The Mac Lab

Tag: final 0910

Book of Art (Week 37/38)

by on Jun.14, 2010, under Blog

bashar_o_mla_smwyrd (Old English, “fate”)
The Anglo-Saxon concept of fate that manifests itself chiefly in a hero’s willingness to test fate by matching his [or her] courage against heavy odds.
Benét’s Reader’s Encyclopedia

Are you a hero? Just as we change over time, so do words. Today, most of us equate hero with someone who risks his or her life in a noble cause. Certainly true, but hardly the only definition. My favorite expression of what makes a hero comes from Romain Rolland: A hero is a man who does what he can.

I’m sure that some of you are thinking: That’s it? Skocko believes that a hero is someone who does what he (or she) can? He’s an idiot!

Sure, I’ll grant you that I occasionally behave like the village idiot, but not this time. Think about it. How often do you do what you can? That means giving your all. Trying your hardest. Testing fate by matching your courage against the heavy odds of the moment. How is that not a noble cause?

Face it. None of us gives our all every minute of every day. In fact, most of us coast through many of our days. The few who try to sustain the effort, who try to give it their all every day… Well, they’re heroes in my book. And the Mac Lab has more than its fair share of heroes.

There are so many students I could highlight at this point (and I really wanted to select one of the girls to offset the patriarchal flavor of Rolland’s hero quote) but Bashar O just happened to have the perfect image for this post sitting in the gallery’s queue. (Yes, I’ll update the galleries soon.)

Bashar, like so many Mac Lab students, is new to America. He’s learning English at the same time he’s learning to use industry-standard tools in a professional manner. He takes my brutally honest critiques with a smile, makes the corrections I suggest, and works hard to make himself a better digital artist.

Bashar, like so many Mac Lab students, is a hero.

What about you? Anyone can be a hero. All you have to do is try.

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

Most Asked Questions (from yesterday): What’s Wrong With My Color? | Why is My Image Blurry? | Why Won’t My Image Save for Web? | (Yes, this is only 4 and I say 5) How do I Insert an Illustrator File? | Why Does My Image Look Weird? | Skocko’s Bonehead Mistake See? I told you I’m occasionally the village idiot. 😉

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

Posted Prior to the Above: Full post coming tomorrow, or later today… maybe. I’ve been working (almost) around the clock to help you finish strong, so, if I may be so bold as to make a suggestion… finish strong!

iBook Videos: Follow all instructions. (See: Building Your Chapter) Don’t skip any steps. (That means watch the Final Instructions videos that you were supposed to watch a couple of weeks ago too, if you haven’t already).

Extended Deadline: You may work on your chapter until the end of finals. More details in class.

0616: You’ve got plenty to do. Get to it!

0617: Wow! The last day of school before finals. What a year!

If you need more time to work on your projects, feel free to come in before school or during period 1 or 7 tomorrow. Since we’re simply completing our iBook chapters, it’s actually okay to come in any time to work. I want you to succeed. You may come in before or after school next Monday or Tuesday as well (even if your final is tomorrow).

0618: Finals for Period 1, 4, and 7. If you choose not to continue working Monday or Tuesday, you may finally say it: I’m finished! Well, you can say it, but you’re not really finished until you do the following:

In the Finder: File > New Folder (Shift-Command-N)
Name it: 00 Last First (your period and name, last name first)
Fill it with:
1. Your InDesign and EPUB file
2. Your iBook PSD and JPGs you Saved for Web
3. Your best Illustrator and Photoshop files

Do NOT put this new folder in my Drop Box. I will have several hard drives handy to collect your work. Make sure I get this folder. It’s your final exam. Watch this video so there’s no confusion.

0621: Finals for Periods 2 and 5. See instructions from 0618.

International Update: A visitor from Gibraltar nudged our country count to 153.

0622: Finals for Periods 3 and 6. See instructions from 0618.

International Update: The Republic of the Fiji Islands is the 154th country to visit our little blog.

