Integrate Photoshop into Curriculum

Integrate Photoshop into curriculum to get the most use out of your licensing. If your school or district is paying for Adobe Photoshop CC subscriptions you want to use this software regularly. It is expensive to provide to students. For this reason, do not limit its use to just one teacher, assignment, unit, or course.

Adobe Photoshop CC is more than just photo editing software. It is a powerful creativity tool that can be used to support learning. Use these suggestions to integrate Photoshop into curriculum.

Integrate Photoshop into Curriculum

Integrate Photoshop into Curriculum

Photo Editing Class

Include Photoshop software as part of a photo editing class. Experiment with techniques to filter, retouch, recolor, and superimpose images. These skills can then be transferred to other academic classes to produce one-of-a-kind publications.

Digital Photography Course

Integrate Photoshop software into curriculum for a digital photography course. Teach the history of photography and how to use a digital camera. Afterwards, have students use their skills to assemble a collection of photos. They can then use Photoshop to enhance the quality, correct imperfections, and produce artistic effects.

Yearbook Workshop

Offer a yearbook workshop that teaches photo editing techniques using Photoshop software. Include activities that provide an understanding of tools and program features. These skills can then be applied by students to enhance the quality of images included in school publications.

Web Design Unit

Introduce Photoshop software prior to beginning a web design unit. Teach digital manipulation techniques. These skills can then be used to create original images for web purposes.

Visual Arts Program

Infuse technology into a traditional arts program. Integrate Photoshop into curriculum. Have students engage in the creative process by exploring digital art tools. Apply the elements of design to produce beautiful artwork.

Activities to Integrate Photoshop into Curriculum

Are you looking for activities to introduce photo editing techniques to your students? TechnoPhotoshop, published by TechnoKids Inc., is a technology project that has step-by-step instructions. The detailed assignments make learning Photoshop fast and easy.

Teach Blog Formatting Techniques to Students

Teach blog formatting techniques to students as part of a blogging unit. This knowledge will guide them when organizing the content of their post. It will also focus students’ thinking towards their audience and the purpose of their writing.

Blog formatting techniques can be used to hook the reader’s interest and draw their attention. You want students not only to think about what their audience wants to read, but also HOW the audience wants to read it. Blog readers want to get information FAST! Teach your students how to format a post to make it appealing to readers.

There are six tricks for formatting a blog post. Explicitly teach these techniques to students to improve their writing. The trick is to use numbers in the title, headings, highlighted words, bullet lists, numbered lists, and pictures.

Numbers in the Title

Numbers in the title is a valuable technique that students should often use when writing a blog post. Not only does it appeal to the audience, but it also provides a helpful framework for organizing ideas. Your students do not need to use a number in EVERY title for EVERY blog post they write. This overuse would eventually reduce reader interest. However, it is a formatting technique they need to know.

Numbers in the title trigger the reader’s attention and provides structure to the post. For example, the title 3 Secrets to Become a Successful Blogger is better than Secrets to Become a Successful Blogger. By including a number in the title, it shows the blogger has included only the most vital information. As well, the number lets a reader know the content in the post will be organized in a logical order that is easy to scan.

Encourage your students to follow these tips for using numbers in the title:

  • Use a digit instead of a word. For example, 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Blog is better than Seven Easy Ways to Improve Your Blog. The digit is faster to read and attracts attention.
  • Small numbers are better than large numbers when giving advice. For example, 3 Tips to Become a Pro is better than 33 Tips to Become a Pro. The smaller number tells the reader you are sharing essential information and the post won’t waste their time.
  • Large numbers are better than small numbers when sharing resources. For example, 25 Fun Online Games for Kids is better than 2 Fun Online Games for Kids. The larger number tells the reader that there is lots of value in the post and it is worth their time.
  • Odd numbers are better than even numbers. For example, 5 Powerful Reasons to Use Odd Numbers is better than 6 Powerful Reasons to Use Odd Numbers. Odd numbers such as 3, 5, and 7 chunk information into groups that people can easily understand. The only exception to this tip is the number 10. Readers are attracted to this even number.

Headings

Headings organize a post by dividing the information into small chunks. The heading names identify the content of each section. Students are likely familiar with using headings when they write a report. This type of publication tends to have more text than a blog post. However, even if a blog post is short, encourage your students to include at least one or two headings. Not only does this technique improve readability for blog readers, it is also a useful organizational tool for bloggers.

Headings save blog readers time. Instead of reading every word in the post, they can choose to read the part that is most relevant. When teaching this formatting technique, have students practice writing concise, meaningful headings.

