Earn My “Photoshop CS6 Literacy” Badge!


This new badge* will be accessible at non-BYU sponsored webpage. The direct link is not live yet; I still need to get my rubric reviewed and uploaded to the site. But it will soon be found on this site by navigating from the homepage to “Become a Technologist” > “Personal Technology Cluster” > “Photoshop Image Editing”. To earn the badge and add it to your Mozilla Backpack, all you have to do is submit a project (via the website) that meets the criteria on the badge rubric.

  • Here is a link to the badge rubric, which includes skills that I can teach.
  • Here is a link to my on-going “Advanced Photoshop Skills” google doc, which I plan to continually updates as I learn new skills myself.

*The badge is a virtual badge available through Mozilla Backpack (badge design still pending); not the merit badge shown here.

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Howard Gardener Speaks Out: Multiple Intelligences ≠ Learning Styles

In a recent Washington Post Op-Ed, Howard Gardner discusses his thoughts on the misinterpretation of MI Theory.  Here are some highlights from the article.

What is ‘Multiple Intelligences’ (MI) theory:

Howard-Gardner“I developed the idea that each of us has a number of relatively independent mental faculties, which can be termed our “multiple intelligences.” The basic idea is simplicity itself. A belief in a single intelligence assumes that we have one central, all-purpose computer—and it determines how well we perform in every sector of life. In contrast, a belief in multiple intelligences assumes that we have a number of relatively autonomous computers—one that computes linguistic information, another spatial information, another musical information, another information about other people, and so on. I estimate that human beings have 7 to 10 distinct intelligences (see www.multipleintelligencesoasis.org).”

Gardner’s criticisms for why ‘Learning Styles’ doesn’t* hold water:

  1. The very notion of ‘Learning Styles’ [that is, catering instruction to a learner’s—or many learners’—preferred intelligences] is not coherent…these labels [‘an impulsive style’ or ‘a visual learner’] may be unhelpful, at best, and ill-conceived at worst. [Just because someone is physically intelligent by nature, it doesn’t mean that every assessment they take should be a psychomotor assessment (e.g. perform a dance to demonstrate your understanding of composition of a chemical compound).  Educators are trying to prepare students for life, not to have them be laughed to scorn. Teaching methods should match learning objectives.]

  2. When researchers have tried to identify learning styles, teach consistently with those styles, and examine outcomes, there is not persuasive evidence that the learning style analysis produces more effective outcomes than a “one size fits all approach.”

What are Gardner’s recommendations for teachers?

As an educator, I draw three primary lessons for educators:

1.       Individualize your teaching as much as possible. Instead of “one size fits all,” learn as much as you can about each student, and teach each person in ways that they find comfortable and learn effectively. Of course this is easier to accomplish with smaller classes. But ‘apps’ make it possible to individualize for everyone.

2.        Pluralize your teaching. Teach important materials in several ways, not just one (e.g. through stories, works of art, diagrams, role play). In this way you can reach students who learn in different ways. Also, by presenting materials in various ways, you convey what it means to understand something well. If you can only teach in one way, your own understanding is likely to be thin.

3.       Drop the term “styles.” It will confuse others and it won’t help either you or your students.

Additional MI Resources:

MI Oasis (Official Authoritative Site of Multiple IntelligenceS) –http://multipleintelligencesoasis.org/

Dr. Gardener’s Personal Website

Wikipedia: Multiple Intelligences

Practical examples of Multiple Intelligences

Take a MI test!

MI from a Psychology perspective

Journal of Psychological Science (2008), features more articles debunking ‘Learning Styles’

businessballs.com (2009). Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences.

Thirteen ed online (2004). Tapping into multiple intelligences.

Armstrong, T. (2010). Multiple intelligences.

Howard Gardner’s book, Multiple intelligences. (2010)

Edutopia video and transcript of Dr. Gardener’s central message (1997)

*While the majority of the academic community has concluded that ‘Learning Styles’ is bologna, Gardner respectfully concedes that just because we haven’t yet verified something empirically, it doesn’t mean that it must be false. #Psychology #Falsification

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Infographic Workshop (Using Adobe Illustrator)

This How-To-Make-an-Infographic workshop, developed by my fellow BYU instructor, Anneke Garcia.  It is designed to be a crash course in Adobe Illustrator®. Our undergraduate students have the option to create their own infographics as one of their major assignments for the “Technology for Secondary Ed Teachers” course we teach.  I’ve shared the content here with her permission. (Note: Researching information and choosing your infographic content is outside of the scope of this exercise.)

