Category Archives: Course 3

A Visual Symphony!

The final projects coming out of Course 3 are phenomenal!

It is clearly evident that Course 3 has had a positive impact on your ability to rethink the nature of design in our lives and the effect it has on our communications. There is evidence of your care and consideration in colour schemes, font choices, alignment, storytelling, presentation re-designs, and the ability to redefine storytelling for students. I heard many of you state that this course was the most enjoyable thus far and has allowed you to directly implement the learning in practice.

That’s what this is all about – it’s not about getting through course work – it’s about the shift that inevitably happens when you start to rethink how you present yourself to the world, how you convey your knowledge to others, how you can capture the attention of an audience and captivate them with strong imagery. It’s about helping you to see the world differently and empowering you to offer this chance to your students and peers.

Here’s a glimpse of some of your well-honed projects:

Visual Resumé/CV

In terms of visual CVs, noted was the struggle many of you had to simplify your information in not only a graphical manner, but also having to be much more concise than in a traditional resume. The end results were very good and demonstrate a new way of representing ourselves and our experience.

Mavis shares with us a before version of her resumé and reflects openly on how she applied new learning from the weekly readings into her updated version (below) using Piktochart and one of it’s free templates.

Lindsay also tried out Piktochart and using her new knowledge of visual literacy and infographics, she created this New and Improved Me infographic resumé. Linsday is also asking for any feedback you may have for her!

Digital Storytelling

This option was challenging to many people, but again there were some excellent examples of how it could be used in the classroom.

Laurie was very open and honest as to how her Building a Learning Commons project unfolded for her. Despite considering “giving up” on this option, I’m so glad that she didn’t.  I think Laurie shares an important point in her reflection too:

I’m insecure about sharing it, but if I want my students to take risks in creating and sharing content, I need to do the same.

YouTube Preview Image

Here’s a snippet of a very detailed reflection that James shared about Making a Video (worthwhile read)

One of the driving forces in making a video for my final project the teachable moment where I was able to share ideas for videos my students had made. I wanted to do this because there were so many mistakes with some video projects that I thought it would be a good idea to show students how to improve them, instead of talking about how I wanted to show them how.

YouTube Preview Image

Presentation Zen

More people in this cohort opted for this option than I have seen in previous cohorts. It was fantastic to see the principles of Presentation Zen applied – especially noticeable when comparing a newer version of a presentation to an older version!  You definitely need to click on the post URLs to see the differences between the versions.  Some “must sees” include:

Tara’s incredibly reflective post and her before and after Henri Mattisse Google Slide Presentation 

Andrew also shares an indepth reflection of his process called Moving My Zen in the Right Direction.

You are going to be blown away (like me) by the differences in Rob’s “In with the New” – he has really taken on board the Zen principles and applied to his newer version!

In her post, From Bland to GrandMiriam decided she needed to apply the skills she’d been learning this course to the presentation she was scheduled to present at NESA in Bangkok.  (I’m sure she nailed it too!)


There is real value in the process of describing a process, system or information in a visual manner. These can be authentically used and embedded in your classroom. Whilst it can be a lot of work to create them, the end result breaks down details into more manageable chunks for an audience. However, during the topic on Infographics, many of you saw (and mentioned in your reflection) the value of having students create infographics as a means of sharing their work/knowledge visually. Goosebump material! If you do this with students, PLEASE remember to share with us all how it goes! Educational Blog readers LOVE seeing examples of actual student work!

Anyone not on visual overload (in a good way) right now?

Multimedia & Attribution

Now that Course 2 is complete, we get a little tougher about the use of images on your blog and in your blog posts. It is our ethical and moral responsibility to ensure that we are modelling appropriate use of images/audio/video with permissions and attributions.

If you use a copyright image, and/or you don’t include attribution, your post grade will be affected. Thankfully, we actively encourage mastery at CoETaIL so you will always have the opportunity to amend your blog posts and seek a re-grade of your posts!


You must ensure that you have permission to use any image on your blog. We highly recommend the use of Creative Commons images (because the owner has already given permission for anyone to use the image as long as you give credit/attribution), or the use of your own images.  You can of course seek permission from the owner to use a copyright image but that can take time, hence the recommendation for Creative Commons images!
In this post, to help make the search for Creative Commons images a little easier, I shared some fabulous places to “go to” (and I’ve shared which ones are my favourite!)

Attribution (Giving Credit)

Image Attribution (Credit) must be included in your blog post. You must include attribution (credit) to the owner of any images you use. Include the owners’ name and a hyperlink back to where that image is on the web.

