Thursday, March 26, 2015

I had another great experience at NCCE (Northwest Council of Computer Education) in Portland, Oregon. I presented two workshops as follows:

The first workshop I presented was Infographics using Adobe Illustrator.  This was a well attended workshop. Joe Dockery who teaches digital arts courses at Mount Si High School in the Snoqualmie Valley School District, Washington, helped me out.

 I was sandwiched between his two workshops, Intro to Adobe Premiere Elements 12 and Special Effects with Adobe Premiere Elements 12. It worked out great. I helped him out with some of his Intro workshop and all of his Special Effects workshop. Joe's workshops are always great. I always learn something new. Adobe Premiere Elements has really changed over the years. There is so much you can do with this software. It is great for Title 1 schools that particpated in the ConnectEd Adobe software program

There were many of the same teachers in Joe's first workshop as were in his second workshop. There was even some overlap with students in my Illustrator workshop.

This was a great first day. I was able to have dinner that night with several Sentinel High School teachers and the wonderful, Beyond the Chalk guys, Jeff Crews and Dean Phillips. We ended up taking the train to downtown Portland and eating at Jakes, a wonderful seafood restaurant. Jeff and Dean treated the Sentinel teachers to dinner, which was very nice of them! Great food - great company!

Flying your Video to New Places

The next day I had the opportunity to go to Joe Dockery's one hour session called Flying your Video to New Places which was all about Aerial Video/Photography in education. It was a great session. I have been thinking about doing this over the last year and he has already been using it in his school. He has developed training for the students and curriculum. He will also be teaching a 6 hour workshop for teachers featuring tips and tricks he learned in his first year of flying and filming with the DJI Phantom Quadcopter. He shared some of his experiences with  us and demonstrated his Quadcopter to the teachers in the session.

Here is a shot of us from the quadcopter.

3D Prnting using Adobe Photoshop

The next day, I taught another workshop - 3D Printing using Photoshop. I will be teaching this same workshop (only three hours instead of two hours) at ISTE in Philadelphia, PA, later this summer. It was great to hear how other teachers are using 3D printing in their curriculum. I shared some of the curriculum that I teach in Graphic Design 2 at Sentinel High School.

It is really amazing how fast technology is changing and how the possibilties change along with the advancement of technology. It really is an exciting time in education to be able to help students discover what they are interested in and what the possibilties could be.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


2014-15 School Year
Mid-Year Review

Wow, there has been a lot happening this year school year (2014-15). Since today is January 1st, 2015, I thought I would take a few minutes to reflect on the school year so far. This year has been busier than ever. Every year I seem to say this, but, this year - wow!

The department has grown from 3 1/2 people and 2 computer labs to 7 people and 5 computer labs. Lots of great things happening. Dave Hamilton came into our department in October for his work with computer science. We met with one of the professors from the University of Montana Computer Science Department to discuss a grant that she was writing and the opportunity to really grow computer science in the State of Montana with more course offerings and dual credit. It is an exciting time, that is for sure! Our department participated in The Hour of Code this year which was a huge success - students received lots of exposure to coding.

Jenn Keintz will also be joining our department this year, sometime later this month. Jenn has been producing the school newspaper, the Konah, and the school yearbook, The Bitterroot for years. She has completed a master's degree in journalism recently. She has also been instrumental in starting and maintaining Spartan TV which broadcasts our weekly bulletins and more. I have been working with her to develop a Digital Media Academy at Sentinel High School. 

The Sentinel Design Lab has gotten off to a slow start this year. With all of the Design Lab students graduating last year, except two, we have been struggling to get back up to speed. I am optimistic, however, as we have several great projects coming up.

Maria Bray has been busy working with several i3 projects. This has been a great opportunity for students to make a difference in our community. She gave up part of her summer last year and can't say enough great things about the program.

I have been working closely with the Montana Digital Academy as Lead Web Design Instructor having developed the Web Design course for the seven-state consortium. This fall I also picked up a Microsoft Office Career & Technology course. I will be developing updates to the Web Design course this winter. In addition, I have been in touch with the Montana Digital Professional Learning Network to see about developing, teaching and creating a core group of teachers interested in teaching technology-related courses for the State of Montana.

I will be teaching another Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) professional development course this winter called Google Apps for Education Online - Winter 2015. This is an exciting time at MCPS with lots of challenges and changes. MCPS will be hosting a Google Fest in May of 2015 - first of it's kind for MCPS. I will also be teaching a Mooodle 101 Online course starting in February 2015. 

This year I have had the opportunity to get much more involved with the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival which is from February 6-16th. Over the winter break, I reviewed fourteen of the documentaries that will be airing. If you have the time, you should definitely take the time to view some of these films. They were really well done.