Final Words: I know that some of you are glad to be rid of me and the Mac Lab, but for those who enjoyed the experience, you’re invited to continue following the blog as the first ever Mac Lab Summer Academy™ kicks off next week. Details will be posted here and you can play along even if you don’t have CS5. Web 2.0 tools rock too!

Thanks for helping to take the Mac Lab into uncharted territories yet again this year. You made a difference. Always remember that life is an art. Don’t settle for good enough. Make your own life extraordinary. Take it that extra 10%.

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Evolution Revolution (Week 36)

by on Jun.07, 2010, under Blog

ontvNow I believe there comes a time
When everything just falls in line
We live and learn from our mistakes
The deepest cuts are healed by faith
Pat Benatar / All Fired Up

Last Friday I was struck by one of those ideas that comes from being immersed in the 5 Stages of the Creative Process. You see, like I said last week, I’ve been focused on developing the plan for next year in the Mac Lab (while simultaneously guiding you through the last weeks of this one). Without a moment’s warning, the idea struck. Oh, there’s no doubt that 90% of you will think this is insane and that’s just fine. For the other 10%, how does a Mac Lab Summer Academy™ sound?

Details coming soon.

Speaking of 10%… With only eight work days left (plus the final Mac Lab Saturday School™ this weekend) I sure hope everything is falling in line for you. You’ve been polishing your work, right? Like it says here:

The last 10% takes your project 90% of the way from good to great. Attention to detail is critical. But before you begin looking for little things to improve, start with the big ones. Is the composition balanced? Does it need to be cropped? Is it properly enhanced? Are your files the right size? Are they named correctly? Did you follow the instructions?

You’ve been working on your written component too, right? Video one and two. Remember to include the Elements and Principles and Color Theory. (Alternate links: E & P | CT)

Don’t sweat the InDesign portion of the process. I’ve been working on tutorials that will make this step as simple as possible. You’ll have plenty of time so long as you’ve been following instructions (see above). I’ll upload the new videos in the next few days.

Participation Points: Check the clipboard. Participation is up to 50% of your grade. If you owe time, make it up. If your name’s in RED, the Mac Lab is open a minimum of nine hours every day (6:15 to 3:15). I was here this morning at 5:15 (and the first student showed up at 6:10). If you want to come in earlier than 6:00 to work, just ask and I’ll show up. This Saturday the lab will be open for seven hours (5:30 to 12:30).

Deadlines: I like how Seth Godin suggests we call these live-lines in his blog post today. Nice coincidence, eh? Stay alive! Now that you know the song (and wish you could get it out of your head), read this one. For your own academic survival, know that your final project is due Wednesday, June 16, at the end of the period.

Kudos: Thanks to Shaun Cunningham, Danny Owens, and James Wirig for this week’s featured image video. Hey, Shaun’s not even in the Mac Lab any more. Well, except that he follows the blog and participates on projects via the Web.

Hey, that sounds like an idea we might utilize this summer! 😉

0608: Stay focused on your projects and follow instructions. Only seven work days plus Mac Lab Saturday School™ this weekend (5:30 to 12:30). Mac Lab Finals begin Thursday, June 17.

Reminder: Next Monday is NOT a Collaboration Day. First period begins at 7:25.

0609: So, Behance holds a world-wide competition (5 Weeks of 5), hosted by Adobe, and Mac Lab students submitted two entries. Michael Weekly won a copy of Photoshop Extended during Week 1 and the team of Christopher Canel, Kyle Wheaton, Danny Owens, and Zack Tatar won Week 5 yesterday with this submission:


Besides executing a terrific but challenging concept, they took their project the extra 10%. Perhaps even more importantly, they read and followed the rules, thereby setting themselves apart from the other entrants in yet another way.