TIP: Don’t link to URLs that end in .jpg or .png – that’s not the correct hyperlink

You can also include the type of license (ie: Some Rights Reserved or CC) if you want to but it isn’t compulsory. I personally like to do it to show/clarify that the image isn’t mine and that I do have permission to use.  If I have special permission to use the image (ie I specifically asked the owner for permission & it was granted) I include the words “used with special permission”

Some bloggers like to include this in the image caption area.

caption attributionimage attribution

If you want the caption to hyperlink to the image you will need to use some html code like this:
<a href=“https://insert url of image here“>insert that you want to display in the blog post here</a>

Some bloggers (like Kim) prefer to include image attribution (credit) information at the end of their blog post.

kim's attribution

Even if the image is yours – you should still give attribution/credit! (That’s my image below and I blog under TeachingSagittarian). You could write “Own Image” in the caption if you prefer. It makes it clear that you haven’t omitted the attribution and shows that you’re not passing someone else’s image off as your own.

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 1.27.48 PM

Use what ever style of attribution suits you, as long as it is there in your post!

Important to Remember

Just because you attribute/give credit/hyperlink to an image – doesn’t mean that you have permission to use it.
Make sure you have permission first.

Silvia Tolisano has a fabulous post and infographic about this very thing! If you haven’t seen it/read it – I highly recommend it!

But What About Videos?

Videos are a little different and the use of Video (especially embedding Video from YouTube) can be a little unclear at times – YouTube videos are usually already Creative Commons – the uploader/owner of the video isn’t always required to state this though.  We err on the side of caution – if it’s on YouTube then we can embed in our blogs BUT it doesn’t hurt to include who’s video it is in a paragraph before embedding it in your post.

If in doubt about any image/audio/video – find something else. Create your own image/audio/video.  Or search a little deeper to find out if that image/infographic/video is licensed under Creative Commons.

And We’re Off! Course 3 Begins!

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and you were able to take a nice long, refreshing break from COETAIL!

Welcome to Course 3!

We’re already almost halfway through COETAIL!
Course 3 is all about visual literacy – understanding the impact of media and making use of the many different tools and strategies for communicating ideas using current and emerging media. There are lots of great opportunities for experimenting and trying the various tools to see how they can best support and enhance the learning in your classroom.  Here’s our Course 3 Overview:

Course 3: Visual Literacy: Effective Communicators and Creators
(SUNY: EDC 604 Authoring for Educators)
The curriculum of design and attention to aesthetic has always been the property of the visual arts, however as so much our media is now consumed and created electronically a new set of visual literacies have emerged. Awareness of how an audience interacts with that medium and how to take advantage of this to strengthen their message or purpose for communication will be addressed.

Just like last course, you will need to complete:

  • 1 blog post per week for each of the 5 weeks of the course
  • A final project (see more details about the final project after the Week 1 readings)
  • 1 additional blog post reflection on your final project  – for a total of 6 posts
  • 1 comment per week for each of the 5 weeks of the course – for a total of 5 comments

All of these items should be documented on your grading spreadsheet. (Please ensure that you copy and paste the URL of your “published” post into your grading spreadsheet – not the draft URL).

A few updates from the last two courses:

The final post for each course (reflection post): In addition to sharing/embedding the final project, the reflection is a really important part of each course. Whether your whole project is completed or not, (sometimes when the final project is a unit, you’ve yet to teach it or haven’t quite finished teaching it) you can still write your reflection. You can highlight the process you went through, some thoughts about your own learning or the learning you think your students will experience, your ideas and goals for using this unit or piece of work, and/or your thoughts about what you might change if you did it all over again.

The GRASPS Task in a UbD Unit: (If using this planner for a final project) This portion of the unit planner is intended to be given directly to students, and therefore written in student-friendly language, rather than the “students will…” format that you use during other unit planning formats. The idea is to give students context for the unit so they have a big-picture understanding, rather than just taking one lesson at a time.

What is Visual Literacy?

The idea of this first week is to explore what visual literacy means, and why it’s so important, particularly in our very media rich environment. Here are few videos that make spark your interest (along with all the other materials in Week 1):

You might also enjoy exploring these image-rich resources (we’ll be doing lots more with pictures as the course continues):

As you explore these videos and image resources, you may want to think about how you can apply them in your teaching. How they might change the classroom environment or help students think differently than a written or verbal prompt? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or in your week 1 blog post!