Sarah Cornelius

Teaching Digital Media Art in the 21st Century

After playing around with different options (Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, Youtube) on the Internet to create my PLN, I deiced that Pinterest was my resource of choice.  I choose Pinterest because I thought it would be an effective way to collect information and ideas from others and share them.  I have created multiple Pinterest boards, ES Computers, Photoshop, Photography, HS Computers, each of which is a class I teach.  (Yes, my schedule is all over the board.)  I found Pinterest to be a great way to quickly and effective way to collect and pass on information.


I am always looking for new boards to follow, and of course follow mine!

Everything must come to an end, with course 5 coming up it means it’s really time to start thinking about my final project.  Through course 1-4 I must have changed my mind on what I was going to do dozens to times, with each new course new ideas popped up.  Well now it’s time to deiced.  One of my favorite new tools I took from the COETAIL program is infographs.  In my graphic design class the students learn how to use Photoshop and Indesign.  In the past they have created projects that included creating logos, designs that are visually pleasing and meets the need of their target audience and correct use of layouts.   I have never collaboratived with other teachers on their final projects, until now.  For my Graphic Design final project the students will be picking a topic that they have learned and discussed in one of their other class (English, math, history, science, health, art, music) they will then use the skills they have learned through out the year in their Graphic Design class (Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator)  to create a printable infographic that they will give to their teachers.  The goal is for the teachers to post and use these infographics in their classes next year.  I think this will be a great way for students to use their current knowledge in my class to showcase knowledge they have learned in other classes.


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BYOD….sounds like fun, and it is!  Bring your own device to school is becoming the big new thing now, and it works.  I teach Graphic Design, the students in my class have the option of using the school computers or their own.  It would be unrealistic of me to require all my students to bring in their own laptops with Adobe Master Collection CS5 installed on it.  I can’t expect all students to be able to afford an expensive program, I can however all those who do, to bring their own.  Everyone has their own preference on what computer they prefer, mac or pc.  When teaching the device shouldn’t matter.  I teach Photoshop, those who want to work on their personal mac books can, those who want to use the school pcs can.


One of my favorite parts of using BYOD are cell phones.  When collaboration starts and the interaction begins, the whiteboard becomes alive with ideas and thoughts.  Once the bell is about to ring, the cell phone comes out, pictures of board are taken and there you go notes have been taken.


In other subjects BYOD can be used to bring a classroom into the 21st century.  Students will only have to carry their laptop around loaded with pdfs of the text books verse heavy back packs filled of books.  Being able to research and write papers in the room with their classmates and teachers will allow for more one on one time and collaboration.


15 years ago educators would of never of thought of students bringing their own computers to class, how could they, computers at that time weren’t portable. I’m sure 10 years ago they didn’t couldn’t even imagine a thing as a flipped classroom.  5 years ago I’m sure teachers didn’t think of text books being pdfs instead of hardback books.  It’s hard to imagine what the future holds.  Technology is changing day to day, all around us.


In the next 5 years I imagine students working on group projects with students in other countries, using Skype, Google docks and the web to collaborate.  In 10 years I imagine the majority of classes being held using flipped learning, students will be able to take the majority of their classes on line from teachers all over the world.  In 15 years I imagine students being able to take virtual field trips.  When studying ancient Rome, students will able to go there and “experience first hand” the death of Ceaser.  There have been so many changes in the past 15, 10, 5 years in the world of computers, it’s hard to imagine we were are headed.

As a high school teacher I am a huge fan of flipped learning, especially with my upper class men   Juniors and seniors are about to go off to university where they won’t be “hand feed” any more.  They will have the option of going to class with out getting dentition or grounded if they don’t. They will be responsible for their own learning.  I think that flipped learning can work with all grades, all ages and all subjects, I do feel it is especially important for those about to graduate.  Flipped learning puts the responsibility of learning and taking charge into the students hands.  My ideal classroom setting involves lots of face to face time, group activities and discussion.  Allowing students to learn the the basic information at home allows for this.
In my class I post the main concepts of units, information and their assignments on Google Drive, this allows more time in the classroom for one on one interaction.  It allows more for me to help students with their assignments face to face and for more time for the students to corroborate on groups projects.

When I first read Beyond Substitution: The SAMR Model, I was trying to figure out how I could evaluate my technology integration as a technology teacher.  All my lessons demonstrate on a projector, all my students have access to resources on the Google Drive, all my students bring their own device to class.  What else could I do?  There has to be something more I could add, something interactive. That’s were twitter came in. For each unit I plan on posting an essential question, throughout the unit the students will tweet in comments and questions.