Hmmm, following instructions and going the extra 10%… where have I heard that before? 😛

Their prize, btw, is a copy of Adobe’s CS5 Master Collection (retail value $2,599). I’ll speak with Adobe to see what, if anything, can be done to exchange the professional version for multiple copies of the student version. (Don’t hold your breath, guys. It’s a long-shot.)

Countdown: Only six work days until finals start on June 17.

In Appreciation: A special thank you to the Wollitz family for their generous $100 donation to the Mac Lab.

0610: Quite the buzz in class yesterday about the difference between the full and academic versions of software. I heard otherwise intelligent students claiming that the academic versions are crippled in some nefarious way and that it’s no good because it places watermarks on final projects!

HELLO?! We use academic versions of the software. Have you seen any watermarks lately? Have you seen any tutorials that distinguish between feature sets of the two versions? The programs function the same way.

That brought on the debate about the cost and how stupid professionals must be to pay full retail. I really thought we’d covered this early in the year. For those who’ve forgotten, here’s a refresher…

The Master Collection costs $2,600. That is the retail value and, as I’ve said, I consider that a very fair price. This is serious, professional-grade software. It is used in business for commercial purposes. (People make money using it. Lots of money.)

Of course schools, with few exceptions, could never afford to purchase the software at the full retail price. Adobe, like many companies, offers academic pricing so that we may equip our labs and train students for careers in the field (their customers of tomorrow). The site licensing pricing is the ONLY way we could ever equip our labs with such powerful tools for you to use.

Individuals who wish to purchase academic versions from Adobe (or licensed academic resellers) must provide proof of enrollment (or employment for educators). Once out of school, can you cheat and lie to continue to purchase the academic version of the software? Of course. You can even steal it through warez communities. (Enjoy the malware that comes along for the ride!) We all have the opportunity to cheat and lie and steal through our lives.

But then there’s those dog-gone consequences to face.

Our society, to a large extent, depends on individuals freely choosing to do the right thing. It’s as I’ve written:

Of all the lessons in the Mac Lab, the most important have nothing to do with media arts. The most consistent, persistent lessons I teach revolve around personal responsibility and doing the right thing. (Remember, my favorite quote is Richard Bach’s: You teach best what you most need to learn.) I make no secret of the fact that I was a surly, arrogant, know-it-all (or at least I thought I did) or that I made foolish choices in high school. Above all else, I try to teach the kids to be responsible, reliable, moral, ethical, honest, dedicated, hard-working individuals. I encourage them to dream, to choose wisely, to learn from their mistakes, and to just do something! Above all, I try to persuade them to look within, to search for what it is they want to do in life, to find their bliss and work to make it a part of their individual lives.

Or, if you prefer, I’ve said it in fewer words:

Battles rage within us all, where truth is compromised
There dreams, like tissue paper wings, are torn and tossed aside

Don’t let that happen to your dreams.

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

Countdown: Only five work days — plus the final Mac Lab Saturday School™ this weekend (5:30 to 12:30) — until finals start on June 17.

0611: On Monday, you’ll use the new InDesign tutorials to assemble your chapter of our book. Ideally, you’ve already written the required information: Video one and two. Remember to include references to how you’ve used the Elements and Principles and Color Theory in three of your projects. (Alternate links: E & P | CT)  If you’ve done that, continue to polish old projects and/or create new ones. Make your chapter shine!

Reminder: Tomorrow’s Mac Lab Saturday School™ is 5:30 to 12:30. (A whopping 7 hours of fun!) Come early if you want to claim your computer before the line begins to form. Remember what happened last year

At 7:25 during the 19th and final Mac Lab Saturday School™ of the 08/09 school year, there were 55 students in the room. (The clock always reads 10:30, and if you’re counting, the others are out of frame behind the file cabinet, far right.) When I got here at 6:15, 27 students were waiting outside. (Kevin L and Atheer M were first in line at 5:40.) Thankfully, the incoming flow tapered off and “only” 65 kids showed up. 

