "Use Google Maps to create your own custom map that includes photographs of places."

I had already used google maps to create an map containing images that were taken by students on a trip to our college building whilst it was being built. I have now revisited this map to add photos of it now we are in the building.

View Stoke On Trent Sixth Form College in a larger map

 I have also added links to Blurb photobooks of student images and youtube videos of college tours created by students in the form of roller coasters.

I was disappointed that even youtube videos could not be embedded and that I could not change the colour of the icons-so had to use envelops for more recent images (Though I could have added my own symbols).

I tried a similar task with bing maps but found myself disappointed with this as well. I found it more complex interface to use. Though I do like the fact you can take a tour through images in bing. Below is a tutorial I made a while ago on how to use bing maps to document a field trip.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Assignment 4- #edtechcca4

Playing Tennis..."Make a video clip of yourself hitting your tennis ball as if you are playing in a tennis match. You may make more than one clip, however you must hit the ball with a different random object each time (the sillier, the better!). "

This task started by the other members of the department experimenting with filming at college. We planned our shots and used a small HD video camera to record them. This was edited in Final Cut (the small version) then we added the sound effects we recorded with an iPad.

After completing this I decide to try and edit it in iPad iMovie. I found this to be a very simple and intuitive process except the only transitions I could add were fades...I much prefer the use of jump cuts in the original.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

72 Hour Film Challenge-2012

At the weekend I took part in the 'Stoke Your Fires' '72 Hour Film Challenge' with 2 colleagues from work. A number of people have asked why give up a weekend?...so I am writing this post to explain and reflect on the experience.

I enjoy learning new things but prefer to use a real project to do so. I find if you have something 'real' to work on with deadlines I experience leaning in a way more similar to students and often accomplish something. We have had a Canon 550d SLR in college for a while (which shoots video as well as stills) and the A Level Photography course I teach on includes a range of lens based media, students have been experimenting more with moving image as well as stills. This project seemed to be the perfect opportunity to get to grips with this camera.

We met up on Saturday morning to plan ideas for shooting our film. We thought about how we could use old cinematic techniques alongside learning new skills:
  • One section to be a washed out 'real' view which would contrast against the saturated 'dream'. 
  • A silent film using music to build tension and narrate the scenes.
  • To incorporate childish elements into the dream sequence almost like a child had scribbled on the film.
The filming itself was relatively straight forward; a number of in house shots were identified and we filmed what was going on around us before we wrapped up warm and headed to Longton Park. When filming in the park we wanted to try and capture a 2 year olds view of the world so everything was filmed from a low angle.

Once back in the warm we identified what we wanted to add to sections of our filming.

To achieve this painted look the frames of the video were imported into Photoshop as layers then these were individually painted in ways relevant to the scene.

The rest of the film editing was done on Final Cut and the music was composed using Garage Band on an ipad and a Mac over the next 48 hours.

This is the final film which we submitted to the competition

The idea behind the film was to try and comment on the world outside that people are missing by staying indoors on snow days and that a journey into a childs mind contrasts against the adult  world.

The things I learned taking part in this project:
  • My team (Kim Finn and Nikki Simpkins) have a wide range of skills that I had no idea about.
  • Working with children and animals is really not that bad.
  • How to film with a 550d though when using photography lenses and tripods that the zooming and panning has a 'steam powered' look.
  • How to rotoscope video with CS5 (and how long of a process it is).
  • I really am quite scared of ducks especially when surrounded.
This also made me think about how we could use this style project within the college:
  • To deliver elements of the BTEC Creative Media Production course.
  • Could we set a 'Challenge' brief that allows students freedom to interpret ideas in a far more personal way.
  • As a liaison activity to involve local schools/teachers.
  • Team building activity to use with other groups of teachers-CPD.
  • Could it be used by other subject areas to produce revision materials or produce an assignment.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Assignment 5 - #edtechcca5

Another project as part of #edtechcc...this involves lots of mini Photo Assignments

"A new photographic assignment will be posted here every two days until February 20th. Make as many of these photographs as you can and share them on our Facebook group"

8th - Make a photograph of a plastic object that you’ve used today.
Inspired by this article.

10th-Make a photograph where LIGHT is a main element in the image
Experimenting with Bokeh

12th-Make a photo of part of an everyday object and let everyone guess what it is.
So what is it?

14th-Make a photograph focussing on nature – animals, plants, landscapes, etc
Made using 360 Panorama app on my ipad. It allows you to view the panorama in different ways; flat, stereographic (above) and 360. Have a look at the different versions of the image above.

16th-Make of photograph of technology that you use often
Out of all my tech the thing that gets me through every day is winding down listening to audio books on my iPod :)

18th-What’s the weather like this weekend?