Teaching Photoshop – Substitution: the computer stands in for another technological tool without a significant change in the tool’s function.

Demonstrating using the projector – Augmentation: the computer replaces another technological tool, with significant functionality increase.

Access to resources on Goolge Drive – Modification: the computer enables the redesign of significant portions of a task

Using Twitter – Redefinition: the computer allows for the creation of new tasks that would otherwise be inconceivable without the technology.





Technology used to be viewed as a “specialty” class in school. It was thought of as like art, music or pe, a separate class that you go to twice a week for 30 minutes.  But that was the 90’s.  We now live in the 21st century  where technology is all around us.  Students today don’t know a world without cell phones, internet and gameboys.  As the world changes we must change with it.  It’s useless to educate our students without using the one thing most use in their lives.

We need to embrace technology in all our classes.  Instead of having separate computer classes for our students  computers should be integrated into their everyday classes.  At the International School of Myanmar our 6-8th graders will be completing a technology portfolio every year.  The portfolio will help ensure the students meet the NET’s.  The pieces in the portfolio will be made up of their work in all their classes from English to History to Art.  I am excited to see how this project turns out.  It will be a great tool to use in not only student led conferences but also something to keep with them and look back on as they go through school.


The students of today’s 21st century are visual learners.  They no longer look to books for information.  If the information is not presented in a colorful eye catching format, they won’t read it.  Any data written in a paragraph format won’t be read or remembered.  Our classrooms and teachers need to adopt to this change and present the required information in a way that the students of the 21st century will learn.

Remix culture is about creating work that builds upon the work of others. It is important students understand that this doesn’t mean simply grabbing or using the work of others. But using the data/information to recreate create their own product.

For my Graphic Design final project the students will be picking a topic that they have learned and discussed in one of their other class (English, math, history, science, health, art, music) they will then use the skills they have learned through out the year in their Graphic Design class (Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator)  to create a printable infographic that they will give to their teachers.  The goal is for the teachers to post and use these infographics in their classes next year.


BIG IDEA: Create your own Infograph


ESTABLISHED GOALS (NETs or School Standards): 

1.a: promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness.

1.b: engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and resources.



Use the skills you have learned in Graphic Design to create an infograph based on a subject/information that you have learned in one of your other classes (English, science, math, health, history)



How can you turn the information you have learned into a visual graphic that makes the viewer interested in reading your inforgraph?



  • Pick a topic that you have cover in another one of your classes that interest you.



  • infograph


Use Indesign, Photoshop and Illustrator to create an infograph.




Create a printable infograph that teachers will post in their classrooms.  The inforgraph will be based on a subject of your choice from another class that you have learned about and discussed.


  • Start with brainstorming subjects that you have covered over the year.
  • Create a brain map insuring that your data supports your subject.
  • Checking your information is correct before using.
  • Create a layout so you will have a rough idea of the overall design.

During course 1 is when I think I saw my very first infograph.  I’m not sure if they are a big thing in the states or in other countries  but in Myanmar (Burma) this was my first experience with them.  They have now become my new obsession  I love explore and just looking and reading all of them.  There are just so many with such great information!

Infographs make you want to read the information and remember it better with the images, making learn exciting.  Since discovering this wonderful resource I have been including infographs in a large majority of my lessons.

One of the classes I teach is Graphic Design.  Throughout the semester the students have created their own logos and new logos for existing companies. has countless infographics on the subject with information that my students and I both learned.

For the student’s end of semester project I plan on them creating their own infographics about a subject that they have learned this semester.  I plan on collaborating with the other teachers at my school.  The students are allowed to pick any subject they find interesting and to use the information they find to create their infographs.  I will be working with the math teachers  science, history, english, foreign langues, and the elective teachers.  My students are in grades 10-12, which means I will have a number of teachers to work with.  But this this type of project and the final product, it can be done!

I love using digital storytelling in the class and in my life.  I used this project to to knock out to things at once.  A couple of months ago my brother and his wife found out they are excepting!  I’m going to to be an auntie for the first time!  They only wanted to tell close family at first but wanted an unique way to share the exciting news with their friends.  So we came up with the idea of using digital storytelling to share their news.  When my brother and his wife told both their parents and siblings they recorded it.  I used imovie to edit it all together.  I started the digital story with photos of them in high school when they started dating, to college when they were in engaged, then wedding photos to five years later when they bought their first house to now, 11 years after they went on their first date, the day they found out they will be parents.  After the digital story was complete my brother and his wife posted it on their Facebook pages.

Hope you enjoy!

A digital story of love and family