Blog Archive

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Digital Storytelling

For me, digital storytelling means empowerment. I believe that no matter who you are, and how old you are, each person has something to teach us, so digital storytelling is a great project for anyone. There are lots of great resources out there to learn about digital storytelling, and there are lots of ways you can do this cheaply and easily. (See my links at the top of my blog.) As an elementary school teacher, I'm also interested in how we can make this easy for even younger children to do. I have found that it is best to give them a prompt to get them going, and to keep it short and sweet. Another idea is to have each student contribute only one photo, and do one voice over for a group or class project. Here's an ideas of how you can use digital art instead of photos for the visuals. This short student sample from a third grader was the story about a real dream he had the night before. With a little "imagination" he was able to escape danger and unfortunate events by transforming his canoe whenever it was needed. Using only his finger and a free app. called "Doodle Buddy," he painted his story on the iPad. His voice overs were then added using iMovie.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Photoshop for Kids: Scratch Art

Here's a fun tutorial to do with your kids that's both easy and fun! This won the award for the best resource submitted at the Adobe Education Exchange, my new favorite "hangout" spot to "meet" like-minded, creative educators. I'm learning new tricks with Adobe software and thinking in a whole new way. Enjoy! Also, if you create any student samples, please send them my way, and I'll be sure to post them.

Scratch Art: Photoshop for Kids of All Ages from magrelacanela (Nicole) on Vimeo.

This is a fun tutorial for beginners, kids, or anyone teaching kids who likes scratch art. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Photoshop for Kids: Animation Made Simple

Photoshop for Kids (of all ages): Animation Made Simple from magrelacanela (Nicole) on Vimeo.

Here's a tutorial that teaches basic animation concepts right inside of Photoshop CS5 Extended. You can animate each layer's position and opacity, as well as animate 3D objects. If you find this tutorial helpful, and use it, please send me a link to your samples. Thanks!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just a few free/cheap resources for Digital Storytelling.

For those who aren't lucky enough to have cool software like iMovie, Premiere Elements, Camtasia, or even Power Point, there's always Brainshark. I like Brainshark for Digital Storytelling or even for creating online tutorials, and there are lots of reasons why I like it. First of all, it's FREE, and there is no software to download. It's also relatively easy to use, and it's easy to share your Brainshark presentations by emailing, posting a link, or by embedding it on your website. At first glance, it seems pretty simple and business-like, but I do believe there is a lot of potential for creativity here. Most importantly, it allows you to upload your own photos and then record your voice to match each slide. This way you can tell your story easily. There is even a small library of free, royalty-free music that you can add as background music, and that makes it all the more interesting. Lastly, if audio is what you want, you can download your audio recordings as MP3 files to use for podcasting. Cool! My sample video shows how these presentations can be done cheaply and easily using Brainshark combined with other free/cheap digital media making devices.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fotobabble and Psykopaint

Here's a digital painting that I made using a very cool and free online resource called "Psykopaint." I added audio using Fotobabble. It was lots of fun, and easy to make and share. For more details, listen to the audio recording.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Photoshop for Kids: Making 3D Objects

I love Photoshop, but I also love 3D...  Here's another tutorial for you.

Photoshop for Kids: 3D Objects from magrelacanela (Nicole) on Vimeo.

This tutorial teaches you how to make 3D objects from custom drawings, photos, or video clips in Photoshop CS5 Extended. (also can be done in PS CS4 Extended). This is a tutorial that covers the basics of working with 3D, and is appropriate "kids of all ages." It's a great way to integrate geometry and art. Enjoy!

Creative Commons Music downloaded for free at CC Mixter:
"I Like It Like That," by Stefsax

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photoshop for Kids: Patterns

Here's my latest tutorial - helpful for any math teacher that also teaches art and Photoshop.  Otherwise, I'm sure any digital scrapbooker would like this, as it teaches you how to make your own custom digital scrapbook paper.  This lesson can be modified to the skill level of just about any Photoshop user.

