Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Business Cards

I found this project really difficult, actually. In fact, according to my self- assessment with the rubric, I'm somewhere between a C or a D...no good. I did try, but I found InDesign to be difficult to use and it would take months for me to figure out how to use all of the functions--even the few that were required of me. But I did get it done.
As far as the design process, I used bright primary colors and sort of whimsical fonts because I was doing a sort of funny and entertaining card. I think I sort of already knew this in the back of my mind, but when doing typography research I realized the type of business you're representing/promoting has a great deal to do with the fonts and typography you choose. I also changed the color a few times and had to adjust the size of some things, but it was kind of hard for me so I tried to keep all that to a minimum.
I learned that I have a lot to learn about design and even more to learn about Adobe products. I also learned that it's a heck of a lot easier to just use the design templates!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Assignment 4-5368

The brief history of instructional design was really interesting to me. I enjoyed reading about the evolution of instructional design, particularly how it correlates with major events in history. I had no idea. I think it is truly beneficial in training the workforce and educating students quickly and effectively. With each decade, we have more and more resources available to us to help in this goal.


After reading Thompson's article, I felt that if you do work through the steps it's a way to sort of streamline the learning process and make it quick and effective. Most people want that outcome, so it is worth the effort. I feel also that it probably is a matter of making an effort to consciously working through the steps. Training yourself to do something new can be difficult, but if you make the effort and execute it correctly, it can be really beneficial.


Dick & Carey

I read this and it all seemed very familiar to me. I don't remember remember ever specifically hearing about this particular model of instructional design, but the process seems familiar and overall just very logical. One of the things from this model that I practice the most is step number 4, which says "write performance objectives – specific behavior skills to be learned, the conditions under which they must be performed and the criteria for successful performance." It has been instilled in me that it is absolutely necessary to write specific behavior objectives. I feel as though it is extremely important to know exactly what the outcome will look like, and it must be detailed and specific. If neither you nor the student know what the end should be, how will you know if success has been achieved?


Methodologies, Theories, and Instructional Design

After reading the article about instructional design, I have a better understanding of what it is exactly and what it aims to accomplish. I was thinking while I was reading it about an architect or an engineer designing a building or a bridge. It takes a lot of thought and expertise. You can't just being constructing something like that without following a plan or a blueprint. And a lot of time has to be spent on that to make sure it's safe and efficient. The same goes for instruction. If the goal is to have learners who could not accomplish a task able to accomplish that task, an instructor must design lessons and courses so that can be achieved effectively. Technology is the most useful tool we have to help with that.

The article about methodologies and theories was interesting as well. Those are the types of things I have been learning for a few years now either in college classes, staff development meetings, or just my own research. While I do think almost every method and theory has value, I think it's important to understand that every learning situation and environment is unique. And every single thing isn't going to work in every single classroom. We have to test things, find out what works for us, adapt if necessary, and create an ideal situation for the students that we educate. This site was great because it had so many resources available.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Adobe Visual Design


While looking over the information on the Visual Design website, it occurred to me that I am generally a fan of all things Adobe. I think many of us use Adobe products, software, and technology on an almost daily basis and they make our lives easier. The Visual Design course also seems to offer ease of use to to both teachers and students.

What I like most about the Visual Design course is that the projects are so carefully and specifically laid out. There are very explicit instructions and methods which will make things easy for beginners. The projects build upon one another nicely so that learners can be broken in slowly yet still gain confidence and independence when working. They can also use and practice their new skills while leraning new things as well. The rubrics are a great way for students and teachers to keep track of things and be consistent.

So far I am very impressed with what I have seen and look forward to learning more about this program.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Internet Literacy

The website www.novemeberlearning.com has some great resources on it for creating smarter internet users. After taking the literacy quiz, I concluded that I am moderately savvy. I might even be considered "on the cusp" between that and downright nerdy. Even still, I was able to learn many new things, which is usually the case with these assignnments.

I didn't realize that a tilde or a percent sign was a clue as to whether or not you were on a personal webpage. Unless it is extremely obvious that is is personal, I always just look for clues on the page to let me know whether or not it might bve. I am glad I have some specific things to look for now. The example that was use about a university professor's page is a great one. When most people see the "edu" at the end of a website address, they assume it is a trusworthy, non-biased one, but that is not always the case.

The Literacy Resources at www.novemberlearning.com tell you how you find out who publishes a website as well as the history of that website. I was absolutely floored by their example of www.martinlutherking.org. My students have asked to take turns teaching their classmates about black history for the first few minutes of each class. I generally let the students take control of the internet and data projector. I have this vision of a student going to this website. The information on it would probably start a complete riot. This will not happen (especially now), but should we ever stumble upon a website that does not seem legit, I will know what tool to use to evaluate these websites.

I am always pleasantly surprised by the information included in articles and websites we are assigned to read. This is no exception. All internet users will do themselves a great service by visiting www.novemberlearning.com.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cybersmart! Researching The Internet Wisely

I really found this video to be very informative. I totally agree with everything they are saying. One of the most important things I tell my students is that just because its on the internet doesn't make it correct. We can't send the students to Yahoo and have them research. An interesting point they make is that books are edited for the most part...websites not so much. Also, as teachers we have to provide interesting websites for our students to follow. We can't expect them to read a 42 page document of John Locke and answer 5 questions. Kids need action and adventure. We also need to teach the kids how to navigate the web and how to search through the different websites to find the truest answers.