Tag Archives: multimedia

Deadline is today? Ok, now I’ll work.

Why do students only begin to work when the deadline arrives?  Yearbook had winter sports due today.  Cheer and wrestling got their pages done and I made the submission and burned the CDs.  That’s my part of the job–submission.  Soccer and basketball weren’t able to finish theirs until after I was ready to ship the other pages.  They got mad at me because  I wouldn’t hang around and work on their timetable.

Same thing happened in multimedia.  The students had a brochure PDF due to give me.  Many have been right on top of this assignment, giving me pages to print so they can see how they are doing and what color and font adjustments they need to make.  Others got around to working today and then couldn’t understand why they couldn’t find clip art to fit the pages. Then there are the students who never bring their flash drive to class and want me to give them more time.

Our principal always speaks at the Academy graduation and he will mention that fact that students learn from Mrs. Zody that a deadline is a deadline is a deadline.  Well, some of them learn that.

What do you have to show for it?

Homecoming was last week.  I assigned the multimedia students to take photos of all the events for the week, and using the text I gave them about the event, design a brochure using the pictures that would appeal to  8th grade students.  The could share photos if they wanted, and could use PhotoShop methods to make the pictures even more interesting.

Today I printed out their work.  I am going to have them make corrections and redo the brochures.  That is, the 11 out of 27 students who actually turned in work.  For the most part, they just sat there, staring at their computers this past week.  Too few took pictures.  Too few care about homecoming,  or any extracurricular activity, for that matter.  Too few have much creative spirit.

Last year, the first time I made this assignment, I had no previous work to show the students, but they got the idea and worked hard on it.  Of course, I had Academy students, football players, and cheerleaders in the multimedia classes.  They had buy-in.  They cared about the activity and wanted to show off their pictures and their creativity.  I showed their brochures to this year’s classes so as to motivate them.  I think it worked better when I had nothing to show.

What I learned this semester

I learned a lot this fall semester because I had to.  I was a quick study of PhotoShop layers and my kids did some pretty good things with the little bit I knew and was able to pass on.  

I learned that my multimedia kids hate to take photos, but I don’t understand why.  I always gave them lots of leeway in the assignments, but they fought me each week on getting three pictures taken and uploaded.  You would have thought I was asking them to do calculus.  They enjoyed using the photos I uploaded for them, and many would not have done the assignments without my pictures.

I learned that the kids who did really well are the ones I’ve had before.  They are well trained and ready to get in and do the work.  The others, who don’t know me very well, would fool around, wasting time, and then want the deadlines to be extended.  Hah.  They also thought they could turn in crappy work, as long as they turned in something, and could pass the class.  They found out that I am a tough grader who expects good work.  My academy students would always try to make their work better, taking to heart each check point and the evaluations I would give them.  Maybe this next semester I will see better work from the newbies.

I learned that I must be unusual in that I don’t have a desk in my classrooms.  I sit and work where ever there is space and/or an open computer.  But reading another blog, I find that is a dream of others.  I have a wonderful office, however, where I can store my stuff.    

I learned that NOT teaching sophomores for the first time in 18 years was wonderful.  I had no idea how much time and energy I put into those kids until I didn’t have to do it.  My classes are filled with upper classmen which I really like, especially since two thirds of my students are from my previous sophomore classes where I worked so hard to get them trained.

I learned I can teach FrontPage, and the kids can do a good job with the little I give them.  I’m glad that was the last unit we did this semester and will use it as a starting point in January.  I’m sure there is still much to be learned, as that is what education is all about.

Do you know what “foliage” means?

Every week, since school started, the multimedia class has an assignment to take photos with a different theme for the week, such as food on campus, sports, homecoming, hallways, signs, and last week, fall foliage.  

The assignment is always written on the left side of the board, at the front of the class, and I constantly remind the students the photos will be used on a certain day.  Some weeks I just check the photos, but in most cases we use the pictures in a certain assignment like a magazine cover, advertisement, newsletter, or brochure.  I also want the students to have a collection of photos to put on their website and to perhaps use in a video later in the year.

Today, when I asked the students to put all the fall foliage photos into a folder, open Photoshop, and begin a new project, I found over half of sixth period just sitting.  Out of 26 students, only four had done the assignment.  I had even set up a small display at the back of the room that they could use.  I also have cameras in the room that they can check out and use.  Suddenly they sprang into action and took pictures of my little autumn setup when they realized I meant business and was going to give them a zero for no photos.  I was aghast that so few had taken my assignment seriously.  

In discussing this with my fellow teachers, they all wondered if the kids knew what foliage meant.  These are juniors and seniors.  Shouldn’t they know what the word “foliage” means?  

Here are some of the photos I took of the display:


A little knowledge

Our school, within the business department, has a Virtual Enterprise (VE) class.  It is a great class with skills that transfer to the real world.  Students learn how to operate an on-campus business, in our case the student store as well as a photo button business, and how to set up and operate an online business in the virtual world of other VE classes from all over the world.  Students in the class (all seniors) must apply for the positions within the company and the management applicants are interviewed by faculty members.  Those chosen for the management positions in turn interview the other students who want to be employees for their departments.  These interviews take place in our department office which is connected to classrooms.

The students who are enrolled in VE come from the whole school but are mainly students who have been in the department’s two academies–Marketing and Global Business.  The students are required to take accounting and multimedia so as to be able to do the tasks required of VE.  This year, for the first time, I am teaching the multimedia classes.  In the first four weeks of school we have discussed target markets and how to appeal to them in print; we have designed a font; we have designed two club flyers in Adobe PageMaker; we have resized and manipulated photos in Adobe Photoshop and laid out a small advertising piece using the students own photos taken around campus.  We designed name badges and imported them into PageMaker for resizing.  Not a whole lot yet, but enough to keep the students hopping.

As I walked through the department office yesterday, on my way to my desk, the VE management team, many of the members whom I have in multimedia, was interviewing the underlings.  I overheard one of my students ask, “do you know PageMaker and PhotoShop?,” to which I wanted to ask, “do YOU?”  Give them a little knowledge and they think they know it all.