My Junior High Technology class focuses on the following computer programs and technology: Office Word, Office Excel, Office Powerpoint, Adobe Photoshop, Videography and editing in Adobe Premiere Pro. Leading up to our unit in Photoshop, I had specifically focused a great deal of instruction on the elements of design. It was important that students knew that good graphic design demands good use of shape, texture, color, balance and theme. I felt that I gave a good effort in teaching the students about how to start thinking like a designer. After I had assessed the students’ growing understanding of the elements of design used in Photoshop, we moved forward to learning the tools in Photoshop. We started by learning how to cut a piece of an image out of a picture, and then how to blend it into another picture. After I felt that students had practiced using these tools correctly, I then gave them the assignment “A Play On Words” to assess their learning. This assignment not only assessed student understanding of the required tools, but it also forced them to think critically about language. This project required for students to choose a word or phrase that could be divided into two separate images that could be creatively blended together. Students had to wrap their minds around how to visually display language without using the actual written words.
Through this assessment, students were able to practice and then show competence in utilizing the following tools in Photoshop: The Magnetic Lasso, the Quick Selection Tool, the Move Tool, The Blur Tool, and The Eraser Tool. Through this assessment, I learned what went well and what should be changed next time around. In the future, I will provide extra credit projects for students who finish early so that the learning process can continue rather than being put on pause. I will give clearer lessons over the basics of how these tools work alongside a formative assessment to confirm student understanding before moving onto this project. Finally, I will provide clearer expectations for students to follow, as well as examples for them to better understand what low, medium, and high performance would look like. This Junior High Technology class is filled with different learning styles and levels of technical proficiency. My goal is to meet each student where they are and have them ask themselves, “What does my 100% effort look like?”