About 2°c and a little sprinkling of white stuff.

20th-Take a photograph from an unusual angle.
An image often seen but rarely photographed

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Assignment 3 - #edtechcca3

This weeks assignment is "Make a comic-strip style set of instructions for a practical task".
I started by thinking how I could link this to an area I teach and came up with a loads of ideas:
How to photocopy
How to scan
How to remove backgrounds-Photoshop
...and the list went on

For my first attempt at the assignment  I chose 'How to develop ideas in photography?' It is something students often forget stages of.
I used my ipad and "Comic Book!" along with photos of my moggies. It was a very simple process and the app itself is very straight forward to use, but I am not completely happy with it as it is far too fussy.

I decided to look around the house for inspiration and came across this shaver booklet. 

I really like the simplicity of communication so am going to use this as inspiration for my next 'How to".

This time I used comic life to create a guide to using the photocopier. I used 'Comic Life' to create it.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Assignment 2 –#edtechcca2

During this weeks task I found myself really struggling as sound is not really my thing (unless you are talking about my eclectic music taste.)

I started thinking about how sound can represent visuals and images and how this could be used within Art and Design.
I selected a photograph recently taken by a student and used this as the inspiration for my first soundscape and used Beatwave on my ipad to create it. What do you think?
by Katy Hall

I then thought about how I could use this in one of my lessons. Students often struggle to describe images in words so perhaps they could describe a piece of Art with sound and this would then help describe it with words?
This is what I attempted, I thought about a specific piece of Art and thought what sounds could be used to describe it. What Art work could this soundscape represent?

Sound Scape 2.egg on Aviary.


For this second soundscape I used Aviary within the colleges google apps environment and found some sound effects on soundbible and soundfxnow. I used Monster Growl Sound, Crowd Boo and Heckles and Soldiers Marching. Hopefully these describe the image with sound.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Assignment 1- #edtechcca1

The assignment is...'Make two signs or symbols using a graphics tool of your choice. The first sign should be for your own department or course, the second sign should be for another educational department or course. Use only pictures, no words. Use only simple abstracted shapes, no photographs.'

To start I identified the course I would begin making a logo for- Creative Media Production.

I then used Notes Plus on my ipad to jot down some thoughts and words. I chose this app as I use it most days make notes during meetings-it syncs with my dropbox/gdocs and allows me to type and handwrite. This time wanted to try and add some visuals to map initial thoughts.

In Art/Graphics we often get students to produce initial and abstract ideas using pictograms/glyphs either with the shapes themselves (we had a few sets cut with a laser cutter) or digitally in a vector editing program so I decided to follow this process digitally. I used a range of simple shapes and windings in Adobe Illustrator.

Glyphs used

First Symbols recreating images from initial ideas

I then started trying to make a symbol for each word "Creative Media Production" and put them together as groups of 3.
My favourite so far is the bottom design as I feel it has both aspects of the subject we offer...Interactive Media and Film/TV. 

I  followed this process with the 2nd subject - photography.

So far this is what I have come up with.
I plan to develop both of these designs further looking a how these symbols could communicate their intentions with more clarity... 

To start this development I got my Btec Graphic design students to give me some feedback on my initial ideas. They were very honest and I have alot of development work to do especially on my Creative Media Production Symbol.

Based on feedback from my students I developed elements of the designs further making them clearer. I did experiment with adding more detail to the symbols but preferred the simplified versions with 3 colours.
More detailed experimentation 
Final Designs

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Introduction #edtechccp1

This is my first post as part of the Educational Technology Creative Collective #edtechcc. My first task is to introduce myself and what I aim to get out of this project.

Who am I?
My name is Helen and I am Course Leader for Creative Media Production and Photography at the City of Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College. I took on this role before the summer though I originally trained as a Design Technology teacher. I now teach a wide range of Btec and Alevel subjects including Graphics, Photography and Art.

Why am I taking part in this project?
I spend my days trying to encourage creativity from my students and staff around me. I have found that now I have taken on a more managerial role my own creativity is not being encouraged to the extent it once was, (I am not finding enough time to play with tools/ideas and generally geeky things). I wanted to take part in this project to rectify this balance and set some time aside for my own learning and experimentation with technologies and ideas.
I have also tried over the last few years to reflect regularly and publicly on my own practice through this blog though this has not been terribly successful so I am hoping this project helps me form a habit of sharing and reflection.
The final reason is it is coming up to my second 'Twitterversary' and felt that recently I had stopped contributing as much to the community due to work pressure. I felt I needed to find a way to begin giving back again. Twitter has been very important to me over the last two years but I am very aware that you need to contribute and collaborate to keep learning.