Photoshop beginning

The good news about photo shop is there are some awesome tutorials available for free on the web, and with that there is also the daunting challenge of wading through the hundreds or thousands of them to get to the destination you have in mind. I found a great one for beginners on youtube this week.  Photoshop for beginners by Terry White – In this tutorial I learned how to remove blemishes, use the “liquefy” tool which can round out some crazy hair or actually change the structure of a face if you were going for a dramatic effect. I learned how extract an image from a photo and set it in a different background. I tried to do this background challenge and after about an hour of trying to use the “quick lasso” tool with no success I finally shut my computer with a thud and walked away with lump in my throat. The other tools I learned were a bit more manageable but I wont be sharing a photo creation this week. This photo shop is not going to be easy, the tutorials are really helpful and full of information but that does not mean that I’m going to be a pro by next week. I will spend some more time in Light room again this afternoon, it is a photo editing application that I purchased with photo shop and it is not quite as overwhelming. The man who gave the tutorial, Terry White mentioned a place to find royalty free photos called i-stock photo, though once I got to the site I found that the photos cost money, so if I want a picture of a park bench I am going to have to walk out and get it myself. This is actually encouraging because I really should use my own photos, I think they will have more sentiment for me, and that is my whole goal anyhow.  I have signed up for a free photo shop class on the web for tomorrow and I look forward to gaining some more insight, this is all very exciting! I will continue my research and take the time to just “BE IN THE FIELD” (thanks Jacob from TED talk) by playing around with my new software.


Ted Talk Fan Club

If there is one thing that can make me stomp my foot and say “Yes! This is why I want to teach!” it is watching a kid talk about what they believe in. I honestly can feel my smile creeping onto my face, and a laugh bubbling inside me because it makes me so excited. Logan LaPlant’s speech did this, and so did Jacob Barnett’s.

Daniel Pink has a great video as well about the puzzle of  motivation. It focuses on intrinsic motivation and the three things that lend themselves to this are…

Autonomy- the urge to direct our own lives

Mastery-  the desire to get better and better at something that mattes

Purpose- the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.

The carrot and stick of extrinsic motivation does not work, it will not get the full results we so badly want as teachers. Intrinsic motivation is how we will have successful, happy, passionate kids who are driven from within. Isn’t that the kind of people we want in our world as well? People who dig in for the things they care about and make a difference. I understand that we have a lot of content that we must “get through” by the end of the year, but that is not an excuse to dismiss a child’s autonomy, and help them to discover one’s autonomy as well.

Any of the videos I talked about here can be used in a classroom to get kids to start thinking about their own autonomy, their own dreams and the possibilities that could unfold if they go for their goals.  I will use Ted Talk videos in my classroom whenever they are appropriate because they are so inspiring. Also if I am ever in a principal position I think they are a great way to get teachers to think outside of the box and get their reasons behind teaching fired up again.

Watch  The Video Here

Make/Hack/Play – Teach-

This blog started out a little foggy for me, Bud’s metaphors about the lenses of teaching did not connect for me until I read the article for the second time. A big part of my education classes has been focused on conceptual learning, an easy way to describe this is teaching things in a way that leads to the “big picture”. Bud’s article touches on this when he talks about the ways to look using the “make, hack, play” lenses in order to “see”.  I will teach conceptually in my classroom and letting kids make things, hack ways to learn and play their way into understanding will be a part of my methods. These are important aspects for getting kids driven about learning. I also read Bud’s blog about agency and it was a helpful in understanding more about hacking and playing with a purpose. This blog will affect the way I will teach because this “hacking” way of thinking and doing can be effective. If a teacher can hack a curriculum meaning, make it better, improve the problems that lie within it, that teacher could be able to change the way we approach some content and in turn the way the kids will as well. I will challenge myself to have it in the back of my mind to have the hacker mind set when approaching my standards and lessons.
I said it in my tweet and I will say it again, whatever that kid was doing as a hackschooler to learn how to speak to an audience they way he did was unbelievable. He was a professional, and it was astounding to watch. I believe in the school system and that is why I want to be a teacher, I also believe there needs to be some major changes so I ride the fence about kids being pulled from public schools to follow their own path to education through the internet and workshops. I think that many of these kids may achieve a great education, and it may even be tailored to their life goal. Yet, if a kid such as me was to hack my education and follow what I wanted to be at the age of 12 you would be reading the works of a professional gymnast. I understood that Logan’s message was he didn’t know what he wanted to be when he got older, other than happy and healthy, and is seemed as though he had achieved a way balance in his life to know how to remain that way. He seemed more stable and in tune with himself than most college students are. So how will his speech change the way I will teach ? I would like to focus on getting kids to the stage of being able to follow their dreams and be healthy and happy. I think it is completely feasible to cater to 25 or 30 kids individual goals, because if we are teaching big pictures and concepts, these kids are understanding far more and much quicker than those in classrooms with teachers who are thematic, and trudge through one subject at a time. There is enough time in the day to individualize, but it is going to take a whole lot of hacking the old dusty lesson plans of yesterday. 3944218322_4f963886dc_n

