A while ago posted about Photoshop Express but hadn’t used it in a while as at that stage it was very new and rather slow. While with Adobe I learnt about the upgrades and the speed is vastly improved.
I had a great chance to play with the new features and learnt a little about non-destructive editing. For example Photoshop Express has this cool effect where you can pop the colour. This is what it can do with an image of a bright red tour bus. It takes the two predominant colours and by rolling the mouse over the samples it changes the colour you decided to pop. Your photo changes instantly but you can still reset all your changes back to original if you want to.
It can also do the basics of crop, rotate, resize, correct exposure, red-eye removal, colour saturation and do touch-ups like blemish removal and fine tune your photo. Under the fun effects you can play with the hue, tint, change varieties of black & white, cartoonise and distort.
Today was our first day of real work at the Adobe Educational Leader’s Summit in San Francisco. Colin Gover, from Marina View School in Auckland, and I came over a few days early to participate and soak up the sights and sounds of the big city.
I have never been across the equator before so it was quite an experience for me. We had to fly first to Sydney and then the big hop to the United States, cattle class on United Airlines. Fortunately Colin and I managed to swing to aisle seats with no one in between us so took turns to lie down and cat nap. The flight was tolerable as we left New Zealand at nine in the morning and arrived here at 11:00am! It was like we had woken from a sleep so cold enjoy a whole day exploring the town. My biggest concern was that my poor old knees would not hold up to the pressure of prolonged sitting followed by prolonged walking but they have been magnificent- not fast but solid and sure which is what counts.
Colin and I packed every minute of our time here with trips across the Golden Gate Bridge, strolling along Fisherman’s Wharf, numerous visits to the Apple Store and making friends with wandering policemen and street homeless people. We used Colin’s laptop for keeping connected in the cheaper hotel so I only had time to blog for my personal and class blog.
One of my goals while here was to buy a Flip Video after Suzie and I both lost a Trade Me bidding war for one but I ended up spending $20 more and buying a digital video recorder which I am really very pleased with- a great choice. Better quality recording and more features.
At the Apple mothership I bought myself an iPod Touch as a consolation prize for not throwing money away on an iPhone.
It was a great choice and I have been enjoying tweeting and checking my email from anywhere with an internet connection. Innes Kennard encouraged me to update and be able to buy extras through the iTouch so went back later to have a chat to the Apple genius. Ha! I was able to ask two questions that he didn’t know the answer too without further assistance. How can I consolidate purchases from the USA, Australia and New Zealand iTunes Store?? And how can I move videos that were imported into iMovie08 in incorrect chronological order?? There were even three guys there from Cupertino itself! Colin was very patiently waiting while I enjoyed the experience and ended up buying himself an iTouch as well!
On Friday Colin and I did our own thing and I hit the shops in a serious sort of way as we moved into the flashest hotel in San Francisco- The Westin St Francis, on Union Square. I have spent my time at the St Francis looking for famous people and saw a man that looked like Dennis Connor! The hotel itself is opulent- I had to climb onto the huge bed to get into it. My room-mate is the bubbly, Roxana Hadad, from Illinois. It is good how they have mixed everyone up so you get to know more people.
Last night the Adobe Educational Leaders’ Summit started for real with a wine and cheese type of thing in one of the hotel rooms followed by a meal out at a nearby diner with the Commonwealth delegates!
Today, Tuesday, we bused to the old Macromedia headquarters for our Adobe learning- I opted for three workshops- Flash, Soundbooth and Photoshop CS4. Can’t say too much about them as they are covered by our non-disclosure statements we had to sign before joining up, but these versions will be a great step up from CS3. I was particularly interested in Soundbooth in regards tidying up our podcasts- so it was great to speak with the guys who make the software directly and offer ideas and suggestions.
Then we had a presentation from Jim Guerard, Adobe VP of Dynamic Media, as he talked about future trends in digital media- personalization of learning, distributed learning- students don’t need to be in the space or time zone, collaborative, creative.
An independent survey had asked business leaders what they wanted from job seekers- they wanted them to be technologically literate, creative, effective communicators, critical thinkers and to be able to collaborate at the top of the list. I liked the list- it reminded me of Mark Treadwell’s presentation on the paradigm shift.
I was able to be on line properly for the first time in ages and caught up on a few emails and the like and even a couple of Skype conversations which was great. The only AELs who are in my network are @KathyShrock and @iUsher. I think others are tweeting but I don’t know who they are! The evening finished off with a buffet tea and a version of the American game show- Jeopardy. Colin and I were at a bit of a loss as nearly all the questions were American based but it was fun anyway. The night finished badly with Roxana’s hard-drive deciding to die when she is doing a presentation on Thursday.
Tomorrow we are off to San Francisco State University Multimedia Center for an in depth look at CS3 Video Production Tools. I know that will be fun.
Three great finds today- one was going to the afternoon pictures to see the NZ movie, “Second Hand Wedding“. I was really impressed with this movie- it had a great mixture of comedy and sadness, joy and angst. I would recommend it to anyone.
The second great find is a mixture of two really. A lot of people have been posting about Wordle which can have all sorts of classroom uses. But the best find is Flowgram which is in beta testing but it is an excellent tool for capturing and discussing web pages. To do so you sign up- add the URL to a web page you would like to discuss and then hit record and you are underway. You can also annotate and embed. To see what it looks like and to hear my cold ridden audio click play! Magic!
Here is another piece of creative fun. Great for use with the Wacom Tablet and a pen to draw with. With Imagination Cubed you draw and then the site re-draws your pen strokes in fast forward and you can email it to someone. If you had more drawing skill it could be a lot of fun. Click on the drawing to see how I draw my tea cup.
Sue Wyatt (@tasteach) twittered this link to Tag Galaxy for a visually stunning search engine for Flickr photos. You enter a tag, refine it and then see what your search finds for you. Absolutely stunning.
Speaking of photos- I hit a wall tonight. I ran out free storage of my Flickr photos so had to bite the bullet and pay some of my hard earned dollars on a pro account- the benefits of which are unlimited storage, a unique named URL, viewing and creation of sets- and the ability to upload high quality video. This makes it in into the elite league of things I have paid for on line out of my own money.
Tools I have paid for are Quicktime Pro, Call Recorder for Skype and now Flickr. Oh! And one download of our big Voicethread. All the rest that I can think of are freeware, donated or paid for through school. There are a few freeware applications that I use so often that I would pay for if I had to but I shall keep them a secret in case they actually ask for cash.