Digital Creativity in the (Home) Classroom

As I mentioned yesterday, I recently decided to take some classes from Adobe's Education Exchange. Our first assignment was titled Big and Small and we were asked to use Photoshop to put a small version of ourselves into a picture with a larger version.

Photoshop is my program. I love it and used it for photo editing for years. I am out of practice, however, and the last version I owned is now, over 10 years old. This was a great assignment to help me learn to navigate through the newer versions.

When my son heard me talking about my Big and Small assignment, he excitedly suggested that I make him one of his knights. He loves setting up battles with his action figures. He has even taken photos that play out a stop motion style scene when flipped through quickly. My reasons for taking these courses is to be able to teach my kids, and their friends, to use the programs, so being able to include them in these assignments appealed to me, plus it was a really cool idea, so I went with it.

Our next assignment used Flash. I had never even opened the program before and I got too hung up on creating the artwork which left little time for developing the story. It was fun though, and I was able to show my 12 year old enough to get her started with the program. She has had a lot fun making short animations and I'm so impressed with how much she is learning. This was my animation, the idea for which was decided while doodling with my 6 year old, just before Halloween.

Next up was video, using Premiere Pro. I was very nervous about this lesson. Thinking in terms of video did not come naturally to me, but my kids are fascinated with how movies are made and I knew they would love to help out with this one. Boy was I right. Honestly, I have to give credit for this video to my 12 year old daughter. I wrote some ideas, a rough storyboard, she chucked most of it and added some of her own ideas. Then, she recruited her cousins and little sister to act for her and she video taped all the scenes with my digital camera. I wrote, and she read, the voice over using some feature on my cell phone I didn't realize existed, and then together, late last Monday night, we worked together in Premiere editing, searching for the background music online, and taking photos to fill in where we needed something more. It was so much fun working with her. The assignment was to create a promotional video for your favorite book. This is a family favorite read aloud.

This week we were asked to start a blog, or if we already have one, to write a post about our experience in the class. I have to say that the community that has been created is wonderful and supportive and so much fun. I am having a great time brushing up on programs I haven't used in a while and learning some new ones along with my kids. I hope that these new tools will inspire them in their project work. I am looking forward to the next course, Digital Imaging for Beginners. I suppose I'm not technically a beginner, but the programs have changed a lot in the past 10 years, so I'm sure I'll get a lot out of the course.


  1. This is a really great story! I loved seeing more of your images of your kids playing with themselves as action figures. Such a creative idea and well executed too. Your kids are really fortunate to have a mom that involves them in her own learning. What an example for them - prepares them for lifelong learning without making it sound like the dreaded "school-without-end".

  2. Thanks Jim. I credit my own parents for showing me that learning continues long after school ends and that maybe, the most valuable learning happens outside of it. The best way to teach our kids is by example and by including them in our own learning adventures.