Over the summer I came across a website while searching the internet for ideas on computer upgrades for our classroom. This website is a web-based, game-like Graphic Design course at a high school in California. At the time, I thought it was a cool example of the caliber of work that high school students are capable of (they’ve done some awesome, professional-quality work there). However, now that I’ve got a semester under my belt and have a little better idea of what I want to do & how class has gone so far, I’m interested in having a go at our own “Mac Lab” at Zanesville High School.
Mr. Skocko, the teacher in the Mac Lab, calls his online class “The Artists Guild”, or TAG for short. I thought we could also go the game route with DDR- Devil Design Revolution. I’m open to other ideas, though.
This is very much a work in progress and, since we’ll be trying to build this thing as we’re flying it, we will likely have many hiccups (failures) along the way. However, if you’re willing to work with me and take a chance at a totally new (and hopefully fun) style of learning, I think we could have a very exciting and interesting second semester! I’m just in the beginning stages of setting this site up and am sure there will be a lot of room for improvement as we go along. I’ll see if I can come up with some sort of “Suggestions” page, but for now, just put any suggestions for improvements as a comment below!
Day One – January 8, 2013
Today we will go over some of the changes to how class will be running, along with a refresher of some classroom procedures. After that, we will do some brainstorming of what we can do and where we can go with this class and the quest-based system we will be using. Discussion will include:
- Naming our classroom – Room 219 or Mr. McCullough’s room is boring; let’s try to come up with something cool.
- Possible rewards for your growth and progress.
- Other ideas you have for how we can use our new game system for class.
- Any questions you may have about how class will be running now – grades, doing assignments, expectations, etc.
Do the quests below first and then we will move on to our discussion.
- Read the new course grading policy and enter your name, Zanesville email, and click “I Agree” to show that you have read & understand the new grading system. (10 XP)
- Read through the classroom expectations & fill out the form at the bottom of the page. (10 XP)
Take home, read, sign, and have a parent sign the new course syllabus (I will pass this out). If you turn this in to me by tomorrow, it will be worth 20 XP and 10 Gold. If you turn it in after tomorrow, it will be worth 0 XP and 0 Gold. If you have to ask for a new copy, you will lose 20 XP.
A Taste of What is Ahead
Want to make designs that look like this or this? Those are designs created by high schoolers in the Mac Lab and I believe that you are capable of creating work just as good or even better than that. All that you need is an open mind and a strong work ethic.
Time to Play the Game!
If you’re ready to buy into this and give it a real honest shot, there’s 50 XP waiting for you just as credit for being willing to play the game. That’s a nice big chunk towards your first level-up!
Day Two- January 9, 2014
Alright, here we are in day two of this experiment. I have some different videos for you to go through today to learn a bit more about our quest system and some things involved with that. We are also going to be combining all three of my classes (Intro to CS, Foundations of Computing, and Photoshop) onto this one page, since the upgrade I bought to post videos to the site only applies to this website. I’ll figure out the details of how I need to do that ASAP. However, today’s information works for all three classes, so we will all work off of this post.
While I am not in front talking to you, today will be mostly you listening to me talk on these videos, so bear with me. I don’t intend to make you spend all semester making you watch videos of my computer screen while I talk, it’s just the nature of this information right now. Hopefully we will move into new information quickly where you can watch a quick video and then just get to work.
P.S. – I know it’s weird watching a video of me talking to you as I move my mouse around the computer screen, it was weird recording it, too.
The Quest System – Self-Assess Your Level of Understanding
Leveling Up – Self-Assess Your Understanding
Self-Assessment – Novice (10 XP)
Keeping Track of Your Progress – Self-Assess
Day 3 – January 10, 2014 (01/10/14)
Today we set off on our first journey/questline- Collages. For those of you not familiar with video games, a “questline” is a group of quests that are all related in some way. The quests we do over the next few weeks will all be targeted towards our overall idea of collages. In this questline, we will develop project management skills, design skills, research/communication skills, and technical skills. Some of the technical skills we work on will include skills that we have already started to build in Photoshop. However, since I doubt very many of you are at a “Master” level with the skills, you will still be required to learn about those skills, from Novice up (you should be able to move quickly through some of these).
We will also pull in our digital cameras, once again, and I promise that if I plan on taking you outside (which I don’t currently plan on), I will let you know in advance to dress appropriately. We will build on our current knowledge of our cameras to go further with our photography. At the end of our questline, we should have a final product of a collage and a written reflection about your collage (1-2 paragraphs).
The goals of this questline are to:
- Use our digital cameras and improve our understanding of the basics of photography
- Explore image composition and elements of visual design through photography
- Use photo manipulation to investigate the potential of color enhancement and retouching
- Incorporate a variety of image file types into a collage of images.
It is important to note that, in addition to photographs, collages can also include images from magazines, newspapers, and videos.
What We’ll Do Today
- Choose a theme for your collage: Examples include Sports, One Day at School, A Day in My Life, Fashion, etc.
Inspiration can also be found here.
- Talk about copyright and fair use.
Read about the “Rules of Copyright” – Novice (10 XP)
Write (on paper) a reflection, including: (20 XP)
- When do you need to obtain permission to use someone else’s work?
- What is the difference between:
- fair use
- intellectual property
- derivative works
- What are the methods to indicate copyright?
As always, put these answers in your own words. Do not copy word-for-word.
Read this short, quick example of copyright infringement.
Look back through some of your previous works.
- Do you need to obtain permission to use anything you have included in your designs?
- How would you appropriately cite those copyrighted works?
- As we get started, you will begin copyrighting your own work.