Highlighted Words

Highlighted words draw the reader’s attention to the most important content. It makes the text stand out on the page by using a different color or font style such as bold or italic. Highlighted words help a reader to scan a post to find essential information.

Teaching this technique is an excellent way to improve writing style. By choosing which text to format, students are encouraged to think about the main message or purpose of their writing. They must be able to highlight one or two sentences or phrases that capture the essence of the blog post. If a student cannot identify text to highlight, then they need to change their word choice to be concise and clear.

Bullet List

A bullet list displays content in short points. This formatting technique provides lots of information in a concise format, which saves the blog reader time. Instead of reading an entire paragraph, a list can be scanned for key details. This formatting technique is often discouraged from being used in school assignments such as reports, short stories, or essays. Typically, it is limited to the planning and organization stage of writing such as collecting research facts or grouping ideas.

It is a good idea to teach students how to effectively use bullet lists in a blog post as they might be reluctant to use this technique. A bullet list can be used in a blog post to:

  • provide details
  • outline features
  • offer tips

To help your students, you may want to establish the guideline that no point should be more than one or two lines of text. Emphasize that each point should be brief. In addition, the text does not need to be a complete sentence.

Numbered List

A numbered list sequences information in a logical order. This formatting technique clearly organizes content, which makes it simple for a blog reader to follow. In addition, it is an excellent way for a blog writer to arrange a post into identifiable chunks.

Teach students when it is appropriate to use this formatting technique. If students used a number in the title, then they should also use a numbered heading to create consistency. As well, a numbered list can be used to outline how-to steps or rank items. For example,
a numbered list can be used to explain the top 3 reasons to use numbered lists:

Top 3 Reasons to Use Numbered Lists

  1. sequence information in a logical order
  2. provide a framework to organize content
  3. allow readers to quickly scan content

Pictures

Pictures attract reader attention and provide instant knowledge about the topic of the post. A picture informs readers about the content. An image makes information easier to understand and more memorable. Images can be a photo, illustration, diagram, screenshot, map, graph, infographic, decorative quote, or animated gif.

When teaching this formatting technique, discuss copyright. Not all images are permitted by the copyright holder to be included into student blogs. Instruct your students on how to verify usage rights when using pictures taken from the Internet. Another option is to use original photos or images only in blog posts.

blog formatting techniques

Teach Blog Formatting Techniques

Blog Formatting Techniques and Your Students

Include a blogging unit into your language arts program. By explicitly teaching blog formatting techniques your students will focus their attention on their audience and the purpose of the blog post. Moreover, it will improve their writing style as they use their skills to phrase content concisely and clearly. A safe blogging service is Kidblog. For blogging activities that include blog formatting techniques, check out the TechnoBlog project by TechnoKids Inc.

Why Not Use Paint?

use paintIt is simple and has been around for a long time. Microsoft Paint is an effective and surprisingly powerful tool for the classroom. There are many more capable graphic editors and drawing programs available. But Paint is free and available as it is found in every Windows Start menu in the Accessories folder. It’s also easy to learn and use, and it has the basic tools needed to draw, color, and edit.

money idiomSee the step-by-step instructions below to get to know the Paint tools. Then try a fun, creative drawing assignment from TechnoBudget. Get elementary or middle school students thinking and drawing. Use Paint to illustrate a money idiom. The literal meaning of the saying is painted in the picture while the real meaning is explained in a text box. Try it out!

Here are some money idioms to get your students started. Pick one and illustrate it!

Made of money Laughing all the way to the bank
Money grows on trees I am broke
That is a money pit Money to burn
Money burns a hole in your pocket A penny pincher
Spend money like water Spend money like it is going out of style
Break the bank A shoestring budget
  1. Open Paint. Paint is included with the Windows operating system. It can be found by typing Paint into the search box on the taskbar, or under Accessories or Windows Accessories in the program listing.
  2. Draw freehand:
    1. Click the Pencil. use paint
    2. Click Size. use paint Choose a line size.
    3. From the Colors group, click the Color 1 box. use paint Pick a color.
    4. colors palette

    5. Click and drag in the drawing area.
  3. Draw with a brush:
    1. Click Brushes in the Shapes palette. use paint Pick a brush option.
    2. Choose a size use paint and a color. use jpaint
    3. Click and drag to draw.
    4. Experiment with the other brush choices.
  4. Draw a straight line:
    1. Click Line in the Shapes palette. line
    2. Click and drag to draw a line. Press the SHIFT key to make it straight.
    3. Drag the end handle to change size or position use paint
    4. Select the line. Press the DELETE key to remove it.
  5. Draw a curvy line:
    1. Click Curve. curve Draw a line on the canvas.
    2. Click on the line and drag to bend it.