Reminder: Next Monday is NOT a Collaboration Day. It’s a regular bell schedule. First period begins at 7:25, second at 8:25 (just like today).

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Pixar Parallels (Week 35)

by on May.30, 2010, under Blog

julia_wolfie_smWith only weeks to go before the film is released, the audio mixers at Skywalker Sound combine dialog, music, and sound effects. Every nuance is adjusted and readjusted. After a four-year production process, it can be hard to let go of Woody, Lotso, Buzz, and the rest of the characters. “We don’t ever finish a film,” Unkrich says. “I could keep on making it better. We’re just forced to release it.”
Wired Magazine article: How Pixar Works

When reading that article, I was struck by the parallels between Pixar’s process and our own. In that paragraph alone, consider…

We have only weeks to go before you’re released. Some of you have learned to sweat every nuance, adjusting and readjusting elements of your projects. For a few of you, it has been (or will be) a four-year process and I have to admit that it’s often hard to let go of some of you characters. And, as you well know, we could always keep on making our art better but we face the same looming presence as Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich: Deadlines.

Elsewhere in the article…

Pixar has made nine films, and every one has been a smashing success.

I’ve overseen nine years in the Mac Lab (counting that first half-year) and each has seen it’s share of smashing student successes. Don’t get me wrong; we have a long way to go in order to even begin to approach Pixar’s consistent excellence. I don’t deny that I’ve also presided over an abundance of mediocrity in those same nine years, but there’s no denying that each annual installment of The New and Improved Mac Lab™ has featured an ever-growing number of examples of unprecedented student achievement.

As a result, the studio has built a team of moviemakers who know and trust one another in ways unimaginable on most sets.

The question I’m asked most often by other educators is: How do you do it? They want to know how I’m able to motivate kids to produce work that’s so technically and artistically proficient. The answer, that others have such a hard time understanding, is that I don’t do it, the kids do. The way I see it, my primary job is to create the environment — to establish the culture — in which collaborative creative excellence can and will flourish. I may set the bar high, but the kids do all the jumping (with veterans usually leading the way). I just apply a nudge now and then to keep the crew heading in the right direction.

Which explains how they can handle the constant critiques that are at the heart of Pixar’s relentless process. …they ruthlessly “shred” each frame.

At the last Platt College Advisory Board meeting, the industry experts were unanimous in encouraging Platt’s instructors to be honest (and brutal when necessary) when critiquing student work. I imagine most of you would agree that my critiques can be brutally honest. Those critiques, however, have played their part in helping to establish you as the premiere high school new media artists in the area. And that’s the primary reason a private college asked a simple high school teacher to sit on their advisory board four years ago.

It’s important that nobody gets mad at you for screwing up. We know that screwups are an essential part of making something good. That’s why our goal is to screw up as fast as possible.

This one applies to me more than the kids. Sure, they make mistakes (and experience their inevitable consequences) but the monumental screwups are all mine. After all, when I make bad decisions, they often affect over 200 students. This year’s monumentally huge screwup involved granting creative freedom far earlier in the year than ever before. While some students flourished, others floundered. For some in the latter group, none of my subsequent interventions served to resuscitate those flatliners. A major long-term screwup on my part! But as I’ve written

There’s a bittersweet feeling in approaching the end of a school year. Before celebrating the successes, I’m always lashed with regrets. Wondering what I could have done differently. Wondering why I failed yet again to reach that ever-present cluster of flatliners. Wondering why… Then before the flogging kicks into high gear (I have years of practice and sometimes get carried away), I glance at the Wall of Fame™ and know that the victories outweighed the defeats.

Ain’t that the truth! And oh, the plans I’ve already made for next year. It’s going to be epic! 😛

••••• ••••• ••••• ••••• •••••

A Tip o’ the Hat: Thanks to Julia Henderson for this week’s featured image. Julia’s work already has a Disneyesque quality. Next year she’ll follow (and help to craft) a customized curriculum designed to further develop and sharpen her already considerable talents. One day we’ll say: We knew her before she became a famous illustrator.