Photoshop for Kids: Patterns from magrelacanela (Nicole) on Vimeo.
Here's a beginning level Photoshop tutorial for kids. (of all ages)  This tutorial shows how to make patterns, and is great for a math lesson since children study patterns. It is also a fun way to design your own "wallpaper" or your customized digital scrapbook paper.  Enjoy!  Also, feel free to submit your pattern samples to me, and I will add it to the gallery and post it in my blog.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

DoInk - A great way to teach animation for kids

This site was so much fun, I spent some time playing around and even made my own animation sample.  After much discussion about the best ways to teach kids to do animation with my Google Certified Teacher group, many different sites/softwares were mentioned.  After going through them, DoInk is the one that I liked best for using with my students, and I will definitely be using this with my students.  It's like Adobe Flash simplified, so it's user-friendly, and a great way to teach kids basic concepts of vector drawing and animation.  The best part is that it is free, so this is a great option for our school.  I also like it because you don't need to download anything to your computer, so if you have internet, you are good to go.

You can try it out even if you aren't registered, but you have to sign up with an email if you would like to post your animations, share, or download them.  You can't add audio on the site, but your files which download as .swf files come can be opened and edited in Flash.  

When animating, you can choose between frame by frame animation, or by stacking each drawing on top of each other in a composition which becomes layers in a time line.  Some basic commands allow you to animate each drawing individually.  

Happy animating!

Here is my very first animation from DoInk:

Bee Positive! by magrelacanela, made at

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Photoshop for Kids: Silhouettes

Thanks to the Google Certified Teacher network, I recently discovered the Adobe Education Exchange. Here I discovered a whole new world of Adobe resources, but also a whole new crowd of like-minded digital creatives. They had a challenge to share resources, so I submitted my "Photoshop for Kids (of all ages!)" tutorials and created a new batch to go with the ones I already had. I'm thrilled that Adobe and the other Adobe teachers received them well, because I won! I earned 1st, 2nd, 7th, and 9th place! The 1st place winning resource was a tutorial that I previously posted here called Photoshop for Kids: Scratch Art, and the second place was a new tutorial I made called: Photoshop for Kids: Silhouettes. It's on my new channel on Vimeo called:
Photoshop for Kids (of all ages!)
Once I get my prize, a copy of Adobe's Master Collection, I'll certainly be making plenty more. For now, here's 2nd place: All Boy Thoughts

Photoshop for Kids: Silhouettes from magrelacanela (Nicole) on Vimeo.

Photoshop for Kids(of all ages) Here's a great Photoshop project that's great to do with kids or adults, and is suitable for just about any level of Photoshop user. This can also be modified as you like to work into a language arts lesson if you add words or pictures on top of the silhouettes.

Enjoy, and if you make any silhouettes of your own using my tutorial, please send me a link/copy of what you did to add to my collection.

Music from Jamendo's Creative Commons collection: "Deep Sea Diver" by Heifervescent

Monday, July 12, 2010

Making Silhouettes and Tagxedo Art

For this tutorial, you will be using two of my favorite FREE online tools. The first is Sumo Paint, and the second is Tagxedo. You can also use Photoshop for the first step, but if you are like me, and are doing this with your class, you might not have it. For those of you who are familiar with Wordle, Tagxedo is like just like that - but even better! Have fun, you'll have to play around with it, but it's fun! Enjoy, and do send me your sample creations if you have some. I will add it to my "collection."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Free Online Resources: Here's a tour of just a few that I like best.

Click on the slideshow to view the captions/descriptions. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Make Your Own "Annoying Orange" Video in Photoshop

annoying orange pictures
If the original "annoying orange videos" aren't annoying enough, here's a tutorial that shows you how to make your own annoying orange video. All you need is an "extended" version of Photoshop and some video clips of your face and some fruit. If you make your own version of the annoying orange video, send me the link and I will include it on my blog. Enjoy!

Make Your Own Annoying Orange Video in Photoshop from Nicole Dalesio (magrelacanela) on Vimeo.

Here you can download a copy of the tutorial on your iPhone:
Annoying Orange PS Tutorial-iPhone.m4v

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Video Art in Photoshop: Using Filters on Video Clips

Video Art in Photoshop: Adding Photoshop Filters to Video from Nicole Dalesio (magrelacanela) on Vimeo.

Here's a short tutorial on how to edit video clips using Photoshop using Photoshop CS3 Extended. Enjoy! Feedback is welcome. Thanks for watching.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sumo Paint Kaleidescope Sample/Tutorial

Sumo Paint Kaleidescope Sample/Tutorial from Nicole Dalesio (magrelacanela) on Vimeo.

I used a filter in the free online photo-editing program called Sumo Paint. With the click of a button, I could make new Kaleidescopes. I used "ScreenToaster" a free online screencasting service to record what I made.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Export a Flash animation with a transparent background.