Example Infographic

Here’s an example of an info graphic created to adhere to the rubric you’ll be using – of course look, content, design, etc., is all up to you – this is just to show you how a few things can be handled.

The graphic as a PDF: Infographic.pdf

And so you can poke around and see how things are put together, the original AI file: Infographic.ai


The full rubric for the assignment can be found here:

Rubric for Illustrator Badge.docx


Here is a brief list of the technical requirements specified by the rubric. Along with each requirement is a tutorial or list of helpful points:

Layout and Guides

Your document can be created in any size but should use guides to define margins and any other layout features you are working with. Here is a quick tutorial on creating guides and locking background items (forgive my coughing fit at the end!)

Outlined Text / Using the Pen Tool / Grouped Objects

The rubric requires you to create outlines of your text, at least in the headline, and also to create some lines and/or objects with the pen tool. It also requires you to place some objects in a group. The following tutorial will help you with that.

Color Swatches / Gradients

You will be asked to work with a collection of color swatches and to have every color you use represented by a swatch. You will also need to use both linear and radial gradients. This tutorial will help you with those tasks:

Align / Distribute Objects

These tutorials will help you align and distribute objects and introduce the transform palette as well:

3-D Effects

This tutorial will show 2 ways you can create the effect of 3-D objects:

Column Graph Tool (Creating other types of graphs as well)

This tutorial will take you step-by-step through creating a graph, and includes some advanced options for those of you who want to go a little farther:

Clipping Masks

The following will show you how to clip objects that are overlapping the edge of the page:

Bonus: Image Trace

Sometimes you may want to take an existing pixel-based (raster-based) image and turn it into a vector graphic (re-sizable outline-based graphic) using Illustrator. While it’s not a necessary part of this project, you can watch a tutorial on it here:

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HUGE Addition to Khan Academy: Adaptive Technology

One of the biggest complaints about The Khan Academy is that learners don’t know which lessons to select.  There are too many choices.  In response, Sal Khan has adopted adaptive learning technologies to solve this pain.  First, a pre-test tool identifies a learner’s current position on a comprehensive knowledge map.  Second, the new learning flow gives users agency to go where they want, but offers personalized suggestions of where they ought to go next to build upon their current level of knowledge.

What Updates are Included in Sal’s New Learning Flow?

  • The new learning flow offers adaptive pre-testing places users at a starting lesson.  (So far, Math is the only knowledge map with adaptive learning capabilities.)
  • Once you have completed a module, the new learning flow will recommend the next lesson you should learn based on the learner’s previous responses.
  • The new learning flow offers automated coaching—mid-problem—for learners who are stuck.
  • There are a bevy of tools for “coaches” who are assisting/supporting learners as they go.  e.g. tracking and feedback tools, among others.
  • The new learning flow utilizes Mastery Challenges to fill out the learner’s knowledge map with darker shades of blue.  Each square represents  a concept in that domain.  The successful completion of one mastery challenge could darken multiple concepts.

Sal released this HUGE update less than 40 days ago.  He wants your feedback.  How would you improve upon this model?

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158 Tips on mLearning: From Planning to Implementation

In 2012, the big question was “Should we do mLearning?”  In 2013, the question has become “How should we do mLearning?”  From the one who brought us 61 Tips on mLearning: Making Learning Mobile almost a year ago, Karen Fornio, a Contributing Editor for the eLearning Guild, has done it again.  She has collected the findings of 23 experts in the field of developing and implementing mobile learning and compiled them into ebook filled with 158 mLearning tips, in areas including:

  • ebook mlearning tips coverSelling mLearning to stakeholders
  • Managing mLearning projects
  • Analyzing learners’ mLearning needs and preferences
  • Designing for mobile
  • Selecting and using mLearning tools and platforms
  • Working with mLearning media
  • Migrating and managing mLearning content
  • Using mobile for performance support
  • Delivering mLearning
  • Measuring mLearning success
  • Prospering in a multi-device world

Download from eLearning Guild Website (info request)
Direct Download Link of PDF (from my site)

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2013 Copyright Laws Regarding File Sharing at BYU

The Pirate Bay LogoIn honor of International Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day this week (September 19), I’ve decided to remind everyone of this year’s “rules” for stealing and looting other people’s digital booty.

BYU, an LDS university, is a historic hotbed for the digital-file-sharing debate when Napster appeared on the college scene circa the year 2000.  As the definition of copyright infringement  evolved over the past decade, BYU has obediently followed U.S. federal interpretations of the law.  Just this morning, I received a campus-wide communication regarding the 2013 consequences of unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing.  The information below is generalizable to not only other universities, but to corporate organizations too.  I found the links to be especially worthwhile.

