Saturday, March 27, 2010


This week we learned about PowerPoint, and how to create lessons for our students to use. In our groups we were asked to find a lesson in the book “50 Quick and Easy PowerPoint Activities” and use it as a model to create our own.

At first there was a lot of confusion in my group as to what audience (fellow teachers/students/parents of students) our lesson was supposed to be focused towards. After we were told that we were making a lesson to show to our “students”, so they could create their own power points, things were a lot clearer.
As a student myself, PowerPoint is an important skill to have when I have to do a class presentation. I already knew how to create professional PowerPoint assignments, but it never crossed my mind that students as young as Kindergarten create PowerPoints for assignments as well (I never did). It has been really interesting creating a lesson-plan that will show students how to do a particular PowerPoint lesson.

In the future I definitely plan on using PowerPoint assignments in my class. They are fun, relatively easy, and the uniqueness of every slide-show gives you a lot of insight into each child’s personality and thought process. For example, you ask your students to create a slideshow that shows their favorite foods, or things they see every day. The responses you as sure to get will be extremely varied and interesting to share with the class.
As a colleague, PowerPoint can also be very helpful. In meetings, it can be used to show the progress of each class in your grade, or your individual students. It can also be a way to lighten the mood in meetings by slipping funny pictures into the slides. I am a firm believer that no meeting should be too serious that a little humor wouldn’t be appreciated by all.

Alright, this week’s video was just plain cute! I have never really been interested in raising chickens (ducks are more my thing), but Jordan seems to have a real love for it. I liked how she introduced the different types of chickens she was raising and put in a little information on each. I also liked how she introduced each chick—although I’m not sure I’d ever want to have a bird standing on my head for any period of time…….

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Picassa part II....and general randomness.

Crescent Lake, WA

What and So What?
This blog will be a bit different, due to the fact that I did my blog on Picassa last week. Because of her illness, our professor decided to rearrange our class schedule to fit the rest of the term. So in our most recent class we discussed what topics we were going to learn about, and which ones we would just throw out. After that, she taught us briefly on the Picassa lesson that we had missed before, and then she allowed us to have free time where we played around with Picassa for a while and then had the chance to leave early.

I chose to stay, and played around with the photo-editing program for about an hour. I edited some of my own photos, and then started editing random ones I found on Google. It was fun, and a lot of the time I played around with them, making them black and white or enhancing them to look far more dramatic than they did before (as you will see from the samples I’ve put up).
A Harbor Seal in Port Angeles, WA
(it swam within feet of my brother, allowing him to get several amazing photographs)

Now what?
I fully plan on using programs like Picassa in the future. If not for my future class, for my own use. It is a fun and easy program, and it would be easy to teach to a class of young students. Children are always eager to learn about things like this, and I think it would be a fun lesson to draw out over a couple of days or even weeks.
And because I already critiqued the “Power Point” video last week, please enjoy two more samples of my attempts with Picassa!

A Sunrise (I enhanced the colors to make them more dramatic)

A forest road (it reminded me of some of the roads in the NorthWest coastal region)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Picassa...or not...

This week we were supposed to be learning about Picassa; unfortunately, our teacher was sick and we were asked to complete the part of the assignment that didn’t require the use of the Picassa program. So we had a lab-day and worked on our slide-show teaching presentation that we took the pictures for last week.

So What?
When we started our slide-show, my group quickly realized how unprofessional some of our pictures looked. In an attempt to clean them up, we started to look for programs that might help, on the school computers. Imagine my surprise when I found Picassa (the program we weren’t learning that day) on my computer.

After finding another program to be unsatisfactory, I decided to try Picassa out and told one of my fellow group members about it. She found the program on her computer, opened it as well, and we spent the next hour and a half editing our photographs and pasting them onto our power-point slides. We both came to realize how handy Picassa was, and why Doc Waters wanted us to learn about it in the first place.

Now What?
Before, I was never a big fan of editing photos. I like to think that what you get reflects the natural beauty of the object you photographed. Unfortunately through this assignment, I learned this is not always the case. Picassa is a wonderful tool, and very easy to use.

Should I choose to use digital cameras in my classroom, I have no doubt that I will also use Picassa as an editing tool; if not to clean up the image, then to crop it if need be. It is also helpful in a professional setting, if you need to clean up any photographs for public viewing (such as teacher portraits that hang in the hallways, or other similar pictures).

I was giggling the entire time I watched this video, mainly because I couldn’t refute a thing he was saying. I have made several of those mistakes while creating power-point presentations, especially “common power point mistake number 1”. But the way he presented the mistakes, along with his over-the-top examples, were highly amusing and entertaining. I will think twice, next time, before attempting to fill my power-point slides with every bit of information I can fit on there.