Sunday, February 18, 2007

Tutorial on Using The Book

I was laughing so hard at this this morning and I hadn't even had my coffee. A monk from the middle ages gets tech support as he upgrades from the scroll to the book.

Here's the link and what it says on YouTube. "This video makes fun of moderns newbie computer users by illustrating - in a way fully understandable to them - how silly some of their questions are by creating a similar problem 500 years ago.

It's from a show called Øystein & Meg (Øystein & I) produced by the Norwegian Broadcasting television channel (NRK) in 2001. The spoken language is Norwegian, the subs in Danish. It's written by Knut Nærum and performed by Øystein Bache and Rune Gokstad."

How to Use Wikipedia (Not)

There's a great post up on Andy Carvin's blog about using Wikipedia for college level research. There are so many misconceptions about Wikipedia out there that this post is wonderful for its clear-headed positions as put forth by Andy and the people he spoke to. Even representatives from Wikipedia itself agreed with the new policy at Middlebury College that says students can't cite the web site in their research. They said Wikipedia is good for getting an overview of a topic and finding references to other reputable websites but it shouldn't ever be considered the definitive authority on a topic. The valuable thing to remember here is that it's both inappropriate to rely on it as the sole authority or ban its use completely. It has great value as an introduction to almost any topic but you've got to take it from there.

The Best Photoshop Teacher

The internet is the best Photoshop teacher. My 8th graders are finishing up their issue-related advertisements in Photoshop and while some straggle, others need something to work on. They were clamoring for me to teach them how to "Photoshop" themselves, or change their own features the way we've been looking at how it's done in media. At first I felt alarmed, like they wanted to look like the models we were supposedly deconstructing, but then realized it was a way for them to feel empowered in the face of the manipulating images and messages around them; they can finally begin to control something for which they are just considered an audience. Anyway, rather than try to teach them techniques I barely know myself I found some tutorials on everything from changing hair color to making an object pop out of a frame. The students have been incredibly focused as they follow these tutorials step-by-step on images of their choosing. In fact the by-product of the activity has been much-needed practice of following difficult directions. Here is the list of tutorials:
Make a reflection of an image
Swap faces
Put cracks in a face
Separate a subject from its background
Create smooth skin
Make a grin look evil
Put a ghost in a picture
Stretch a mouth for cartoon effect
Make a photo look old
Replace a color with another color
Change hair color

Make a face wooden
Make something jump out of a frame
Make something jump out of a frame (another version)
Make line art from a photo
Make Warhol art from a photo