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Showing posts from 2009

Wind Down Reflections

As the year slowly winds down; I am considering my PD priorities again for the summer holidays.Alternatives to Photoshop will form a part of that research, other areas will be asset management, as it appears that Microsoft has stopped making or supporting Expression Media.So; my list of things to explore will include the following:-Adobe BridgeApple's ApertureAdobe's Light-room V2Cumulus, by Canto.I am hoping to have an exhibition again soon, either in 2010 or 2011, I have enough negs for a show of black and white prints and colour prints. Maps is the title of the b&w work, and A Sketchbook 2007 onwards is the title of the colour body, both are on flickr.Now that, has improved their service to include, Indesign templates and therefore colour management, I plan on including small books or catalogues of these shows as well.At this point, I am sitting at 307 hours of PD this year.

More self Training

Brushing up on marking sheets from this year ready for next year, I have managed to learn a few more things about Apple's spreadsheet application, numbers. It combined with Bento are more than meeting my needs for tracking student's progress, assessments and assignments.

External Clients

I was recently handed a job, whereby somebody wanted to learn 'Web Design', after making contact, and a 3 hour session, it was obvious this person was not going to achieve their intended goal, ie know enough about web design and Dreamweaver to be comfortable in job application situation, immediately.I left them with some homework to do and organised to return a few days later.Upon my return, I had personally revisited Dreamweaver to familiarise myself with its new version and how it handled CSS. The client had made some progress on their own project, but was reluctant to admit it was an achievement.Prior to my second visit, I had developed 2 exercises to help the person try and understand the relationship between HTML & CSS. The client limped through the first, but threw the towel in before I could even begin the second.So, five hours of teaching in an external environment, and several hours of 'prep' had helped me understand Dreamweaver better, not sure about the…

New Publication

This, looks like an interesting publication, Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2009. What I like the most, is that it is available as an electronic download at almost 1/2 the price of the softcover hardcopy.Some other links worth noting; a free pdf reader site that lists fee and or open source PDF readers. I've been looking a long time now for an open source page layout application, with the strenght and flexibility of Indesign, and I think, I've found it, it's called,, it is free cross platform and open source. All the things I've wanted to have in my desktop application. It will of course take some time to put it through it's paces, but at first glance it looks like it will fulfill my humble needs.

EXHIBITING YOUR WORK workshop with Les Walkling

Duration: 3 hours
Location: Lab-X St.Kilda.
Date: 26/08/2009 Prosiac V Poetic communication. No schism between own work and 'client' now for digital natives. Helen Ennis, why are 'we' not in her recent book. Cultural discussion and context of Helen Ennis at odds with AIPP etc. Revist old colour negs of Melbourne and make a series. Title? That alludes to time? What makes your work Art?What are the differences between commercial art and the plastic and applied arts. The line in the sand is allegedly drawn around 1970 and the start of POMO.Victor Burgin 'Thinking Photography'. Art photography is about schoarly 'ideas'. Content Context The Art Industry driving the needs of itself. Corporate, only, interested money. Right down to the sales. 5 Types of Galleries National ie, NGV2. Publicly funded ie CCP CommercialTolarnoBroader Demograhic ie mid-career artists.Artist run collectives etc. Span, etc. Why do you exhibit? therfere to whom and how?Material Thinkin…

Edge of The Outback

I have just returned from a 3 week sabbatical. I taught 22 North American Students some aspects of digital photography, after a brief introduction, to photography in general. We then spent time in several National Parks in Northern Victoria and South Western N.S.W. The program ran for 3 weeks, and I was often spending upwards of 12 hours a day in the filed with students and 10 hours a day in the labs helping them finish their folios.I plan on writing a lengthy reflection and posting it to my website, in the coming days.

Teaching On the Edge

So; here I am teaching on another at a TAFE 500 kilometers away Mildura's SuniTAFE; dealing with all kinds of issues, it's been refreshing and full on I've hardly had time to scratch myself.The IT department on the campus of SuniTafe here seem to be are cock-heads uncooperative, suffer from tunnel vision and, only interested in running IT the way they see fit. as a consequence, I can barely access anything I need to access, not even mail!

1st Yr Mid Year Folio

Yesterday saw the end of the reviews for the 1st years. Twelve students per day, over 2 days went really well. This year I've feel I pulled through really well compared to the past. No major paux pas, and no extended silences, or rather not feeling guilty about, not saying anything.Used Bento to track records and I think this will be my new tool of choice for this kind of admin work. Still need to learn more to get tables in to use the auto-sum feature of most spreadsheet apps.Early next term, I am off on a sabbatical, with Latrobe University. Almost 3 weeks up North around Mildura and the edge of the desert, teaching & shooting with some International Students, some of whom will, have little photography and art experience.

Organising Data

Just spent 4 hours working with Bento and Numbers, two software applications made by Apple for keeping track of numbers and data. I am planning on using these tools, to track results for the rest of the year, and in the future for attendance as well assignment marking.

iTunes University

Now here's an idea!
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Ian Lobb PD

Spent 3 hours today exploring colour and Photoshop's inability to deal with it correctly. As always and inspiring and enlightening session.Ian is a former University lecturer from RMIT, who created Lobster, a tool/plugin designed to overcome Photoshops poor handling of perceptual colour. He sells his plugin from his website, and at the very least you need to, read his introductory notes to appreciate the issues involved.The 2 main things that I took from the session were,There is a plugin available on the CS3 install disk that helps get around the issues, provided yo know what and how to do it, it is called HSBHSL.That people, "generally" are not investing the energy and interest in their won images because tools like Photohsop have democratised the process, and made it too simple.


Just finished reading:- "After Photography" (Fred Ritchin)This was a fantastic read, and will be very useful, in future classes.Naomi Rosenblum, author of A World History of Photography, is quoted on the back cover as saying:-"Ritchin is probably more optimistic than I about the effects of 'digital' capabilities, but I certainly would recommend the book to anyone who wishes to understand what has transpired in the image world in the past ten or so years. It is well written and covers many ramifications of the new means, going well beyond what we now think of as 'digital photography.'"This small passage highlights the potential of the medium, something I've been pondering since my first digital camera in the late 1990's"This, finaly, will be "digital photgraphy," synthesizing and analyzing aspects of the universe in interesting and unusual ways, rather than beginining with a mythic wholenss and freezing small sections as two di…

Mail lists?

I am on two e-mail lists for educators, [Macs in Education, & echalk] both are proving to me that e-mail is not dead as a medium for sharing information, witness this gem, that surfaced on the maced list today
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch! More online content to explore and digest, speaking of online content, the abc's iview is a great way to watch programs of all sorts.

Wolfram Alpha Look, it’s a plane, it’s a search engine it’s a … - Beyond Chalk Blog

In principle a great tool for lower years in education, but I had trouble getting ANY results relevant to photography.Still Brad's post has some salient points, regarding the use of the internet in education:-If we are going to truly educate this next generation about the educational value of the internet, awareness of such brilliant tools such as Wolfram is essential. I’m no statistics nerd, but I couldn’t help but become engrossed in the wealth of data Wolfram was able to offer.[From Look, it’s a plane, it’s a search engine it’s a … - Beyond Chalk Blog]Will be watching this with keen eyes, for sure.

New Software

Not only have I been learning Adobe Photoshop CS4, and Aperture and Lightroom, I've also been working with Dreamweaver CS4.Dreamweaver has matured substantially in this version, so much so I am struggling to work out a fast way to get my students at Victoria University up to speed quickly.It's kinda hard to track hours of PD in this situation, an hour here 1/2 a day there, so, difficult, to quantify.

Day 2 ITSC '09

AM Session #1Brought my laptop today and am able to blog during each break.This morning's session began with, an intro to iWeb, a great application. I'm still contemplating using this in class, not sure it gives me and the student's enough control, to understand images and image size; the whole driving factor behind the class itself?AM Session #2Edcube; as a tool for students to create digital portfolios. Very interesting idea, needs further exploration.PM Sessions, focused on Web 2.0, and it was good to hear other folks attempting to subvert the "system" and use technology in ways that would improve and enhance learning. Ultimately though; good teaching is good teaching.Total hours of Professional Development eight.Edit 17.5here's my 'notes' taken as the day progressedDigital portfolios, is a department buzzword.ed-cube cross platform"sage on the stage""meddler in the middle…

Day 1 ITSC '09

Uploaded with plasq's Skitch! Friday; I spent the whole day at the ITSC conference, at CSHS.I signed up for the, Digital Literacy Workshop.Day 1 was focused on podcasting.I came away with several ideas for lectures and sharing of information. The best was one I learnt, was using a function in keynote to record a voice over on top of the slides. I also learnt you can add pictures and videos to podcasts, again the possibilities are endless.The last session was a bit of a fizzer, it seeemd to be about making slide shows, and of course it was a little a tad too low for the year levels I'm teaching. I therefore left early and missed the dinner as well, I guess that I'll see some of the images and stuff on the the ali site.Something that I gained from the keynote was the stats about the way people learn, and of course listening forms less than 10%.Total hours of professional development eight.

Internet Safer; for Children, Than Most think

This article from may help to alleviate fears of internet use by today's youth, and hopefully the blinkered bureaucrats who are holding back much innovavtive work in many class roomsIn a report released March 31, the researchers saw a nearly fivefold jump in arrests for soliciting undercover investigators who posed as juveniles--to 3,100 in 2006, up from 644 in 2000, the last time the study was conducted........The New Hampshire center's data from 2000 have been widely cited in internet safety circles, but they predate the popularity of social networks such as News Corp.'s MySpace. In providing the update, the researchers are hoping to assuage fears that parents might have about their children spending time in such online hangouts.

Crystal Ball Gazing

I'm no seer but this article from eschool news is interesting.Six technologies soon to affect education New report describes the emerging technologies that will shape K-12 education in the near future
By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor Primary Topic Channel: ResearchCollaborative environments, cloud computing, and "smart" objects are among the technologies that a group of experts believes will have a profound impact on K-12 education within the next five years or sooner.The group, called the New Media Consortium (NMC), has come out with an annual report on emerging technologies in higher education for the last several years. This year, for the first time, NMC has issued a K-12 version of its "Horizon Report" as well.The Horizon Report: 2009 K-12 Edition, released earlier this month, identifies and describes six emerging technologies that will have a huge impact on K-12 education within the next one to five years.The report groups these technologies according…

Evil Empire

This is the most eloquent, and succinct argument AGAINST Microsoft products I've ever read.Only Microsoft's unending control-oriented approach is able to lend their free offers any novelty, rather than concrete advantages which provide direct benefits to the recipients.It came from the e-chalk list I'm on. And was in response to what was tentatively a spam e-mail pushing Microsoft products.

Keynote & Wakoopa

As I'm teaching subjects this year that, I've not taught for a while, and as these same subject/s have moved technologically, I've begun writing lessons and course materials using Apple's excellent presentation tool; Keynote.As I'm doing them mostly from scratch, it is taking a long time for one 20 minute presentation. The workload is spread between source resources and writing the content. i think that I should write the content first in a word processor then put it all together at the end with the final stage being adding the fancy effects.On another note, this website has a handy way of tracking what software you use, giving some insight into what and how long you spend on projects on your computer, not the first I'm sure, but as it's online and has a web 2.0 social flavour definitely interesting.


Indesign, my current DTP app of choice, has many hidden secrets I'm still trying to uncover. The majority of our documentation is produced using this tool, then exported as a pdf for any one else who needs to see or read it. Our major publication that, we publish each year, is distributed this way to our students. It is a "book" with several chapters, and a contents page. It is possible somehow, to produce the final pdf table of contents with links to each chapter with in the book. Yesterday I spent 4 hours trying to get this to work. No luck, what so ever. Time to buy a book or find a tutorial online, methinks?

Internet generation leave parents behind Media | The Guardian

Says the guardian [From Internet generation leave parents behind | Media | The Guardian]While i have no children myself, it is to my mind quite apparent that this is what children would do, to the point where I am surprised, when the students i teach, in the 17-22 year old bracket DON'T use the internet much? Or worse consider ME a geek.

New Year New Beginings?

TimeThis summer time ran out as usual. So far all I've managed to teach myself a little javascript, by putting together an image gallery on another site, using a javascript tool. I guess this means though I will need to explore this computer language in more detail so as to be able to build my own and help others.Time taken 12 hours.AdministrationI've spent a lot of time this year on the VTAC site, exploring, the ins and outs of the system. While I still cannot completely comprehend the way it works and how to best use it for our purposes at pic, I feel more confident now that my mistakes are going to be minimal. Still; a huge learning curve though.Late last year we also had a pd session with Les Walkling on Colour Management.Time taken 3 hours.