Constructing Creative Communication Part 1

Hi and welcome back to my blog! In my Maker class, we’ve been working on a new and super fun project. This whole project has been about art, drawing and photography. The Carr section, the first part that I will be talking about, has been about drawing and graphic design. The other half, that will be in my next post, is about photography. For this project our driving question has been “Why is it important to use technology to further improve our ability to communicate and to think creatively?” this has been an interesting Driving question because it is the same one for both segments of this project, meaning that we will get two different perspectives on it. 

                 

The first thing that we did with this project was really to just get used to the tools that we had to use. The only drawing app that we were allowed to use was Sketches Pro. We started with some simple use of colour, lines, and shapes. We then tried to do some simple letter art and would later go on to try doing our names. This was very helpful because we started to get used to the tools, some I didn’t know about until I did this. 

Another important thing that we worked on was perspective. This was important because if the perspective of something is off, then the whole drawing looks strange. Because of how precise this had to be, it made it a lot harder. This was especially the case if you don’t have a clear horizon line to work off of. 

The final part of the project was probably the most fun. To start it off we had Chloe Devine zoom in and answer some questions for us. Chloe is a professional graphic designer that is currently doing work with logos. This was perfect because that was our last project, to create a logo. The logo was for an imaginary company that we created. The company needed to have a colour scheme, a slogan, and a certain product or service it provided. I choose to do a sport shop called Coast to Peak Sport Shop. It’s slogan was “From coast to peak we’ve got you covered” and the colour scheme was mostly blues and pinky colours. 

So, why is it important to use technology to further improve our ability to communicate and to think creatively? It’s important because it is an Important skill to be able to communicate with more than just words. Sometimes, it is easier to say something with an image, and these tools and apps that we have access to can make it so much easier, if you know what you’re doing. If you can’t get the perspective right or there is no colour or shading, then you can communicate the wrong message. It’s like if you’re building a house, instead of writing everything out you can just draw a blueprint. If you get something wrong, then the whole house could be wrong. In the end, part 1 of this project has been a really fun experience that has started to show me why it is important to use technology to further improve our ability to communicate and to think creatively.

Tectonic Chances

Welcome back! Lately, me and my scimatics group have been hard at work with our latest project, Tectonic chances. In this project we have been using probability and Plate Tectonics to create an unique and fun game. Me and my group, Makai and Magnus (you can check out their blogs here. Makai Magnus), worked together to create Disaster Island. 

How are thematic and mathematical elements used in game design? This has been our driving question throughout the project. To answer this question we dove into game design to see how it’s done. There have been many changes made to our game, I’ll talk about soon, and many things that still could use changing. To help with our understanding of probability we did a lot of work with dice and fractions. 

To start off this project we had to start thinking of game ideas. For this one, our groups weren’t finalized so we also had Cameron B. Our original ideas were similar to later on but much too complex. In the original it was much too hard and time consuming to get the keys, the extra life, and the wheel spins. Another difference was that some things, like the wheel spin, were optional. This made it too easy because, unless you went for these things, you wouldn’t even have a chance of getting the bad option. 

At the end of this project we started to finalize the game rules and then we had fun. We got to spend a bunch of time playing our game with other people, from our class and the other one, and we got to play other people’s games. This was a fun experience that further helped us understand how we can use thematic and mathematical elements in game design by seeing how other people did it.

Another important thing that we did was the mind map. We did a mind map at the start of the project to see some examples of what we know, think, wonder about, and some ideas for our games. As the project went on, we added more and more to it so we could see how far we came with our knowledge about plate tectonics, we also answered some of our questions. 

Throughout this project we have learned a lot about game design and the effort that goes into it. We have done a lot of work with tectonic plates and how they work, with them moving on top of the mantle and causing many things to happen. We also did a lot of work with probably and fractions using dice rolls. So, how are thematic and mathematical elements used in game design? Well, many games use some form of mathematical equations to help determine the outcome. Sometimes it’s using probability with dice, cards, or a spinner, and other times it’s using simple math like adding/subtracting or dividing/multiplying. Some games, like Monopoly, will use multiple of these things to make the gameplay more exciting. In the end, this project has taught me a lot about how thematic and mathematical elements are used in game design.

Me as a PLP learner

In this project we have done a series of things to answer the deriving question of How Do I Build And Strengthen The PLP Learning Team? This driving question is more or less asking what makes you unique in a learning environment and how can you apply that to the PLP team. This project was sort of our right of passage into the PLP team. It gave us an understanding of what future projects will look like. This project was also used to show us three things that we will need to know for the rest of our time in PLP. These three things are how to use our iPads to grow knowledge, how to become independent thinkers with PBL (project based learning), and why/how we are connecting our learning to real world experiences. To help us learn this we had 4 main things, the Big Life Journal, the User Manual, the Team Member Contract, and the keynote guided tour.

