Saturday, 26 September 2009

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Old School Going, Going gone.

Sad as on friday the last bit of the old school, next door to the new one, was finally pulversied into rubble. It was one of our workshops which had some electrical supplies for the street. Spent 12yrs happily teaching there.

Advanced Higher Graphics Visuals

Took photos of these before we moved school, forgot how cool the renders were. These are from 2000, so they don't exactly match the latest Marking Scheme, however they are still used to show the expected standard. Scary to think all the pupils are over 25 now !

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Hong Kong Style Graphic Novels

A colleague lent me a Hong Kong style GN. Interesting convention for reading, back to front but also not always right top- down- back up- down. Quite a few pages with very little text.

Should we be creating 'Transition' Comics for ESL pupils joining us ?

Visualiser Example Videos

After getting the IT guy to setup the drivers, I have been using the Webcam, £14.99, with an old angle poise lamp, in classes. It is amazing ! Both myself and the pupils thought it was much better for them to see the demos of skills etc. If I raise my voice to talk to the whole class, it automatically records video. S3 to AdvHGC both thought it was much better when I taught with it. They could see from the back of the room. There are still shots of the projector screen image, poor phone quality pic, below. My S4CD were sketch/card/plastic junk modelling their final projects so the wee ergonome was useful for passing on the scale concept.

There are some uploaded videos below, impressive quality. It is really easy to click the software and it automatically records the video as you show/demo/explain something. Ideally I change the video path to the network so the pupils can then re-visit any of the clips. This could be for reinforcement, absence, for reference, for next years class etc. Although this will involve checking the video for errors or unwanted noise, behaviour etc.

Some of the videos have one way dialogue, you can't hear the class and questions, others have pupil-teacher dialogue. Then that pupil can have that personal dialogue replayed as a video.

The £46 HD webcam Microsoft have brought out today, will have much better quality due to an autofocus lens and much better resolution than the clips below. The angle poise lamp stand is good as you can lift it up - zoom out to A3+ - or pull it down - zoom in- on small detail.

Adv Higher Graphics

DTP Page Analysis

An example of how to pick the right page for analysis.

Graphics Standard Grade

S3 Pencil Rendering Practice - outlining with a glow effect

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Visualiser in Class -£14.99

I was chatting to my nephew, 8yrs old, who had done podcasts in p3. Shocked by this, I asked more questions and learnt they used a webcam for looking at discovery Items, eg they bring in any dead insects and flowers etc and show them to the class using the webcam.

We have two £1000 visualisers, not in the room I use, they are ok, they can't move and don't fit A3 paper so have limited use. I have a new school but a small interactive whiteboard sized space for projection, whereas in the old school I had a full size, 10ft by 8ft roller blind that was a huge area for projecting on. I don't want an interactive board, casts shadows when touching, small image, small buttons when teaching software etc.

My laptops built in webcam has poor focussing and video, so a £14.99 webcam from logitech was a good test option. Me, and my AdvHGC class, were blown away by the image quality. The pupil sat at the back of the room saw my normal handwriting appear on the projector screen clearly. It is slightly slow-mo when rendering fast eg ,markers but has great potential. Ideally I get the HD Logitech £50 webcam with 3000pixels resolution and 30fps video. Ideally I can get a bluetooth camera for using in the workshop as well. Pupils could take the camera to their desk as well to interact/show.

Here is a link to Tom Barrets 13 ways to use a visualiser

Here is a link to a free website that shows the image and you can snapshot, capture video and right over the image. It can be made to go fullscreen in IE.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Yet more Graphic Novels

Graphic Novels - Literacy in Technical Teaching

Started Graphic Novels today with my only S1 class. They were 100% enthused and excited, as in 100% of the class motivated= good news 2nd week back !

Why ? Totally open task. After a short 5min intro by me using a powerpoint and 5 examples of last years S1, they chose a theme and cracked on. Five had done one page in P7 but had limited recall. Hopefully we can keep the free thinking going thru S1-S2.

Giving them an open task has allowed them to open up their imagination. An S6 pupil who is helping me teach them commented on how they are so open minded (divergent) than some S2 classes he is helping (convergent).

Some pupils waited at the end, before break, they asked for the website so they could download the 30day trial in the house !

I'll post up some pages in a few periods time from the class.

Other dept's can now utilise their GN knowledge for other topics in their own curricular areas. Unfortuantely this class does not stay together for more than Tech, Art and HE.

The librarian has asked me to find a female character based Graphic Novel to buy some in. I suggested V for Vendetta, an Apprentice female Superhero.

No more GN posts for a while.........

Monday, 17 August 2009

Outdoor Learning and Graphic Novels

Just reflecting on a great session last year, straight As in my AdvHGC class and a superb Outdoor learning program. Below, is a canoeing group getting a safety briefing. Based at Action Outdoors, Falkirk.

Of course, we used these images and others, to remember our 'learning' experience of that night and how well we worked as a team and had really intense learning with plenty of 'challenge and enjoyment' . We created a Graphic Novel. (I'll add it here when I find it at work)

As it's after school time for Outdoor Learning programme, we don't formally record these learning events, but it gives me greater satisfaction, as a professional, to experience these kids learning. Last session we had 40+ nights OL. I happily gave up my personal time for this programme.

