My Relationship with Images

This is me. This is me all last week. This is me trying to do Edublogs Teacher’s Challenge Kick Start Activity 4 and Kick Start Activity 5.

As you can see from the picture above, Images and I are just not friends. We have this delicate relationship. Images likes to be moody, temperamental, difficult and just down right stubborn. Images doesn’t listen. Images doesn’t hear my needs preferring instead to do what it wants. My relationship with Images has become quite torn. We’re at crossroads. Do we continue down the path of stress, anxiety, loss of sanity or do I make a break and run?

I prefer the latter, simply because I’ve vowed this year to get confident with Web 2.0 tools and to become a much more active Blogger. My relationship with Images is just one hurdle in this new challenge.

Learning about RSS and creating my Avatar last week was tough. Task 4 has been the hardest for me so far and I really didn’t think it would be at all. It was fiddle-y and draining. I knew vaguely what RSS was but had never really used it because I really hadn’t read that many blogs until I started doing this challenge. I’m still learning all the functions of Google Reader but it seems, so far, to be a good platform in which to read everything. It keeps everything in the one place. It will certainly make it easier. Visiting one site instead of all your favourite sites is a real plus.

Choosing the blogs to put into my reader has been exhausting. I looked through all of them on the Edublogs Award site (and I literally mean every. single. one.) and was totally amazed at the quality of the blogs. I am enjoying reading them and discovering more and more blogs as the days go on. The Discussion Question asked us how we thought RSS could be used with students. At the time, I really wasn’t sure because it was all very new to me. Now though, having had some time to think about it, I think it could be a fabulous way to encourage students to read. As a Drama/English teacher, using blogs would not only allow students to connect with each other but they would be reading things that are of interest to them whilst at the same time learning about language functions.

The thing I found hardest was creating my Avatar! I’ve used pictures of favourite musicals for years which I feel is representative of my interests in some ways but when I read Sue’s tips about creating a “positive digital identity”, something that identifies you online, I stopped and really thought about it. Did my avatar really represent me? I tried Mr Picassohead and it frustrated the hell out of me. I’m no Picasso that’s for sure. Then I remembered creating a Simpson’s avatar a while back so I went back there and tried again. I wanted something that captured my black frizzy hair and I think The Simpsons avatar doesn’t do too badly. I’m not even that huge a fan of The Simpsons but I guess I just felt it captured me best. I struggled so much with the saving and cropping in MSPaint and even though I changed it to 97×97 pixels it still seems a bit grainy to me.

That’s another thing I’ve noticed with this week’s challenge about enhancing posts with images. The graininess of images. I mucked around in Picture Manager resizing my photos and mucking around with effects only to find that the picture wasn’t particularly clear and rather small. Perhaps it was just the photo I had chosen but I can’t say I liked my effort.

I’ve included my crappy looking photos to show you that this has all been a process that I am still ironing out all the kinks to.

I didn’t know Creative Commons existed so that has been really interesting to learn about. I have struggled however with trying to insert images from Creative Commons into my posts using the right click “Copy Image URL” function. Thus, Images and I not being on the best of terms with each other at the moment. I think there might be another woman – the computer operating system. I have no proof yet though*.

Looking at the sites available to create your own images has been such an eye opener because I really didn’t know so much fun stuff was available. Hopefully, as a result of my blog being an enormous success, this will be me this year:

All in all a tough challenge but I learnt a whole heap. I’m glad there are sites out there like Creative Commons that make it easier for us to access images for our blogs without breaching copyright. I think it’s an excellent resource in itself to teach students about plaigiarism and the need to acknowledge other’s work. I don’t know if I’m that keen to put my own images into blog posts just yet.

Images and I need to take some time to heal and work on moving forward.

*Sue has since confirmed for me that is was “another woman” stuffing up my ability to use Creative Commons images. I have since learnt about Firefox. Who knew that you didn’t have to use IE to browse the web? Not me, that’s for sure.

Image 1: Photo by pollyalida licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Image 2: Created in Crappy Graphs @ http://crappygraphs.com

Image 3: “Karla O” avatar created @ http://www.simpsonsmovie.com/main.html?cid=us

Image 4: “My Name In Lights”. Copyright Karla O. 2011.

Image 5: Fake TIME Magazine Cover, Created @ http://www.fakemagazinecover.com

14 Comments

    • Oona,

      I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one! It’s seriously been so hideous trying to put these images in a post. I’ve been sitting on the post all week because I just couldn’t get it right! I appreciate you continuing to visit my blog and supporting my writing and thoughts. Thanks.

  1. Oh Karla, I can so relate to your pain. I was following your thread with Sue re the difficulties you were having because I was having the exact same problems. I had heard my own children talking about Firefox but didn’t know anything. Now I’m flipping from one browser to another with ease. This wasn’t exactly how I thought I’d spend Australia Day but it was really too hot to be doing much else. I go back to school on Friday. Not sure where I will find the time to complete the rest of the Challenges then. They have been so time consuming for me…but alot of fun.
    Do feel free to check out my page and my images.

  2. Carla, What fun your Images post is! You are a true drama queen. Obviously, you are getting a handle on Images. You have problems I’ve never even considered before. Congratulations on a great post. I love your Fake Time Magazine cover.

  3. Hi Karla,
    Thanks for checking out my post and adding your comments.
    I couldn’t help but laugh at your first image “this is me” because how could that be YOU when it was ME too???? I think there are many of us in this challenge that are feeling challenged – I guess that this the best part of the 30 Day Challenge. We are each pushing ourselves to limits we didn’t know we could (like Lyn who is going from one browser to the next with ease). It’s a great learning curve for us all and it’s nice to know we are not alone.
    Loved your post – filled with humor and info!
    Thanks.

  4. Pingback: Fantastic Find: Open Attribute « Drama Teacher's Network

  5. Hello.

    I am really glad I came across your post. I am currently completing challenge 5 and struggling with images as well. Yesterday, I became so frustrated with the whole creating an avatar i wanted to cry. I was finally able to create one and upload it using mad men yourself (http://www.amctv.com/madmenyourself/).

    I see you have been blogging for a while now, have things gotten better? How long did it take before you were comfortable with everything (or most)? My blog is just getting started, but please feel free to visit and leave me some helpful tips or just say hi ( http://rolandteach.edublogs.org/).

    Thanks for sharing your experience,

    Roland

    • Hi Roland,

      Good on you for competing the Teacher Challenge. It completely changed my teaching. I’m sure it will for you too.

      Working with images was the most difficult part for me too. I had particular difficulty with inserting Creative Commons images into posts. By working through the Challenge I learnt about different web browsers and after discovering Firefox by work with Images became A LOT easier, lol. I haven’t created my own graphics yet. I’m sure that would be time consuming and fiddly.

      Blogging has become a little easier however and I really enjoy it. Although at the moment I am swamped at school and haven’t had a lot of time for it.

      Thanks for the Mad Men avatar suggestion. I have just started watching the show and am a big fan so I’m going to check it out. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. I will definitely head on over and check out yours.

      K.

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