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Law (www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#106) located at Title 17 of the United States Code. These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without permission constitutes infringement.

Penalties for those found liable for copyright infringement may be ordered to pay actual damages and “statutory” damages ranging from $750 to $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed in addition to costs and attorney’s fees. Willful infringement may also result in imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense should the court impose criminal penalties.

Activities such as uploading or downloading unauthorized copies of text, movies, games, computer software, and music (or any other material protected by copyright) may also incur serious personal consequences such as terminating your university computer privileges or affecting your status at the university. Students and other members of the BYU community should review the BYU Copyright Policy (policy.byu.edu/view/index.php?p=36) and Repeat Infringer’s Policy (lib.byu.edu/sites/copyright/policy-law/infringement-policies/), which further describe the consequences of engaging in copyright infringement.

If you are unsure if items you would like to download are legally authorized, review the Media and Copyright information (lib.byu.edu/sites/copyright/about-copyright/media-and-copyright/), Copyright Licensing Office website (lib.byu.edu/sites/copyright/),  or contact the Copyright Licensing Office (lib.byu.edu/sites/copyright/contact/).


Are you pirate savvy?  Take this quiz to test your knowledge!  Review this BYU-created, copyright tutorial, if needed.

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This is an example of a simple, but well-made website.  It employs some JavaScript to create some fun motion effects.  And the content is compelling for both dissatisfied workers who want to “get out of the rut” and for employers/managers who are looking for a solution to the Cog problem in their workforce. [Decog.me]

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The Amazing World of Voice Acting

Mike Rowe has a ver professional sounding voice—deep and authoritative.  You may remember him for his role as host of Dirty Jobs.  In the video clip below, Mike demonstrates why he sometimes has that glazed over look when he’s speaking to the camera.

When I worked at the LDS Church office building, my desk was right next to all the producers for Mormon Radio.  Occasionally, they pulled me into the sound booth to record some lines or bear personal testimony of one thing or another.  It was challenging work; and I loved doing it!  It was fun for me to approximate the appropriate inflection, timing, emphasis, and all sorts of other things (you just don’t think about when speaking normally) in an effort to capture the character’s personality.  I was so focused on the sound of my voice, anything other noise would have been too distracting.  I can’t imagine the hours of practice it must take VO professionals, like Mike Rowe, to develop that skill—that must be why they makes the big bucks.

Try this out yourself: ask a friend to read something to you and try to parrot back the words back to them.

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Phasing Out ADDIE

ADDIE is an acronym used to describe a creation process for instruction.  It stands for:

  • Analyze
  • Design
  • Develop
  • Implement
  • Evaluate

ADDIE has served as the “king” of ISD (instructional systems design) models for the past 30 years.  In recent years however, practicing designers have been calling for a model that lets them test their designs more frequently.  Michael Allen’s SAM model has been getting a lot of attention lately for its emphasis on testing multiple, rapid iterations in the field.  While any effort involving the learner in the design process is a step forward in my opinion, it is not enough.  Up to this point, most of the popular ID models have essentially been instruction-centered.

So here’s my revolutionary idea: my ISD model (model on how to develop instruction) will be fundamentally learner-centric.  I haven’t figured out details of the infrastructure  yet, but it will be built around a social network of users.  A team of alpha testers will initially be identified from the user group, based on community klout, user relevancy,  and schedule availability.  I will market it primarily to large corporations. (More to come later…)

I’m positive I’m not the only person developing new ISD strategies that leverage the power of social.  In fact, I hope that the entire field of instructional design will be headed there soon.  (Perhaps I’ll have to publish a dissertation and a few books proving its effectiveness before learners start to get the attention they deserve.)  But when this catches on, I won’t be surprised if the term, ADDIE, gets phased out completely.  However, I’m sure it will still be taught at universities in the section on “History of ISD.”  In that event, I highly recommend using this infographic, created by Justin Ferriman, to brush over the ADDIE essentials.

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10 Ways To Create Hollywood Blockbuster FX For Under $100

I have a passion for video production.  It’s not something I want to pursue as as a career, but I wouldn’t mind the odd opportunity to dabble in it.  In recent years, media consumers have demanded abbreviated content and social media infrastructures (e.g. YouTube) have delivered.  Today, a huge market exists for the video short (e.g. Machinima or CollegeHumor).  I’m grateful to pros, like the ones featured in this video, who make their trade secrets available to enthusiasts like me.

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