10 High-Tech Ways To Teach Complex Lessons

Edudemic has been bringing you a steady stream of resources that are coming out of the Adobe Education Exchange and it’s time now to take a look at some of the most popular resources being shared right now. The following 10 resources are truly innovative ways to learn about and do some pretty technical things. Each resource may not pertain to you but it never hurts to view a problem (or lesson plan) from a different angle.

In case you didn’t know, the Adobe Education Exchange is a new and free way for educators to share resources. Do you use Adobe products in the classroom or incorporate them into your lessons at some point? Share that lesson on the Exchange and you could win some pretty sweet prizes. From fresh copies of Adobe CS5.5 to new Macbook Pro computers to PCs to much more.

1. Understanding Multimedia, Humanity [Peers] and Oneself

by Tom R. Chambers

Human beings are sensory creatures – that is, we operate not just through what we know but through what we see and hear and feel. Reading about something brings us understanding, but our senses of sight, hearing and touch deepen that understanding. Multimedia – combinations of words, sounds, images, video and animation – can provide that sensory input. Multimedia productions can take many forms, including an encyclopedia CD-ROM, a television commercial, a full-length movie, a short video on the Internet or an animated introduction to a Web site. [Technology Applications, Grade 7/8, Pearson Education, Inc., New Jersey (ISBN 0-13-036333-2)]

2. Keying Photoshop Layers into a Stop Motion Animation Project

by Robert Simpson

Numerous TV shows and movies make use of chroma keying (aka green screens). Take a walk on the moon, visit Hogwarts, or tell the story of a forgotten tree about to be destroyed. If you are thinking of using this technique, this project example will help you understand the process. Get an overview of the steps required to be successful.

Middle school students participating in the Adobe Youth Voices program used green screens to bring the “Friendship Tree” to life as part of a stop motion animation movie. View an interactive Flash slideshow containing helpful captions and photographs of the nine month long production process. The Friendship Tree was shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art – Boston on June 2, 2011.

3. School Store Catalog Layout

by Tammy Krug-Pickart

Create a published catalog to highlight and promote school store spirit items and apparel products for a school-based-enterprise. Students take pictures of items and crop and perform simple edits in Photoshop. The main focus is setting up a master page templates in Indesign setting up margins, grid lines and standard text to drop in pictures. Using an inspirational mass produced catalog as inspiration is very helpful for getting the students started.

4. Panhandle Circle-square: Geometry and Real-world Applications

by Tom R. Chambers

Using “Panhandle Circle-square” project at http://tomrchambers.com/circle_square.html and other locations via Google Earth to study Geometry and make mathematical calculations as they relate to real world applications such as the farmers in the Texas Panhandle using square plots of land and circular irrigation of their crops to make a living. Their geometrical calculations are precise to be efficient with their livelihood.

Students use the “Panhandle Circle-square” project and other images in Google Earth to download the images, and bring them into Photoshop to make mathematical calculations. They will work with radius, diameter, circumference and area of the circle as well as the perimeter and area of a square. They will also work with sections [angularity] of the various circles seen within the images. Also, on-screen measurements can be taken as well.

The geometry and mathematical calculations of the squares, circles and sections will be equated with the real-world applications of the farmer. This real-world connection will move the students towards the realization that mathematical skills are needed, even in terms of something as agrarian as farming in the rural areas of Texas.

5. Extreme Home Makeover (Dreamweaver Edition)

by Brett Keener

This is an intermediate/advanced project for web design students who are proficient using Dreamweaver & Photoshop. Students use Photoshop to edit a living room, bedroom, & garage to use as rollover images in their Dreamweaver website.

6. Introduction to Base Ten Blocks

by Sue Glascoe

I created this animated Flash tutorial to help my pre-service teachers better visualize the mathematics they will be teaching. I use this tutorial as an introduction to base ten blocks as an introduction to place value and before we start working with 2 digit operations.

7. An Introduction to the Basics of Typography

by Peter French

This web site introduces the basics of typography including its essential elements (type anatomy, characters, ligatures etc.) history, design and family classifications . I use the site as a basic intro before stepping into typography as expressive design (an area this site does cover).

8. Self-Portraits Redefined

by Angie Garibaldi

Students select an artist with a unique and recognizable style. Then, they take a picture of themselves and try to mimic the artist’s style as they edit their image in Photoshop. We usually do this project at the end of the semester when they have a basic understanding of the tools, adjustments, filters, etc. The challenge is to figure out which tools, adjustments, filters, etc. they need to use to get their desired look. It is as much a critical thinking assessment as it is a technical assessment.

9. Generate QR (Quick Response) codes with Acrobat

by Mark DuBois

This tutorial provides a quick overview of how to create QR and Data Matrix codes using Adobe Acrobat X.

10. Retouching digital images!

by Ammar Midani

A guided file walking you through digital images retouching steps, along with color cast overview and histogram quick idea.