Finnberry is the name I used for our domain when we, the Berry family, moved to Finland. We're back now but I still like the name.
For the last 4 years, I've been studying for a Master of Arts in Online and Distance Education (MAODE) with the Open University. I would now call myself an e-learning professional and it is my intention to develop a career in this field.
A couple of weeks ago, I signed up for a year of Adobe Creative Cloud. I'd been looking at it for a while, as a professional development activity, but the price had put me off. Then a special offer came along, which made it a wee bit more affordable, so I splashed out!
It comes with more than twenty apps, which is more than I can process in one go, so I decided I would start with Photoshop and Illustrator. I watched dozens of the online video tutorials, which were a great introduction to Photoshop. I haven't really touched Illustrator yet, though I will be doing. What I have discovered, which I really like, is Lightroom.
Lightroom stood out because, as well as the app, there is a web version of it, so I can use it wherever I happen to be. It will take a while of playing with the different sliders to know what works best, but it certainly helps solve one of my main photography problems.
I have a black dog. Black dogs are a pain in the backside to get good photos of. To make it worse, my sister brought her new puppy round yesterday and he is light coloured. So I was trying to photograph two contrasting coloured dogs in bright sunlight, neither of which was ready to stand still!
The original photo
The main problems with this photo are:
Liggy is just a black mass, with no detail
Buddy is also rather dark (he's not in real life though)
The whole photo looks a little dull.
The first thing I do is click the 'auto' button. This does some automatic adjustments, which are sometimes quite big, but often rather subtle. In this photo, Liggy (black dog) has been lightened a little, making her face more distinct.
Then I play with the sliders:
There are others, but these are the ones that are making the most difference to my black/light doggy issues.
I prefer this photo now. Liggy is more distinct and less of a black shape. Buddy has a little more colour and doesn't look so dark. He also stands out from Liggy better, I think.
Another advantage of Lightroom is that you can create albums and store all your photos in the Adobe Cloud, which means they are easy to access and edit on the go. Of course, some of this can also be done in Photoshop. There seems to be a fair bit of crossover. And Photoshop does a whole lot more, giving the ability to correct things, delete unwanted items, clean it up a bit, etc.
For everyday photo editing though, I think Lightroom is the most useful app I've seen in ages... and possibly the least well-known.
If I had to pull out one thing that defines me as a teacher, it would be that the children/ pupils/ students/ learners - whatever we call them - must come first. Everything we do... every decision we take, as managers or as educators, it must be about the learner.
JISC Digital Experience Survey 2018
Several times a week, I browse through my Edtech list on Twitter to see what's new. This week, the most interesting thing I saw was this. JISC have been asking learners for their views about all things digital, in relation to FE and HE. When I delved a little deeper and read the full report, I found that they had surveyed some Adult Learning providers and Employment and Skills providers but there were so few results that it didn't warrant a separate category on the report.
If you work in FE/HE or are interested in post-16 education, you really need to read the report. Especially, if you are responsible for IT/digital in education, this will be worth a read. Also, it has to be said,…
I've kept it fairly quiet but I've been looking for a new job for a few months now. Not that my old job isn't great, but I've always wanted to specialise more in e-learning and my main aim has been to get into content creation. E-learning is a growing industry, so there are many jobs out there. Of course, the vast majority are in London and I have no desire to move back there at all. The other sticking point though is a piece of software, that I have no experience of and is very expensive to acquire. Nearly all e-learning jobs want experience in Articulate 360 and specifically in Storyline.
What is it?
Storyline is a bit like PowerPoint in some ways. You have slides and you can combine different kinds of content with transitions and animations. However, in the words of one of my favourite films, "It is so much more than just" PowerPoint. You can bring in a whole level of user interaction that PowerPoint doesn't even begin to touch. When your project is rea…
Quick bit of background explanation for anyone who's here for the first time:
I've recently started working as an e-learning designer and the main software we use is Articulate Storyline. I got started with it back in December and have had to pick it up quite quickly, in order to get rolling with my new job.
I'm pretty confident with most aspects of Storyline now but want to extend my skill set and learn how to do things that aren't necessarily related to my main work. One really good way of doing this is by participating in the weekly Articulate community e-learning challenges. This week was a good one for learning something new - progress bars.