You’re Going to be in Another Book: Besides the recently released Paint the World with Light, Jeff Witchel, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign Certified Instructor (and all around great guy), informed me that he’s included the following acknowledgment at the beginning of his forthcoming InDesign Tips book:

A very special thank you to computer graphics teacher Mike Skocko and his amazingly talented students at Valhalla High School in El Cajon, California. Keep asking those great question that have led to some of my favorite tips.

I’ll let you know once it’s published. And sign up for Jeff’s Tip of the Day!

Final Exam: Begin collecting your 10 (or more) best projects for the final. Ask at least three others if your examples are ready for prime time (or if they can be improved). Hint: They can and should be improved. The projects you pick will represent your year’s growth as an artist, so choose wisely.

I’m still waiting on a definitive answer on the best method to proceed using InDesign (and how to include video). For now, focus on putting your best work forward and don’t worry about InDesign.

Countdown: 12 work days (plus two Mac Lab Saturday Schools, June 5 and 12) until finals begin on June 17. (The day before Toy Story 3 is released!)

Tomorrow: Initial instructions regarding the written component.

0602: The written component of the final exam. Grammar and spelling count. Please take the time to write coherently. Use TextEdit to draft your initial comments (it’s in Applications). Do not indent. Do not use italics. Do not change fonts. Do not change the size of the font. Do not change the color of the font. Do not format your text at all. Just type, using two returns for paragraph breaks. You’ll copy and paste this into InDesign in a few days.

Title: This is important and we’ll cover it again in the InDesign tutorials. Everyone’s title needs to follow the same format. The titles will be used by InDesign to generate the table of contents so it’s important that you title yours exactly as follows:

Period Last Name First Name

A student named Sally Jones in 2nd period would title her chapter: 02 Jones Sally

Save your TextEdit file the same way: 02 Jones Sally.rtf (yes, we’re using caps and spaces).

Additional Instructions: Watch this video to get started. Get it? Good. Now watch this video.

Familiar Links: Elements and Principles and Color Theory. (Alternate links: E & P | CT)

Today: You’ve got a sub today so be good (or you’ll pay the price). Almost forgot… I’ve got one final question for you.

0603: The bad news is that I’m not sure if we’ll get a new roll of paper for our Epson 9880 until the fall. The good news? I’ve got a new printer lined up for the Mac Lab. A true technological breakthrough! See it here. On a far more serious note, if you won’t wear a seat belt for yourself, how about doing it for the ones who love you? Click.

Countdown: 10 work days (plus two Mac Lab Saturday Schools, June 5 and 12) until finals begin on June 17. I better stop writing and let you get to work now.

0604: Students often ask why I don’t create art. Truth is, there’s a part of me that wants to spend hours and hours lost in the creative process. But I’ve chosen to become a teacher and this is my passion now. Sure, I take photographs and have linked to four pages of my shots in Inspiration ( 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 ). The blog is my (somewhat) creative writing outlet but I try to share my ideas with you. What ideas? Last week I shared the Star Trek Rule of Thirds Concept with you. Will it ever see the light of day? Well, I spent about four hours capturing 150 frames of the first eight minutes of the movie and here’s the initial test.

Good or bad, that test was the result of frame by frame examination of the movie. Oh, some of the tricks the special effects artists used! You can’t see what they’re doing at full-speed. I’ll have to share some of these in the future.

Special Thanks: The Canel family stepped up to help the Mac Lab once again by donating $200 via the Foundation so we can begin printing again. (The paper will arrive today or Monday.) Qualcomm will once again match the donation bringing the Canel’s total contribution to $2,900!

Tomorrow: Mac Lab Saturday School™ will end at 11:00 tomorrow as my daughter will be performing with other Hillsdale students at the House of Blues downtown at 12:30. I will arrive around 5:30 if you want to get an early start on the day. The final MLSS™ will be next Saturday. The last one is always a zoo with 68 students showing in ’08 and 65 in ’09. Details here.

