For my IEP, I decided to learn Adobe Photoshop CS3. I always knew that Photoshop had awesome potential to do almost anything to a digital image, but I didn’t know how to use it, having never taken a class. I’m pretty good with computers and can usually figure out how to use software, but Photoshop is a professional tool which is not very easy to decipher.
This IEP was my first serious attempt to learn how to use Photoshop. To train myself, I mostly used Internet tutorials, with a little help from a friend. Once I mastered the basics, the question came, what initial assignment could I give to have students learn the basic components of Photoshop? My first idea was to assign students to place an image in a new context. This would force them to isolate an image, delete the background, import a new background into a different layer, and size and place the original image so that it makes sense in the new background. To practice, I created these images:
Then I decided that it would be better to start off with a simpler assignment. My new idea was to isolate an image and repeat it to form a pattern. Students would still learn how to select an image, as well as work with different layers and filters, but they would not have to deal with a new background image. Here is my example for the Pattern Assignment.
Over all, this IEP has been extremely helpful because as an art teacher I need to understand Photoshop. It also has been fun, as you can see from my examples. I still by no means am an expert, but I do have a basic understanding of how it works, and feel confident that I could teach it to my students.
Here are links to lesson plans, ideas for lesson plans with Photoshop in the future, and sources.
Here is more evidence of my development of technical expertise,
the making of Beth and Jo's Lava Ride
the making of Neil and the Giant Slug
the making of Many Jos