In This Edition
Attention All High School Students, Get Ready for .
High school students—should get ready the show their portfolio to reps from many of the colleges and universities in the Metro area. If they are considering furthering their education in ART, GAME DEVELOPMENT, GRAPHIC ARTS, INTERIOR DESIGN, MULTIMEDIA, PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEO PRODUCTION, or WEB DESIGN, they should consider attending. The THIRD ANNUAL ALL JEFFCO PORTFOLIO REVEIW DAY, sponsored by Warren Tech, will be Tuesday, March 16, 9:00 am til 3:00 pm in the Founders Room. Announce this to your students and plan to bring them to this event!
With each edition of the Multimedia Resource Center's Newsletter, we will provide teaching / learning resources. These will be on the web site but are noted in this publication to give them more attention.
This material on "Creativity" you may use or you may share with your students.
Google's Smart Phones
Almost every company wants to jump into the very lucrative Smartphone business and Google is no exception. The company that brings you the world's largest search engine, the biggest free e-mail service on the internet, online applications that rival Microsoft's Office Suite, and provides more things than can be listed, is now moving into position to challenge Apple, inc. and become the undisputed leader in the sale of Smartphones in mobile communication.
This real modern day "Clash of the Titans" is becoming so serious that Eric Schmidt,CEO of Google, has resigned his position on the Board of Directors of Apple, Inc. When asked about this an Apple spokes person refused comment; the Google spokes person said, "We'll keep working with our technology partners." At the same time Apple rejected two Google applications for the iPhone. Also, the rumor is that Apple will soon replace the Google search engine either with Microsoft's Bing or a search engine of their own creation.
Apple is relying on its 140,000 applications and the razor wit in advertising to keep it on top; Google is relying on its new "Android" operating system which can be used on a large number of phones.
Will Google Smartphone replace Apple's at the top? Probably not. Apple got'em, Google got'em to get.
Flip Cams vs. Regular Cams
The flip cam is the buzz that is sweeping the nation. It is a small, flat and very portable camcorder, but is it really the camcorder for someone who wants a professional quality output.
First, let's look at the pros of the flip. It has a simple one-button operation and records to a built-in 16 MB memory chip. This gives approximately two hours of recording time. The quality is much better than your cell phone. Two of the more popular features is the direct USB connector and a direct to "YouTube" button. This allows the You Tube generation to aim, click and share. In fact it is as easy to share your own and your friend's antics on the YouTube web site as it is to upload your digital photos to Flickr.
Now, let's compare the flip to one of the small Canon HD camcorders, the Canon VIXIA HG20 HD. The Canon is slightly larger, 1 ½ times the weight and about 2 ½ times the price. But this is where a most simple comparison ends.
The canon has a 12X HD video lens. With a 60 MB hard drive, it will record up to 23 hours. The addition of a 32 MB SDHC card gives another 12 hours of recording time for 35 hours total. This is a little inexpensive machine that gives professional quality.
If all you want is a fast down-and-dirty video that can be in-camera edited, and placed on YouTube, go with the flip. If, on the other hand, you would like broadcast quality vided that can be viewed on a 16 X 9 flat screen Tv, go with the Canon.
Multimedia Resource Center
This is the the Multimedia Resource Center E-notes. E-notes will be published twice yearly. If you would like to contribute materials or projects to either this newsletter or to the web site, go to Submission and follow the directions. It is hoped you enjoyed reading this issue. The next issue will be in the Spring semester of 2010. Back issues of this newsletter will be placed on the Multimedia Resource Center Web site.
The Secondary Teacher and a Creative Project!
This is the second in a series of articles concerning creativity. The first was The Creative Method.
Tags: The creative project, secondary teachers, creativity, education, teaching.
Let me preface the following remarks by informing you that I taught college for some years. In that environment, most art faculty were producing and exhibiting art works, many of the music faculty were performing professionally or composing music, most theater instructors played or directed summer stock or dinner theater, the language arts professors were writing and publishing and the majority of science faculty were doing research and publishing the results. Almost all of the faculty were involved in a project outside of their teaching. You could say that this experience has colored my comments, but I am certain that is not true.
These three statements have driven this article: (1) Information is changing so rapidly that factual information taught to high school freshmen will probably be invalid in a very short time or will have to be totally updated and re-instructed to the same students as high school juniors; (2) As educators, we are preparing students for future jobs, many of which do not even exist today; and (3) Our student may not only have to design their future jobs, but they may also have to design the environment or system in which these new jobs exist.
If these are true, this poses a pertinent question: As an educator, what skills can I teach that will prepare my students for their future and not my past? One simplistic answer has been to integrate and use more media and technology in the classroom, but this is not teaching a usable skills, it's simply changing the delivery system for informational exchange. Another solution has been to teach and require more language arts, more science or more mathematics in the hopes that this will translate into more usable skill sets. This solution has been used, reused, retooled and used again for years and has not really improved student outcomes or created any new skill sets. Another answer, often used by educational bureaucrats, is to write and publish new sets of standards. Many times these new standards are written to define the outcomes for students who are graduating today rather than to identify and improve student outcomes in the future.
The one skill that I can teach, which can be used by all students in any future profession, is creativity, creative thinking & processing and/or creative problem solving.
This produces an even larger question: How can any educator teach a creative process if he/she is not actively involved in creative process, in a creative endeavor or in a creative project? The answer to this question is easy. All teachers should be involved in some sort of creative project.