This session, next May, I will hopefully be descending the Spey - Source to Sea - with a group. An ideal opportunity for cross-discipline work. Geography, English (poestry/creative writing) and we could Design something on the way and look at the Hydro Aspects for technology....just a dream.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

S1 - Design Modelling and Presentations ACfE In Action

Trialling some TechEd outcomes involved developing a few capacities as well. Design Modelling, Sustainability and Recycling was used a context for S1 to work in pairs, collaborate and model a design solution. The models were built to scale (numeracy) and then also modelled in Google Sketchup. A free 3D Modelling program. Great for teaching S1 for a few periods then encouraging them to download it and use it at home. They can model their own house to scale, then when we view the world using Google earth, the whole world can see their house !

A great Stimulus for this type of Built Environment lesson Context is either the Teacher runs the Google Earth World Tour of Architecture, or the pupils can use the *kml file. Start with Mayan Temples, Pyramids, Roman Architecture eg Pont du Gard, Hadrians wall, Antonines wall, right through to the CN and Petronas Towers.

As usual, with an Open Ended brief, pupils come up with unique, innovative and realistic solutions. All the other S1 classes want to do the same project now !

The class has 5 ASL pupils who were struggling with the less ACTIVE work.

Try this clip for a starter, good for thinking about why research is so important !

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

New school CDT room

This room is a combined Design, Graphics and Technology room.

Playstation Inventor Models

Nathan has some cool renders, done for HGC. All in Inventor 11 (2009). It's an assembly of more than three parts.

Using the standard Inventor Studio Reflective ground plane.

he wanted this view, exploded form a presentation animation, imported into Inventor Studio, I need to learn how to do this !

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

£40 Interactive whiteboard !

After a bit of tweaking, I have setup the £40 Wiimote touchscreen, next, setup the projector at school to be a free Interactive whiteboard. Here is a video of me using the laptop screen as a touchscreen. It's a phone video so poor quality. Just a wiimote £20, and Infra red led pen, £5 and a USB bluetooth dongle, £7. Wiimote freeboard freeware software and MSNet3, a free download.

Twisting the projector to point straight down onto a desk then having 4 pupils all sketching/designing/modelling/interacting with the PC and each other, at the same time.

All the software and info here.

Friday, 16 January 2009

New Build

For a change, the best and most aesthetic building for miles and miles is a school !

The new pupil entrance and dining/assembly/stage area.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Our new School.........Amazing !!

We have been unpacking and admiring our new school, a totally amazing building, for once a school is the BEST building for miles around !

The Roland CAM Vinyl/Sign cutter and desktop low temp casting units are fantastic. Keep checking here for some projects in mid jan using them. The rooms, one and a half storeys high, are light spcious and very functional. The whole building has a high spec. and has been very well thought out.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Graphic Novels

Last year whilst on the Literacy Working Group, English colleagues mentioned Graphic Novels. I had no idea what GNs were, ignorance is no excuse, so I endeavoured to research them, Trialling some in S1/2, tieing into ACE Technologies Outcomes, some screenshots below.

Pupils are really enthused with them, replacing the normal CD Covers, Flyers etc 5 period DTP slot with CorelDRAW.

A creative pupil's 'own' character Dudey !

Scooby, he is still about.....

Simpsons theme. There is always a moral.......

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Achieving Excellence.........ASL Outdoor Learning

Was out on wednesday with a work grp, scenic wee Loch Ard and the narrows leading to the smaller loch, quite a lot of current. We get a FC key so can park the trailer further up.

Hopefully, I will be able to attend the Enquire Conference in March. I enjoy working with - tech teaching and Outdoor Learning - ASL pupils, really excellent experiences with them. Both for myself as a teacher and for the Classroom Assts. Lets me 'know' the way individuals learn in new and challenging situations, that's all pupils, not just ASL pupils. Outdoor Learning is a vehicle for delivering ACE 'challenge and enjoyment'.

The Narrows, I always feel like I'm paddling into 'Swallows and Amazons' when drifting through here.

Adapted boats to make a raft.

Further info about ASL and ACE here, on Bills outdoor Learning Blogg.

We get great support from our councils Outdoor learning Team.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Inventor Renders - AdvHGC Chess pieces

Jordan can create some impressive rendering

Thursday, 9 October 2008


How is a pupil creative in both Graphics and Art ?...............that's the question !
It's answered to a certain extent by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

I have read two of his books, interesting reading for Teachers of Design, Graphics and Technology. Indeed possibly all teachers, I believe all pupils are Creative, it's just a matter of tapping into it. ACfE will hopefully develop more creative pupils rather than stifle like thru the stricture of 5-14.

Here are some renders and computer work by the same pupil. Mari, S3.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Glass and Chess renders and Models

These renders form part of the Advanced Higher Graphics Modelling units. Inventor used, pupils really enjoy the quick results, mainly revolved and patterned assemblies. Some amazing work by Stacey.