Creativity and iPhoneography

This next term I will be teaching a new Technology & Media Arts elective at my high school.  As a Fine Arts credit, it will be a combination of Drama, Music and Art and be completely project-based.  The goal is to expose students to creative technology tools (Photoshop, Garageband, iMovie, Illustrator, InDesign, etc) while providing an authentic audience for their creations.

I really want to change the way students see design and creativity in their everyday lives.  One of the ways I will be doing this is by encouraging students to take creative photos with their cell phones and upload them to Instagram, Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, or Pinterest.  We will explore free photo editing apps and experiment with editing in Photoshop.  Students will take their images and create collages based around themes, inspirational quotes or for specific school purposes.  I have a few ideas in mind but I really want the students to come up with their own ideas.  Most of the students at my high school have a cell phone but we also have access to five Sony Bloggie Touch cameras – so everyone should be able to access to equipment.

Here are a few photos from my camera where I have been experimenting,  Some of the Apps I use are: Pic Stitch (free),  Popsicolor ($1.99), Juxtaposer ($2.99), PowerSketch ($0.99), InstaEffect FX (Free & $1.99), and Camera+ ($0.99)

Mt Hood Colorful Me
Childhood Memories

A Walk in the Park

Thanks to Nicole Dalesio for inspiring me and providing so many wonderful examples of Digital Art Tutorials.
Check out How to Improve Your iPhoneography Skills by Nicole ???? on Snapguide.

Learn iBooks Author – YouTube playlist

Ran across this great resource from Sean Jenkins who tweeted about this YouTube playlist on Twitter.  The playlist is from Emerson’s College Journalism Department and is a series of 26 short videos to teach you how to use iBooks Author.  I was very interested in the resource because the mobile initiative planning team at my school plans to create an iPad orientation book using iBooks Author.  Our teachers are most likely receiving iPads before summer and our plan is to install the book on their iPads and give them activities to do all summer on their own or as part of our two-day orientation in June.

Follow these simple steps to learn how to create your own iBook and send it to the iBookstore!  You can find searchable transcripts of these tutorials at

Collaborative Technology Tools in the Classroom

This term I am teaching a new online class for Portland State University for their Instructional Technology Certificate program.  The course topic is collaborative technology tools in the classroom.  Just as my students are reflecting on their work – I too will be documenting our progress and sharing my own thoughts and ideas.

How can we leverage collaborative technology tools to support communication and collaboration in the classroom? How can we plan lessons that effectively engage students and support learning goals?  The factors with the greatest influence on student achievement are instruction, professional learning, collaboration and learning time.

Technology tools that exist to support collaboration can:

  • Facilitate real-time and asynchronous text, voice and video communication.
  • Assist in basic project management activities
  • Support co-creation by enabling groups to showcase learning in real-time or asynchronously.
  • Facilitate consensus building through group discussions and polling
  • Simplify and streamline resource management
  • Enable locate and remote presentation and archiving of completed projects (Deal, 2009).

In this course, students will not only learn how to effectively integrate collaborative technology tools into the classroom but actively participate and apply these principles to their own learning and understanding.  We also want to make sure we are using sound pedagogy when using technology to support learning and aligning our instructional goals with the National Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S).

Portland State uses Desire 2 Learn (D2L) for their learning management system.  This program is fine but too many instructors have only used the text and discussion forum features.  I plan on integrating Portland State’s Google Apps program with D2L.  We will use Google+ hangouts for some webinars, shared documents, email, etc.  Also we will be USING all the collaborative tools each week like Edmodo, Diigo, Twitter, Collaborate and ones that individual students choose to explore (VoiceThread,Prezi, Evernote, etc).

One of the things that I will be playing with is including a weekly podcast lecture using iTunes U.  Last week I set up the iTunes Course Manager and added my written weekly lecture.  What I hope to do during the term and record a weekly podcast related to our week’s theme.  This will give me an opportunity to talk directly to my students, discuss current trends and share new resources.  Students can subscribe to the course and automatically receive the podcasts each week.

Next Week:  Talking about Digital Citizenship when using collaborative technology tools.


Deal, A. (2009). Collaboration tools. Teaching with technology white paper. Retrieved from Carnegie Mellon University website: