Building Character the Creative Way

I’ve been reflecting on how to help guide our teachers in developing creative classroom projects with digital tools–regardless of what subject they teach–and how to tell the message of how to connect deeper, more profound learning through the use of these kinds of experiences. And let’s be honest, it’s not a simple undertaking, particularly when you have to consider standardized curriculums and testing schedules that drive much of what happens in our classrooms today.

But hey, those are just excuses. If you’re really dedicated to reaching students on multiple levels with varied learning modalities and provide them with the kind of creative learning experiences that are proven to motivate and engage students, then you have to start the process by asking yourself some solid questions about what you want to achieve.

That’s why I found this presentation from Adobe Education Leader Dena Moss Wilson so fascinating. Dena is a graphics arts teacher and has a tremendous eye for style, but as you can tell from her presentation she’s also a caring and crafty teacher with high standards.

Have a look, particularly at the beginning of this video for some ideas on how to plan for a creative project, then stay for examples of how Dena works with her students.

This video comes by way of the Adobe Education Leaders channel on Adobe TV, where you can find some great tips and tutorials for using all sorts of different software from Adobe. Here’s the recap of the session from their site and the video follows:

Learn how Dena Moss Wilson uses creative ideas for projects that help the student build character by exploring their core beliefs, getting a deeper sense of self, and promoting insightfulness. All are done in a safe and encouraging environment which brings out true reflections of the students’ self esteem or lack thereof.

I Didn’t Know You Could Do That with Acrobat

Acrobat 9: More than just a document printer

As part of our District’s rollout of the Adobe Digital School Collection, teachers and students now have much wider access to the creative tools found in the suite–Photoshop and Premiere Elements as well as Soundbooth–but they also have access to Acrobat 9 Professional.

You might wonder why Acrobat is even included in that package since most of us think of PDFs as just a way to convert a Word document or to download and view some sort of legal or business form. Truth is, as a program that has been around for quite a few years and has grown quite a bit in that time, Acrobat can do WAY more than just create viewable electronic documents. In fact, one of the really compelling uses for Acrobat in the classroom is its ability to create student portfolios of digital work done by students. That will be the focus we take in our trainings and the work we’ll be doing with our teachers.

In the video below from Lynda.com (by way of the free Adobe TV website) you’ll see a quick overview of the many things that Acrobat can do. I bet you’ll find more than a few things that surprise you!