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Stay Focused (Week 30)

by on Apr.26, 2010, under Blog

kyle_w_dancecrew_smBatting clean up, leading off, you following my drift?
Seeming things not always are, but answers can we sift
Many meanings have few words, and some are even true
Sometimes three roads lead one to, a fourth that no one knew
Footsteps blaze the trail taken, a path that we’ll create
Just because you’re following, don’t mean I can’t relate
Skocko / Dream Yet Complete

Seven and a half weeks. That’s all the time we have before finals begin and another school year winds to a close. It’s time to focus on the set of projects you’ll select for your chapter in our iBook. The workflow in InDesign CS5 is substantially different than CS4 so please hold off on that phase of the project until CS5 arrives. I’ve been in contact with Adobe and there’s a chance we may receive our software in a timely manner this time around. Either way, there will be plenty of time to assemble your chapter, following the step-by-step videos I’ll provide.

Don’t worry about the written component yet; focus on your projects. Keep in mind all the fundamentals we’ve built upon this year, especially the Elements and Principles and Color Theory. (Alternate links: E & P | CT) We’ll also talk a bit about hue, saturation, and value.

Need an Idea? As it says on the Jobs Page: The Mac Lab is looking for posters to promote the Elements and Principles of Design, Color Theory, etc. The Geometric Spectrum (Craig U) is a wonderful example of how you might answer the call. The Rhythm of Art just popped into my mind. (Think repetition and pattern… The recurrence of elements within a piece: colors, lines, shapes, values, etc.)

Need Help Learning New Skill-Sets? CS5 Central has new links. Thousands of Mac Lab Tuts may be found here and scattered throughout the Blog. Heck, if nothing else, check here for some ideas.

Yes, as the stanza at the top of the page intimates, we’ve boldly gone where no Mac Lab student (or teacher) has gone before. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still discover new creative worlds. Focus (Kyle W) on the fundamentals. Fundamentals are fuel for the creative engine.

Scholarship Opportunity: East County group offering five $1,000 scholarships to GUHSD students. Deadline is Friday. Here’s the official line:

As many of you have been made aware, the Leadership East County Association has recently developed the Future Vision Scholarship Program to assist under-privileged students in the Grossmont Union High School District who otherwise may not have the means or opportunity, but are pursuing higher education.

Scholarships will be awarded based on the student’s application presentation, references, and essay questions. In addition, based on the feasibility, thoughtfulness, and creativeness of the essays, one of the five awardees projects will be chosen to receive $5,000 funding toward project completion at the students school.

Very few students will take the time to follow the instructions so your chance of winning is very high if you follow the all of the instructions. Here’s the application (fill it out at home, not in class). Yes, it might take three or four hours to do it right. When’s the last time you made $250 an hour?

Mac Lab iDevTeam: Justin at CartoonSmart has agreed to be our business partner in developing apps for the iPad. He’s provided these tutorials and is developing a new set specifically for the iPad. See me to obtain your copy of the tuts.

Palm Café Redesign: The Director of Food Services is planning on stopping by next week to check on our progress. Details on Jobs Page.

Got Plans?: This Friday is the deadline for Got Plans? poster submissions. Details on Jobs Page.

A Flaming Waste of Time: Not all experiments succeed. Flame and all related pages on are off-limits for the remainder of the year. One hour penalty for defying this directive. If you want to earn the right to use it again, create something worthwhile at home and show me a gallery-worthy composition.

0427: Maybe it’s because of that lost 4G iPhone but for whatever reason, folks are hitting this page a lot recently. I find that interesting because it applies to this year as well. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

0428: The Tutorial Page has been updated to include other obscure, semi-hidden examples of video goodness. I’d continue to collect loose ends but am currently focused on learning new CS5 skills for the videos you’ll find here soon. Your turn to focus: Create great art and service our clients. Discover what’s within you.