Big life journal is a journal that is asking us questions about who you are as a person. You need to know this because if you don’t know who you are and what your life goals are, then you have no chance of discovering who you are as a learner. Is you know what you love and want to do you can transfer that over to your learning. Later on in this project we had to pick our three favourite parts of the BLJ to improve and put into our keynote presentation (more about that later).

Our user manual was a way of telling other people about you, as a learner and a person. For the user manual we had to take our mentor text (the user manual that our teachers did) and make ours look as close to it as possible. The user manual had to include a lot of facts about ourselves like our age, some of our settings (different ways we act), warnings about us, and ways to maintain optimal performance, aka how to keep me happy.

Another thing that we did was the team member contract. The team member contract is a page that we made on our learning portfolios that is a promise to all our future team members. In it we talk about how we work as a team and what we will and wont do while in the team. Mine was mostly talking about how I organize people and take charge, a nicer way of saying that I am bossy, and the promise I made was that I would do my best to listen to everyone and not only use my ideas.                            Link to my contract

The final, and biggest thing that we did was the Keynote Guided Tour. Our task for this was to take everything that I just talked about, plus a few more things, and put it all into a presentation that we showed to all of the PLP 8 parents. Aside from the things I already talked about, I also included my physical representation and my I Am things. With my physical representation I had to pick one of three boxes that was filled with random things and I could only use that to make something that showed who I am as a learner. For this I made a little person holding a list and with a lightbulb. For my I Am WordPack I had to put down things that people should know about me, while with my I Am statement I put down something that people know about me just by looking at me. Once we had put together this whole presentation we showed it to that PLP 8 parents by setting up a themed area with our table groups. Me and my group (Cameron, Ronan, Kate, Julia, and Luca) had a sport themed area. The way that it represented our learning was that we work as a team, like a sport team. After presenting our tours we received feedback from our parents and then we were officially PLP learners.

With this project I have had a lot of different strengths and stretches. My strengths throughout this project have been being able to use my iPad in a way where I can really start to make things look really cool. I think this shows with my keynote tour because I was able to navigate many different apps in order to make it look the way it does and be original. Some of my stretches in this project have been the team challenges and even ushering my learning portfolio. With the team challenges, a bunch of random challenges we did with our table group to get us used to working as a team, my team would do good on a few, but I feel that with most of them we would end up with a mess on the floor. Most of the time when we didn’t do so well it was because we got cocky towards the end and messed something up. The reason that my learning portfolio (my blog) is a stretch is because I’ve really not gotten the hang of it yet and I sometimes find myself struggling with it.

To answer the driving question, how do I build and strengthen the PLP learning team, I’ve had to learn a lot about myself. Ive learned that the way that I strengthen the PLP learning team is by being the person that will organize elements of a project and enhance the team’s performance, making everything run smoothly. In the end, this has been a really fun introduction for the PLP and an amazing way to discover who I am.

Medium is the Message

How does what we see, hear, and read influence us? This has been the question that we have been trying to answer from the start. To answer this question we have really started diving into the world of advertising by making our own advertisements. For this project me and my group (Cameron, Ronan, Kate, Julia, and Luca) were teamed up with a local business to create our own ads. The goal of this project is to build our understanding of media and messaging so we can answer our driving question.

 

This slideshow shows all of the drafts that I had to construct and revise to get to my finished product. The main things that changed a lot throughout this ad was the layout and the photos. With every draft something was changed, no matter how small, to make it closer to what our business wanted.

Once my group had our first group advertisement done we got on a zoom call with Mr.Hepburn and got some amazing, specific feedback. He gave us a list of things that we could do to improve our advertisement. Some of the things on this list included marketing the background more simple, getting rid of the clear boxes, and changing out slogan to make it more catchy.

Another important thing that we did in this project was the historical media perspective. In this we had to look back at some advertisements from the past so we could learn some of their techniques and so we could see how ads have changed. By seeing what techniques have changed and what have stayed the same we can know what works and what doesn’t.

 

This has been a really fun project that has taught me a lot about media around us and how it influences us. Throughout this project I did really well with working with my team (even if I did get a bit bossy sometimes) and taking feedback to make my ads the best that I could. Even though I did well with all that, I still feel like I could have done a lot better if my group and I had worked a bit harder at getting stuff done early and not having to rush it.

So, how does what we see, hear, and read influence us? It influences us by using a number of little tricks. All these tricks, like using pathos, logos, and ethos or using a celebrity, are used to make you think about the product, even if you don’t realize it. It’s like when you hear a little jingle/song about a product and it gets stuck in your head forever. All these things influence us to buy the product, without necessarily realizing it.

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