- Download the old version of Skitch.
- Play….try taking and annotating screenshots from the web, as well as annotating a photo you have taken.
- Upload some of your samples to a new post. Choose one of them to be the featured image for your post (lower left sidebar).
- BONUS: Create a short “how-to” post. It can be how to do anything online, how to use Skitch, how to add a Clustrmap to your blog, etc. Use Skitch to illustrate, with words and arrows, your how-to post.
Part of assignment number one was to upload a picture. Sounds simple, right? It is, I just underestimated, yet again, how much time this would take me. I also thought you would have been able to see the picture in its entirety (more on this below) Why, you ask, did it take so long?
1. I have way too many photos on my computer. This is problematic for at least three reasons…(a) It means that photos take a long time to load (b) It takes a long time to go through them. (c) It also reminds me about how far behind I am in putting my photos into albums so our family can actually look at some of the 20K plus photos we’ve taken. (Just a healthy dose of guilt to remind me that I have some good summer projects to work on).
2. I discovered that photos that you upload to a wordpress site need to be 6MB or smaller.
The good news? I learned a lot which has become the basis for my new “how-to” post. While I could be writing a “how-to” post on how not to lose it when something you think will take you five minutes takes 45 minutes, I decided to do something more practical related to how to reduce an image so you can upload it to a wordpress site. (Note, there are plug ins you can use to do this, but I don’t yet fully understand how they work. More on this to come in later posts). In the meantime. Here is how I did it: (I know there are probably far more simple ways to handle this, I just haven’t figured it out, yet.)
(1) Download photo to the computer (2) Open with “preview” (3) Click ‘tools’ (4) Click ‘adjust size’ (5) Adjust to size desired (6) Save/rename (7) Mission accomplished!
Also, I thought that you would be able to see the picture I had uploaded in its entirety as I chose it because I thought it captured a great metaphor to describe this learning journey, but alas, all you can see are some nice colors in the background. So, here is the full image:
We were in Florida two years ago when my son (who was about to turn 5) decided to try a ropes course along with his older cousins. As we stared up from the ground at this 32 ft high structure, it looked like the kids above were having fun and from our vantage point, it seemed relatively simple to navigate.
My son got harnessed and ascended the stairs to begin the challenge of crossing rickety bridges and climbing suspended ropes. He headed up with a lot of confidence. And then he started on his journey. A few steps in as he worked to navigate obstacles and balance on beams, the ropes he was standing on shook violently from side to side. As his grip tightened, he realized that it wasn’t as easy as it looked. I stood below with my camera poised to capture his trek and saw his look of utter panic.
At first, he tried to hold it in, but my son is just like me and wears his heart on his sleeve. I could tell he wanted to burst into tears. But, he didn’t. He steadied himself. I heard myself saying…just one step at a time. One foot in front of the other. You can do it. Take it slowly. Wait until you’re ready. I wanted him to see that he could do it if he tried. I wanted him to feel that sense of accomplishment that comes from moving out of one’s comfort zone. He kept going and he stuck with it, even when it was scary.
As I scrolled through the images in iPhoto trying to find a suitable image for the background of this blog, I was struck by how similar his steps onto the ropes course felt to this new learning journey. I am overwhelmed by all that is “out there.” I often think that others make documenting and sharing their learning seem so simple. Blog posts and infographics seem effortless. I wonder what I possibly have to add to the conversation. I am anxious about the whole ‘sharing’ part of documenting my learning. I imagined myself walking the tightropes, feeling vulnerable.
What assignment #2 reminded me about more than anything is that this is the work. Sticking with these feelings and pushing through to reflect, document and share is part of my work. I went into this assignment thinking about the concrete tools and skills I would learn and realized that it is just as important to attend to the social/emotional impact of the learning process. I understand that struggling isn’t something to be embarrassed about, it is the messy work of teaching and learning. I want to accept that I can’t compare how I feel on the inside, to what I see produced by others on the outside. I, too, want to stick with it, even when it feels scary.