Export animations from Flash with transparent backgrounds! I'm sure there are various reasons why you would want to do this, but I have been thinking that it would be useful so I can mix them with my videos. You can also import video into Flash, but there are things that are easier and better to do in Flash, while there are things that are simpler and easier to do in your favorite video editing software. Even if you are using basic software like iMovie, you can layer your Flash animation with a transparent background on top for fun videos that have animation interacting with your video. Here I created a quick animation in Flash. I'm still learning Flash, and still working on my drawing skills, but you can get the idea. I then provide a sample of what you can it might look like if you put it on top of video. The possibilities are endless. Check out the directions at the bottom of the post.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A free font by me: Walk Around the Block

Typography is the backbone of graphic arts, and although I have had no formal training in typography, I am fascinated by it. I even have my own font that I created which is free to download on your computer through "Dafont." This is also a favorite website of mine, and a link posted in the favorite website/resources are at the top of the blog. There are thousands of beautiful fonts there, all available for free. In order to make my font, I did not use any special software, which would have resulted in a more professional quality. Nevertheless, I found that I had quite good results by being a little inventive, and a small price. Instead, I used a site, For $9, you can create a font using your very own handwriting using this site. (I even did one with my daughter's handwriting when she was learning to write her letters.) You are able to download a template, and after you create your letters, scan it in and send it back to the site. To make my font, I enlarged the template where I could create nice details, then downsized it again, and sent it. It worked. The font has been available on Dafont for almost two years, and has had over 185,000 downloads. I'm amazed!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Schwup for easy video editing

Here's another example of a slick/quick slideshow I made using Schwup.

Flixtime for easy video editing

Pleasanton Ridge: "This is our family hike to the top of Pleasanton Ridge. Feb.2010"

I just discovered "Flixtime." It looks like another competitor to Animoto. It's a great option for quick slideshow/video making that is an easy way to share your pictures and video clips. Best of all, it's free! I am including my own personal example that I made in about 10 minutes.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Photoshop Kaleidoscope Tutorial: Digital Math and Geometry Art

Like many kids, I disliked math, and especially Geometry in high school because I couldn't see how it was relevant to my life. I promised to never use it again, but I was so very wrong. Not only do I love teaching it to my third graders, I am fascinated with the creative possibilities of using Geometry within Photoshop. Remember flips, slides, and turns? If only I had known how beautiful they could be, maybe I would have been a little more motivated.

Enjoy the video tutorial on Vimeo,

Photoshop Kaleidoscope Tutorial (Math/Geometry Art) from Nicole Dalesio (magrelacanela) on Vimeo.

Also feel free to download my support files which are a couple of pictures I took in Pleasanton, California, and in Bananaal, Brazil which are in the description for the video on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Digital Art Tutorials: Google Docs.

Digital Art Tutorials: Google Docs.

Google Docs.

I love Google docs., and even more now that you can upload any type of file. Being that I love video, I often have the problem that I want either a safe place to store my videos (in case of a mishap with my comptuer), or that I want to send someone a video that I made. Videos are too big to send by email, and many file-sharing sites have a file-size limit of 100-200mb. Other sites I have used that are helpful are 4shared or YouSendIt, but I now like Google Docs. even better. Files can be up to 1,000 mb, and you can either make the link public for anyone to share, or you can send it specifically to people you choose. It's also a great way to collaborate on other projects with your colleagues. You just need a gmail account to get started. Check it out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I love Animoto for quick videos that look very professional. It's fun and easy, and they have free services for teachers. Otherwise, anyone can make a 30 second video for free. Animoto now accepts pictures and short video clips. See samples I've made in the blog.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

iMovie '09 Tutorial: Mock iPod Video

Mock iPod Video + Tutorial in iMovie '09 from Nicole Dalesio (magrelacanela) on Vimeo.

I currently have two Photoshop video tutorials posted on my Vimeo channel.

"Scratch Art" using Photoshop,

Scratch Art: Photoshop for Kids of All Ages from Nicole Dalesio (magrelacanela) on Vimeo.

and a video art tutorial using colorful backgrounds with high contrast black and white images and video. The video art tutorial won honorable mention in the "So you think you can teach Photoshop" contest sponsored by NAPP.

Video Art and Photoshop for Kids of All Ages from Nicole Dalesio (magrelacanela) on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Today is the first day of my blog. It was my New Year's Resolution, and I'm happy have finally started this. Yeah! I did it!