0429: It’s that time of the year when kids are asking the same questions their peers asked in years past. Rather than rambling on about what you should already know, please watch the first 31 seconds of this video. Remember all these videos?

Reminder: Got Plans? posters are due tomorrow. Details on the Jobs Page.

What’s Your Balance? Participation is worth up to 50% of your grade. Have you checked the time sheets lately? Is your name RED? Is your balance negative? Progress Reports are next Friday. Make up your time! (It always amazes me that some students ignore this.)

Stay inspired and check these at home sometime.

Rare After School Update: I try to stay current in tech trends and current events. It’s an enormous effort eating hours each day but I feel it makes me a better teacher. Sure, sometimes I get caught flat-footed and miss something obvious but all things considered, I feel I’m better informed than the average tech teacher.

So what? Big deal. I’ve got an inflated image of myself. What’s the point?

The point, dear reader, is that a situation has arisen that I’m unable to wrap my head around. Please allow me to explain…

We all know that we’re living in a 24 hour news cycle where quite often fiction and rumor pose as truth. Rumor sites, fan sites, blogs, and pseudo-news sites scrabble after and republish the tiniest shred, the barest hint of a story to scoop the competition. Right? A new product launch, such as Adobe’s CS5 suite of applications, would surely qualify as big news, right? It’s all about driving traffic, right? So why, I’ve been asking for the past 24+ hours, isn’t the whole tech, photography, and digital art world focused on what seems to be the story that makes all of our hearts swoon?

My daughter wants to play basketball so I’ll get to the point. Yesterday I got an email from CreativePro (via their newsletter, creativeprose). The first line is: Starting this Friday, April 30, you can download free trial versions of the Adobe Creative Suite 5 applications.

What the?! Really?

Next it says: Adobe is sponsoring a 5 Weeks of 5 Competition that starts April 30. Okay, you need CS5 to participate in a competition that starts tomorrow but NOWHERE ON THE INTERNET IS INFORMATION ABOUT THE IMMINENT RELEASE OF CS5 TO THE MASSES.

You see my problem? I’ll write more but my 13-year-old hoopster is calling right now.

Okay, 21 – 19, the old guy wins (but is beat up mercilessly in the process). The point is: What if CS5 is available for download tomorrow? Why the fish isn’t the whole Web a’quiver with the story? How could I see something so clearly when the Web is silent?

If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. But, dang, if I’m right, how in the World Wide Web do you explain the deafening silence?

0430: WOW! CS5 Master Collection installed on 45 student workstations in less than two hours. Go to CS5 Central and look for CS5 Specific Sites within the Individual CS5 App Pages. (Am updating this right now. Should be good to go by 2nd period.)

Important: When launching a CS5 app, select Trial and skip the Adobe ID step. As soon as Adobe provides us with our serial numbers we’ll escape the trial version restrictions. Have fun exploring our new tools!

Reminder: Mac Lab Saturday School™ tomorrow. As usual, I’ll arrive around 6:15. Progress reports next Friday. Next MLSS™ is May 22.

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Final Stretch (Week 27)

by on Apr.05, 2010, under Blog

philip_b_got_plans_03_smKnow this and know it well: time is never wasted. Wherever we go, whatever we do, everything is an aspect of education. Even when we don’t immediately grasp the lesson.
Robert Silverberg / Lord Valentine’s Castle

Finals begin in 11 weeks (0617). How will you spend what time we have left? What will your lesson be? Are you one who considers the blog a waste of time? (Read the second paragraph, if nothing else.) Are you one of my academic doppelgangers? (Third paragraph) What will the future hold for man or woman you’re to become? Though miracles do sometimes happen, it’s probably not a good idea to expect one to save you too.

If you haven’t already, please read the Spring Break post before beginning to work today.

Reminder: Make some plans for your own future (Philip B).