Photo By- CC- Una clerta mirada


Independent Learning Dilemma

Well I never thought I would have a hard time choosing something I want to learn on my own, in fact late at night when I’m really tired and a bit delirious I can spout off a dozen ideas, yet I have not chosen one. Why? I want it to be a choice that I will not regret, I want it to be something that will actually better me as a teacher, a soon to be mom, or even just a better me. So what will it be? Will it be learning to play that guitar that I’ve toted around with me for five years and still can only play about two chords? Or will it be to tap into my artistic side and actually learn how to paint…well. Or I could finally learn how to speak Spanish, even learn how to blog and make money doing it, I’ve always wanted to do that. Oh the tick tock of the count down to a decision is haunting me and the moment I think I have made up my mind I second guess myself. What would make me happy is doing something related to the arts, either guitar or painting, what also is important to me is becoming a great teacher, so what could I learn that would fulfill both of these things? Ah! I just had an epiphany, I really enjoy photography yet I have never dedicated any time to editing or photo shop editing and I have always wanted to, in fact I’ve always longed to. I think this will help me to be a better teacher and it will satisfy my interests, the only draw back is photo shop is expensive, but I think I will just have to live with it. I will think of this as an investment.  Yep, this is happening, my camera is on the downhill slope of its life but I think I can manage to make it last a bit longer. I am very excited about this new adventure. It’s funny that no matter the age of a student we long for freedom to learn what we want and then when given the opportunity we sometimes panic or get flustered and choose something  without thinking it through. Not this time! This time I am going to be confident in my choice and there will be no looking back.




Digitally Literate Kids


              Jennifer Carey states in her article How to Infuse Digital Literacy Throughout the Curriculum that digital literacy is defined as “the ability to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate and create information using a range of digital technologies”. Educational and business  professionals both agree that digital literacy is a critical skill in the 21st century yet educators such as Jennifer are finding that schools are struggling to integrate it into their curriculum. We must begin to integrate digital literacy into all of the aspects of school as well as move into the direction of digital fluency. To be digitally fluent is much like being fluent in a language. Being able to easily and effortlessly reach ones goal of creating and communicating using various appropriate digital tools as well as understanding that communication. I feel that I am good with word processing and am sufficient in researching using technology. I am not yet an expert at any digital literacy aspect but the key word is “yet”. To become expert learners and leaders of digital literacy we must immerse ourselves in it’s abilities, taking advantage of all technological  advances and stay on the cutting edge within our classrooms. Not every tech tool is right for every subject but we as teachers should challenge ourselves to think outside of the box and give students opportunities to use digital literacy to accelerate and interest them. A blog I found that could be a useful tool for using digital literacy in the classroom as well as understanding it from an educators view was this word press blog:

I also found some useful insight about digital literacy here:


Product of a K- 12 School

My life as a learner like most kids had its ups and downs all the way through high school.  When I began to get excited about books is when I found my niche in school.  I can recall reading Goosebumps books to my younger brother, James. I don’t know if he was excited because I let  him in my room or because he actually liked the books. While I was in gymnastics a girl I really looked up to I caught walking around the gym before warm ups, her nose in a book. I began doing the same thing, gymnastics and books. I continued reading to James  and other members of my family, I loved to read to others as well as on my own. I bounced out of my seat, arm stretched to the ceiling, waving my fingers to be called upon in class to read aloud. By the time I reached high school I wanted to be an actress, I wanted to act out the stories I loved reading so much. My  K-12 school did have a stage but had been without a drama club  so long that none of the teachers had ever seen one there. With some work, by my freshmen year I was a member of the club and loved it. I struggled with math throughout Math every year in school, I was advanced in English and History and because of my small school I couldn’t be in the advanced English and History classes without being in the advanced Math, there was only one Math teacher after all. I ended up taking my regular algebra class from my chemistry teacher during his plan period, just Mr. Rosenbrock and I. I loved that Science teacher, he was blunt, yet creative enough to explain things in a lot of different ways (in monotone) for me to understand. I also used to go to the Second grade teacher who happened to be a math whiz down the hall in the mornings before school started and have her help me as well. I would begin to feel bad about myself because I struggled with Math and it wasn’t until college that I began to trust my ability in mathematics and gained the confidence I needed to be successful. I will always be a learner and that part of my life I truly cherish.



Photo CC by-Mike Mozart



Photo CC by- Jim Hickcox

Jeff Smith/Staff Photographer Jackson freshman Kim Pety studies Tuesday in a hallway outside of French Auditorium in the new Education and Human Services building. "Its comfortable, there are lots of places to study and its warmer than other buildings" Pety said.
 Photo cc by- Jeff Smith


Photo CC by- Joe Shulz


Photo cc by- Patrick Giblin