Muddling through the blogosphere

October 15, 2008
by blogwalker
1 Comment

Anyone Can be Visually Literate: Graphic Design Tips for Educators with Steven McGriff

Being pretty much visually challenged myself, I’m hoping this workshop moves me beyond “making ugly stuff.” The presenter is opening with a quote on visualization: “The abilty to undestand and use image including the ability the think, learn, and express onself in terms of images.” – Robert Braden.

  • Looking at petroglyphs – and checking for meaning. Hard for us to interpet because we don’t get visual language.
  • Knowledge representaion can be described through verbal (spoken/written words) or visual (symbols/icons). What if we began teaching students the power of that combination?
  • Visual literacy theory – it’s another language. How do you know when to go to visual communication? You probably know instinctively when a clipart or image would work better than text.

Type – Everything should match your message (size, shape, white space, added shapes). Get rid of default text – and no more centering of titles.

Color – Hue (color). Colors changed based on influence of surrounding colors. When using complementary colors, make one th dominate color and the other the accent color. Analogous colors create a calming effect. Psychology of colors – they evoke passion and emotional response.

General guideline: choose four harmonic colors: primary, type, secondary, accent. Hint: consider using dark gray type instead of black; it creates a more calming effect and is easier to read.

Actions (how you manipulate the tools

  • contrast – check out Robin Williams Non-designers Design Book.
  • repetition – Be careful that you actually use same shade of red, for instance.
  • alignment – Nothing should be placed on page arbitrarily. Remember that white space can be good; so think about “chunking.”
  • proximity – Items relating to each other should be grouped together

Resource: tons of fun fonts. – fee-based service, but offers visual representations for hundreds of words. – free and offers many imag

October 15, 2008
by blogwalker

Technology for English Language Learners with Alice Mercer

Alice Mercer, my friend and next-door-neighbor from Sac City USD, is starting her session on tech for EL students – and special ed too, starting with her third Grade on Friendship.

Alice’s tips on where to infuse technology:

  • record pair shares and oral responses
  • Use online visual tools (Inspiration)
  • Scan and post student drawings
  • Photograph realia and post
  • Post student writing with voice over and images to support
  • Record Readers Theater
  • Do reports on topics

On to¬† Alice’s take on VoiceThread – like PowerPoint online – Uses VT for front end loading. Concept & Question board. Flickr – sign up for Safe Search parameters + Creative Commons licensing. Teach older students how to do favoring. Select images, right click and save image location. Into menu of VT. Flickr = your own. So use URL, right click and paste to import pictures. be sure to add URL links for credit. Using comment tool, have kids record.

Other tools and suggestions:

  • Anita Archer technique: What would be an example of friendship – or non-friendship.
  • Advanced unit: – Online thesaurus. Has speaker option too.
  • Motivator – makes posters.
  • Start PowerPoint and move into MovieMaker- upgrades PPt because kids write script. Amy Bissonett – Intellectual Properties attorney – helped get permission to transform a Hampton-Brown story. Transformation intellectually by extending the character’s actions via radio show. Transformation = Fair Use.
  • BrainPop – use at beginning or end? Gary Stager upset about BrainPop’s simplicity – but serves as great into our summation.

Lots of well-deserved applause for Alice’s preso:-)

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