0406: The statistics don’t lie. Not everyone followed the links (above) yesterday. Rather than declaring another Groundhog Day and repeating the process, as we have several times in the past, I’m going to let you decide how to proceed. Call it an experiment in self-government. Like I wrote a few minutes ago, I just want you guys to be responsible and reliable.

Final Exam Requirement: We’re going to publish a book. That’s right, a book. And you’re going to write it. Well, at least part of it. More details will be coming soon but if you want to blame someone for this new requirement, blame Terry White.* He’s the one who gave me the idea. Smack in the middle of this review (Command-F and search for: epub) is the heading: Making your own iBooks. He’s even got a link to a how-to video (you don’t have to watch it) that sealed the deal. We can and we will do this. Your art and written reflections of your Mac Lab experience will fill the pages. You’ll each have your own chapter. Heck, we may just use the iPad and projector to present the book during finals.

WARNING: That last sentence has the distinct feel of inevitability. 😛

*Did anyone notice his motto? If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? I love it!

Speaking of loving it, the video team now has its own blog. Mac Lab Media is yet another way that Mac Lab students are poised to rewrite education history.

Note: Zack Tatar’s latest post includes light painting with his cousin (who just happens to work at a pretty cool company). Our own Light Painting Gallery has been updated as well. Where’s your latest masterpiece?

0407: You’re in luck. Since I was busy all morning writing a very cool company on behalf of the iPad App Development Team, it’s a work day. If you need ideas, there are new projects on the Jobs Page and Inspiration always beckons. Oh, and did I mention Grand Central Linkage? While you’re working, keep your own chapter of the first Mac Lab iBook in mind. Think: 5 Stages. Where are you in the process? How will you set yourself apart?

Another Idea: Are some of your old projects in need of polishing? Do you remember that this is not only allowed, it is expected! I want to see your best work in the iBook. (Thanks to Philip for this reminder.)

0408: Christopher and Kyle got together 7th period and succeeded in the proof of concept for our iBook project. So long as you follow some very simple directions (coming soon), this will be a gorgeous way to present your work! The iPad will be available for viewing the initial iBook example today (after I introduce it at the start of each period). I’m going to suggest a few changes and we’ll have a more focused example by next Monday. (No pressure, guys.) 😉

The CS5 Master Collection: It’s bought, paid for, signed, sealed, and almost delivered. The official unveiling is Monday at 8:00. I’ll be streaming the presentation in the lab. (Hopefully Adobe will be able to support the bandwidth demands.) I wish I could tell you more but I agreed to honor the NDA. Adobe hasn’t announced shipping dates so I don’t know when we’ll get our copy. All I know for sure is that it has freakin’ unbelievable features! (No lie. Some of what I’ve seen borders on science fiction.)

Cameras: Several of you have yet to return cameras from last weekend. Bring them back tomorrow morning or lose the right to check out cameras for the next month. And to whomever has the missing multicolored flashlight: Please return it tomorrow. Thanks.

0409: What a great way to start the day! I hope some of you are feeling the same enthusiasm for the iBook final. I’ll have something new to show you on Monday. As will some other folks. Streaming begins at 8:00. We have the coolest tools in the universe! Well, almost.

Reminder: Mac Lab Saturday School™ tomorrow. As always, I’ll arrive around 6:15.

Light Painters: The Moon won’t rise until (about) 4:00 this weekend so the nights will be dark. Take advantage!

Need Ideas? I’ll be expanding the Jobs Page again this morning. Improve your self portrait, your logo (including the much-neglected 3D version), your illustrations (including this style), and all the rest. 3D students especially need to step up! What about this style of 3D render? Too easy and way too cool! Always, always, always refer to Inspiration to feed your creative self.

New Release: The Video Team has a few finishing touches left but here’s the first video in their Stop Bullying Campaign. Reminder: We’re still looking for Stop Bullying posters. More info on the Jobs Page.

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