This suggestion is most often met with many evasive excuses, so a response to the top few may help to better define what I am saying.
The most often used excuse is, "I’m not an artist so I’m not very creative!" A creative project doesn't have to be producing a painting, or a sculpture, or a symphony, or a novel. A creative project is just that–a creative project. My wife, for example, photographs our family and our dogs and makes gorgeous page layouts for scrapbooks. This is her creative project.
Rich, a friend, is the absolute master of his kitchen. He finds recipes, experimenting, changing and altering them to produce heavenly culinary delights. To have a meal at his house is truly a memorable experience. This is his creative project.
These are only two of a large group of examples that show the wide variety in creative projects. Neither is in what might be considered an art area. So, you should find and peruse any project that whets your thinking.
As children, we were very creative–we would play "Let’s Pretend," we wrote and sang songs, we danced, we drew pictures and we painted. Most of our daily activities were involve then with creative thinking. So as adults, why do we think that we are not very creative? The most valid current studies show that creativity must be exercised to grow and develop. Without exercise creative thinking begins to diminish. Many of our institutions do not help with this exercise. They do not promote or reward creativity. (see: How Schools Kill Creativity.) This could be one major reason that people feel uncreative. The better, more accurate excuse is, "I am out of creative practice!" Begin to practice and exercise, and creativity will re-grow and redevelop.
"With my family, my home and my job, I simply don’t have the time to be creative!" This excuse assumes the act of being creative demands a great deal of additional time. Creativity should become an integral part of your personality. You are creative!!!!! If you follow my creative method (see:The Creative Method), the "Idea or Concept" and "Roughs" can be done almost anywhere and anytime. Production usually takes some extra time, but production only has importance if you are going to present or exhibit the work. I have two video projects for which I have researched, written the script and finished the storyboards, but neither project may ever be produced due to monetary and time constraints. This is a creative project.
The major works of legendary conceptual environmental sculptors, Christo (Christo Javacheff) and Jeanne Claude are considered temporary. The final production of their conceptual sculptures is usually funded by the sale of the studies, preparatory drawings and collages, scale models, early works, and original lithographs. These roughs are more permanent and become as important as the finished sculpture. The "Valley Curtain," Grand Hogback, Rifle, Colorado, for example, was photographed and filmed but lasted only twenty-eight hours before it blew down. It is the photographs,the films, the roughs and the models that are housed in major museums. Begin using your ideas and concepts and create some roughs.
The last excuse that I will respond to is one of the most evasive, "My creative project is my teaching!" As a follow educator, I really value creative teaching, but there is a difference between a vocation and a project. Creative teaching is to benefits your students, the creative project is to benefit you! Unless you, the individual, are creative–you, the teacher, will be less able to teach the creative process to your students. Creatively is the essential skill for both teacher and students.
An easy way to begin this process is with a sketchbook. Colored pencils, although not necessary, are a helpful addition The sketchbook is your “roughs” catalogue. Write, compose, draw, paint or color any and all of your ideas. Don’t pre-edit or throw out ideas that you originally think are bad or lacking; put everything in the book. Don’t open the book and stare at the white pages because nothing will come. Do the opposite; when an idea comes put it in the book.
Some of my best ideas come when I’m in traffic. I have a small business voice recorder to capture the thoughts when they're really fresh. A small digital camera is also a great asset. Photograph images that might support an idea, print them and glue them in your sketchbook.
If you’re still having problems getting started, visit a local library. There are numerous magazines and other publications that might help. Surf the internet. It has millions of sites that could help. Take a class at a local community center or at a community college. Any or all of these could jump start your creative project.
The last important thing is “Proof of the Creative Project.” An exhibition or publication of a creative project does not necessarily need an audience, but it provides proof of existence. If you use the sketchbook as I do, this shows existence. If you do the production use a digital camera to record the end product. Dorothy, my wife, has used her scrapbooking skills and has created an outstanding pictorial portfolio. When people view it, they not only see her skills but also the proof of her creative project.
Apple's New iPad—20 Years Later!
The second time may be a charm for Apple with its new iPad. In 1993, Apple created the Messagepad. The device, better known as the Newton (after its operating system). It suffered from a lack of application support, poor battery life and extremely poor handwriting recognition. But Apple has really learned a lot since that experiment.
The new iPad has a 9.7 inch, LED blacklit IPS display with precise multi-touch screen. It's only 1.5 pounds and 0.5 inch thick. With a battery life of up to 10 hours, this overcomes one of the shortcomings of the earlier device.
Its built-in applications, include Mail, Contacts, Calendar, iPod, and Notes. For more application support, Apple designed the iPad so that it would use most of the 140,000 applications that are available for the iPhone. The iLife suite has been totally redesigned to operate on the iPad giving it Keynote, Pages and Numbers. One totally new application, the iBooks app is a great new way to read and buy books. It's a free download from Apple's App Store and allows the purchase of everything from classics to best selling books from the built-in iBookstore. Once you’ve bought a book, it’s displayed on a Bookshelf. Just tap it to start reading.
The iPad comes with 16, 32 or 64 GB of memory starting at $499 dollars. All already have WiFi. The second level is also enabled with 3G.
New 3G iPad owners can get 250 MB of downloads from AT & T for $14.99 monthly or Unlimited download data for $29.99 monthly.
All in all, an outstanding new toy from Apple!!!
1. Christo and Jeanne-Claude,Valley Curtiain Project for Colorado, collage, 1971.