    draw a curved line

  6. Draw a polygon:
    1. Click Polygon.use paint
    2. Click and drag to draw a line on the canvas.
      Click at different spots to draw the polygon sides.
      Click again on the start point to draw a filled shape.
    3. To fill the shape with color, click Fill with color. fill with color Pick a color. Click inside the shape.
  7. Draw a shape:
    1. Choose a Shape from the Shapes palette.
    2. use paint

    3. Click Outline outline to pick an outline style and click Fill fill to pick a fill option.
    4. From the Colors group, click the Color 1 box. use paint Pick a color for the outline.
    5. Click the Color 2 box. color 2 Pick a fill color.
    6. Click and drag to draw the shape.
    7. Drag a corner handle two way arrow to change the size.
  8. There are three ways to fix a mistake. Try them:
    Note: Once you have clicked OFF a shape and it is not selected, you cannot make any changes to it.

    1. Click Undo. undo Your last action will be cancelled.
    2. Click Eraser. Click Size use paint and pick an eraser size. Click the Color 2 box. color 2
      Pick white. Click and drag to erase.
    3. Click Select. select Draw a box around the part of your drawing you want to erase. Press DELETE on the keyboard.
  9. Draw a text box:
    1. Click Text paint text . Click and drag to draw a box.
    2. Write the real meaning of the idiom. Select the text and explore the Text Tools Text tab to change the look:
paint font font size bold italic underline use paint
Font Font Size Style Color

use paint

Tips:

  • Drag a corner handle to alter canvas size. two way arrow
  • Magnify an area using Zoom. zoom
  • Copy copy paint and paste paste paintobjects.
  • Undo undo or Redo redo an action.

Money Management and TechnoBudgetThis assignment is an extension activity from the technology project TechnoBudget. Teach personal finance. Middle school students budget for a shopping spree and justify a spending plan using Google Sheets or Excel lessons.

Develop financial literacy and money management skills.

Quick Search Tip for Quality Results

site:search

Any search tip that makes online research more efficient is a welcome relief for teachers and students. Researching online with students can be a time consuming and sometimes frustrating task. The amount of information available on the Internet is mind boggling. Too often searches result in a lot of worthless or irrelevant information, or data of questionable trustworthiness. How can searches limit results to quality content?

Limit a search to a website

Site:search is a great way to save time and limit search results. This method restricts a search to a particular site or a specific type of site. It’s simple: in the search box, type site: followed by the limiting factor and search topic.

For example, if you want to just search the Smithsonian website for information on Wilbur and Orville Wright, type site:smithsonian.com wright brothers. Results yielded will be all references within the Smithsonian web archives, instead of the millions of suggested sites that will appear after a search for ‘wright brothers’. Left out are blog or opinion articles, all commercial sites using the name Wright Brothers, or any other unrelated sites. As an added bonus, since the source of all information will be the Smithsonian Museum, you know that the facts will be authentic and trustworthy.

Limit a search to a domain type

Learn Research SkillsInstead of limiting a search to just one site, you can restrict it to a type of site. This eliminates a whole minefield of biased or unreliable sources. For example, if you are searching for information about forestry and you type gc.ca Canada lumber, you will receive only sites that are published on Canadian government websites. Such information is authoritative and saves time researching the credibility of sources.

Here are some ways to restrict searches to trusted websites appropriate for classroom use.

Limit a Search to a Domain Type:
site:gov site:org site:edu
Limit a Search to Government Sites:
site:epa.gov site:nasa.gov site:loc.gov
Limit a Search to Organizations:
site:britishmuseum.org site:pbs.org site:worldwildlife.org
Limit a Search to Publications:
site:nationalgeographic.com site:timeforkids.com site:popsci.com
Limit a Search to Research-Based TV Shows:
site:history.com site:biography.com site:discovery.com

site:searchTeach your students the site:search tip. Their online research will be more efficient and will yield better, more legitimate results. TechnoResearch is a technology project that introduces essential research skills to elementary and middle school students. Learn how to plan, retrieve, process, share, and evaluate information. Using this fun and engaging project, students will acquire skills that are transferable to any inquiry challenge in all areas of the curriculum. Read more about TechnoResearch here.