Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Digital Literacy & Collaborating: SKYPE 1 With The Awesome Class 62, Heidi Siwak & Ian Chia

Heidi Siwak (21 Century Classroom: The Amaryillis) and Class 62 are currently working on an Augmented Reality App for the iphone with Ian Chia (Felicity From Thin Air) from Australia. They are documenting the entire process so all can learn here.

Really cool right?
Well that's how Ian rolls. Ian is a friend I met on twitter. I met Heidi there too, and introduced her to Ian (This is why I love twitter-it's one giant loopy circle). When I saw that they were collaborating I offered my support as a visual storyteller.

So we will be skyping about the project tomorrow May 11, 2011 (now today). I'm a night owl of sorts. Okay, I'm definitely a night owl.

Having created many picture books, toys & games for kids I wanted to offer some inspiration and a rough outline about how I create images. This is the my process. (I'm actually doing it this evening as I write this! I'm at stage 5)

What are you making. Who will be involved? If you are collaborating, which you are, define the roles each person will play, and I do mean PLAY.  ;  )  Bring a sense of FUN & WONDER into what you make. I find the best things are made from FUN, WONDER & LOVE. Maybe you LOVE color (like me) let the color take center stage. Don't be afraid to fail. EXPERIMENT.

This is a really fun stage, one of my favorites (besides mixing color). You can call it research, but I call it treasure hunting. Look around at what other people have created. If you are making comic book, collect images of a comic books. You are making an App so I imagine you have looked at many APPS and decided what you like. Think critically about what you have collected. Why does it appeal to you? What is working? How could they have made it more memorable? I collect things according to what I instantly like. Don't think too much while treasure hunting. Go with your gut. Then look and find out why you chose this particular image. You might be really surprised!

This is a time to PLAY! I DRAW A LOT! You are taking photos so photograph lots of things from different angles. HAVE FUN. Don't THINK too much here either. Enjoy the process of creating. LET GO. FEEL FREE, PUT YOUR HEART INTO IT. Often "mistakes" become what you like most.

Make your images the same size they will appear on your product. If you are making a book jacket that's 8" X 8", that will look very different than an image that is the size of a postage stamp. What has impact? Put everything up on a wall and stare at it. Go away, do something else. Come back with fresh eyes and see what you think about your creations. Has something shifted? Do you still like the same ones? Do you see new connections between images? Do certain things go together naturally? Do certain images create a visual narrative/story when placed next to each other?

TAKE WHAT WORKS AND MAKE A NEW IMAGE. Sometimes this can go through many stages with many revisions. Sometimes you get it just right the very first time (cool when this happens). One never knows with creativity. KEEP AT IT. Get opinions. Sometimes you stare at things so long you don't see THEM anymore. This is the great thing about collaboration. Everyone brings something to the table. Don't be afraid to share ideas. Ideas create more ideas. Something will click.

Choose & combine the images you think work best. Why do they work? Look closely, refine your image in photoshop or another program. Get a consensus from the group (another great quality of collboration). It's PRODUCTION TIME! Decide who will work on what piece. If someone has strong text skills make them the type editor. maybe someone is great with photoshop or color. Work as a team.

Finish your project. WRAP IT UP! Nothing is ever finsihed perfectly. I have learned many things from failures. When I look at things I created years ago, I always find things I wish I would have changed. It will not be "perfect" but it will be yours! Enjoy the process more than the product. Creativity is a place you can return to time and time again. BE PROUD OF YOUR CREATION!

YOU GUYS ROCK! You have to have a certain amount of BRAVERY to be creative. You are putting ideas out into the world. That can be scary but it is really SATISFYING TOO! Very cool.
It looks like you guys have the BRAVERY PART down.

BRAVO & Kudos to Ian & Heidi. Thanks for the opportunity to share.

I'm happy to respond to any questions & comments from y'all. Send an email, tweet me, facebook me. Connect.
That's what CREATIVITY IS ALL ABOUT.  Can't wait to see what you come up with.
:  )



  1. Hi Cynthia,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to help us. We appreciate it - and for including our project on your blog - that was exciting for the entire class.
    When we were able to finally get the connection going, I wish you could have seen how the class sprang to life. The kids rushed to the laptop and lined up to speak with you. Sydney grabbed the camera and began documenting the process.
    We are looking forward to Monday as our session had to be cut short because we had to leave to see a play, but we can't wait until Monday.
    My students have many questions!

  2. Thank you for skyping with us! I really enjoyed hearing New York and the other stuff!

    - Sean Clark+

  3. Thank You Cynthia for taking the time to skype with us. It was interesting to learn about NY City.

    - Ryan.M

  4. Thank you for helping us with the illustration and taking the time to skype with us.

    -Ryan Garrity

  5. Thank you for Skyping with the class. I've learned that for the app that we should go for simple colors and something that represents the town the best. Rebecca and I are making the splash page right now, we're trying to make it simple as possible so we decided to make Websters Falls on the splash page to represent Dundas ,and we're making the buttons using Cheerios(yummy!)

    Thanks Again

  6. Thank you, so much Cynthia thanks for every thing you done to help our class in making an app!

    Your tips on how to get better at making an app really helps :D thanks for evrything!

    ~Sydney T

    My name is Rebecca. Thank you for Skyping with us. I had so much fun listening to your facts and details about our project. THANK YOU.

  7. Thank you for skyping with us.I can't wait to finish this project and with you and Ian helping us,we will be done in no time.

    Hope F