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.