Monday, February 13, 2017

Canva -- Graphic Design Made Easy

http://canva.com
If you are like me, you generally lack the skill set of the typical graphic designer. And, if you also a poor teacher (like me) you can't really afford to have a professional graphic designer help you with everything you need to do (even when I can find some affordable help on Fiverr). In the last month alone, I have had to design four different ads for school events and then three ads for my professional development offerings. Thank goodness I discovered Canva, because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to deal with all of the work. It is free with a Google account, so if you are working at a Gsuite for Education school -- you are in luck!

Do you need to create a poster to promote an event? Want design a banner for your website? Need to make a greeting card? Do you desire an attractive way to promote your Instagram or Twitter account? Canva can help you do these things and it can do a whole lot more. The .png file to the left was created in less than 15 minutes with Canva. I know my friends who do graphic design are probably thinking, "It looks like it took 15 minutes, too" but for me -- this work is way better than I could ever hope to do on my own. Canva really is graphic design made easy for the totally helpless, but if can also work for someone with professional level skills in graphic design. There are a ton of layout ideas for a huge assortment of different projects. You can add and subtract elements easily and color schemes are done for you, which is a giant help when you are trouble a matching colors. You can upload your own photos to add to your projects to provide that personal touch from your own life or school. Give it a try!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Bling My Blogger


With 21 Century Learning in Hong Kong rapidly approaching, it was time to update my old Pimp My Blogger presentation. I asked around to a few people and received some feedback on the new name -- Bling My Blogger. The new name lead to a redesign that I'm fairly happy with. I'm looking forward to the conference.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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Another Year

Another year has passed and time continues its grueling and painful march forward. Time to look back and see what was accomplished and what was not. I have managed to return to blogging on a more regular basis, but still not to the level I was three years ago. The impact of two years as a Headmaster of a small school are still being felt; plus, in a new position (Director of EdTech) at a new school (Cheongna Dalton School), I'm engaged in building an entire department from scratch. It involves continually defining and redefining the position according to the needs of the faculty and the other administrators. Also, I have my own ideas of what the department must accomplish and some of those ideas are left over from working in a department of five people at a much larger school. There is plenty of work to do, but only so much of me available; however, I feel like I have managed to balance the work/life tight rope much better than I did as a Headmaster, which is a major victory. The job of Headmaster was all encompassing and I threw myself in to it with reckless abandon. It was heartfelt and sincere, but not wise. As much as I love education as a profession, school as an organization, students and faculty as humans, there needs to be a balance maintained at all times. There were too many crises throughout the two years; too much turmoil. I will admit that some of the problems were of my own creation, but many were events out of my hands; the will of fate. Little could be done other than find a way to solve the problem and move forward as best as possible with when best was never enough for some people. Being back in Korea is wonderful. The speed of the Internet alone is enough to continuously bring a smile to my face. But beyond that the food, the seasons, the people, the efficiency, and the safety of the place are all lovely. I lived in Korea twice before 1997-98 and 2007-14; twice I left, but I don't see myself leaving again. This is home; this is where I belong. I'm more comfortable and happy in Korea than I ever was in the US. And although we have a home in Turkey, this last visit was eye opening in many ways. I still enjoy the village of Boz Koy, but Turkey in general no longer pulls me. The people are desperate; the mood is ugly; and the violence worsening daily. We were in Izmir when the most recent terror attack occurred and it was a terrible feeling. A feeling I really don't care to have again. Hopefully 2017 will be a better year, but the start has not be promising.