I have a new addition to my classroom this year - a 3D printer! Since you can now create and print to a 3D printer using Adobe Photoshop, I thought this would be a good addition to our Graphic Design 2 class. Several students have been testing out the printer and I think this is going to be a great addition, not only to my Graphic Design 2 class, but the Sentinel Design Lab, too. I will be presenting 3D Printing using Adobe Photoshop at both NCCE in Portland in March and at ISTE in Philadelphia in June. I will also be presenting Infographics using Adobe Illustrator at NCCE in Portland.



Saturday, August 9, 2014

Adobe Education Leader Institute 2014

Wow, as always, it is such an amazing experience at the Adobe Education Leaders Institute in San Jose, California. I think this is my third year attending the Institute and I have to say that I look forward to it every year. It is held at the Adobe Headquarters and we get to hear from Adobe executives, product managers, the education team and other Adobe Education Leaders from around the world.

This year at the conference I was formally presented with the Adobe Education Leader Impact Award and plaque. It was such an honor to be up there with other Adobe Education Leaders that I truly admire. I also presented this year a - Creativity in Education Session, where Students Become Entrepreneurs with the Sentinel Design Lab. I was also able to invite the student founder of the Sentinel Design Lab, Nathan Anderson, to talk about the Design Lab from his experiences.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I am on my way to the Adobe Education Leaders Institute held at Adobe Headquarters in San Jose, California. I recently won the Adobe Education Leaders Impact Award and will be presenting at this institute about the Sentinel Design Lab. I am excited to let people know that we are doing some great things at Missoula County Public Schools, Montana. Evidently this presentation will be also available virtually at: Sparking Creative Catalysts.

We have done a lot of creative things at Sentinel High School and I am proud to be able to present them to other Adobe Education Leaders and creatives. This session introduces an innovative way for students to become entrepreneurs using Adobe products in the high school classroom and beyond. This program is a unique example of 21st century education at its best: an environment where students work with instructors to shape their own education and become productive members of the community. Students in this program receive experience and training vitally needed in the rapidly expanding digital design market, along with opportunities for critical thinking, collaboration, leadership, entrepreneurship, and problem solving.

More information will be coming.....

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I am excited to see all of my Adobe friends in Atlanta for the ISTE Conference this week. I am flying down from North Carolina after visiting my parents for two weeks. I fly in around 5:15 p.m. and will head right to the Hilton Atlanta Hotel where I will meet my roommate and fellow Adobe Education Leader, Deborah Hargroves, and we will walk over to the Alma Cocinia for an AEL dinner, which is about a nine minute walk. I am really looking forward to this as I will see many Adobe Education Leaders that I haven't seen for a while.

There is a lot happening in the short amount of time I will be there. Sunday there is an ISTE VIP reception at Morton's Steakhouse at 6:00 p.m. Monday morning there is a an Adobe Customer Breakfast at the Omni Hotel at 7:00 a.m. Not sure I am going to make it to the breakfast because I am presenting Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. I am presenting Infographics using Adobe Illustrator. It is a three hour workshop. Monday night at 7:00 p.m., however, there is ISTE's biggest VIP party: Edtech Karaoke Tabernacle, which is about a fourteen minute walk from our hotel. I leave Tuesday morning, so this is going to be a quick trip! I am glad I will be heading to San Jose, California, towards the end of July to catch up with many more Adobe Education Leaders for the Adobe Institute.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Excited to be teaching two workshops this year at NCCE in Seattle, Washington. The first workshop is an Introduction to InDesign.

The other workshop is Infographics using Illustrator.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My first experience at Adobe MAX. It was held May 5-8, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  What a great conference. I not only have the benefit of attending great workshops but also be witness to Adobe’s new roll out of the new branding of Adobe products. The Creative Suite (CS) products are branded as Creative Cloud (CC). I have been using the creative cloud products for close to a year and absolutely love it. While I have not downloaded all of the products yet, I love having all of them at my fingertips.  I love the whole cloud piece - being able to upload images, videos, etc., downloading products as I need them, the Behance feature, while I haven’t used it much yet, I love the idea.

I also learned at this conference that Adobe is looking at getting into the hardware business. They will be releasing a stylus (Mighty) that is connected to the “cloud” and a slide rule (Napoleon)  that works well with tablets.

I loved the community summit that was held before the conference got rolling, I had the opportunity to meet product developers and managers along with other Adobe Education Leaders in a great social event.

Some of the sessions I attended included InDesign Tips and Tricks, Building Multi-Folio Apps with Digital Publishing Suite, Building Business Websites with Dreamweaver and Business Catalyst, Don’t Be Afraid: You can Learn Edge Animate, Hands-On New Features in InDesign CC, Creating Mobile Layout Designs in Adobe Muse and Adobe Illustrator: Advanced Techniques. So many to choose from:

The Adobe Bash, was quite the bash!