30 Days of Learning Day 2: Collaborative Learning with Photoshop, Youtube and Braeden

20140523-063526-23726793.jpgWhat did you learn today?

Today, I learned to never underestimate the creativity of a kid with a vision. Ok, to be fair…I knew this already, but today’s point of view was further amplified by the fact that we were both learning something new.

I’ve been a Photoshop user for years and by user, I mean that I get by with the most basic of skills. I make banners for my blog and toy with font. That’s about it!

Before I even saw Braeden today, I made photoshop a personal goal of mine so I buried myself in Lynda.com, got side-tracked and started doing what most people do when that happens…switched to youtube. I watched Swoozie’s “Cheating in School” videos and found myself enamored with animation which led me to Deviant Art Muro which is an amazing web based FREE art tool. Check out the link to it in the Chrome Web store…Hello Chromebooks!!

deviantART muro

If you’re with me, I started out trying to learn something about photoshop. I ended up on youtube and then finding another creativity tool which happens to be a Chrome App. I’ll definitely add DeviantART muro to my “learning list” but until then, I decided to check youtube for photoshop and that’s when Braeden showed up.

Learning From and With A Global Learner

I’ve never shown Braeden my photoshop but as soon as he saw it, his eyes lit up. See, he has been watching videos on animation and in many of his videos…users were using photoshop so he had an idea of what it was. We started with trying to learn the pen tool by tracing an image of him. It’s not as simple as it looks but then again, we didn’t start from “photoshop lesson 1” which isn’t a bad thing but there were tricks that we did not know, like the difference in brushes.

Braeden was super excited to learn how to “trace himself” even though he felt like he was “cheating” because he was tracing. I found that interesting.

I think that you can learn just about anything through youtube and today’s lesson ended on lines and adding basic color. Tomorrow, we’ll have to work on shading as we did not get that far.

At any rate…the image below is where we are which isn’t that bad for a first time!


Thought Bubbles from the Day

I wrote a post earlier about “barriers to creativity” and I have to admit that it was very difficult to take my own advice. Braeden was learning the tool too but he had visions about his product. I found myself not listening to him even though he was right. No worries…not only did he correct me, he reminded me that I wasn’t being a good collaborator…which I found alarmingly true and ironic.

Quotes from the kid…

“I can just do what I want to do and make it happen. Can you just leave me alone?” (yes, you can fix your own thumb…he was right…I was wrong)

“To get what you want, you have to stop following the instructions” (Feel free to deviate from online instruction & chart your own path)

What I REALLY learned:

Kids are experts on learning and doing even when they aren’t sure of what to do. We have to empower them to shine by standing in the shade and letting them go. 

The secret sauce to being creative and learning must be void of two ingredients…Fear and Control.

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