Today in my class I decided to have student groups produce short videos in which they discussed the differences between their graphic web banners created in Photoshop with and without the use of video screencast tutorials.
Students eagerly awaited their groups turns to make their videos describing their projects. I was glad to see their enthusiasm and willingness describe their progress.
Many students began the unit with a relatively high level of Photoshop knowledge and could open the software and manage a variety of tools. Some students built upon their knowledge in new ways by either being more creative with the software or adding the use of new tools to projects.The largest impact in this project is the fluency of using the software to create the graphics more efficiently.
The tools students improved the most in were the adding of additional layers,applying transparency to images and importing and cropping images for their design. Students used the videos to develop a further fluency using these tools and it was reflected in their final banners. Students who had previous experience with the software also improved in these areas and brought their knowledge to their groups.Student engagement with the process of watching videos to learn can be seen in their motivation in making their own reflective screen-casts. These screen-casts describe their learning experiences during the unit.
Students become engaged with creating and showcasing their work and having others participate in the process. This process also helps build connections between student learning and contextualizes students experiences with the software while emphasizing skills. Below is some examples of their work.