Monday, November 8, 2010

Mad about Madison - A Unique Look at Professional Development

I've just finished taking a class focused on GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program,) an image editing application.  GIMP is a free software alternative to Adobe Photoshop so it makes it an appealing choice for teachers who want to introduce image editing software to students.  GIMP allows essential image editing tasks such as resizing, editing, and cropping photos, photomontages combining multiple images, and converting between different image formats. GIMP can also be used to create basic animated images in the GIF format.

Lots of kids are talking about GIMP and using the application at home.  I thought it was time to learn how to use the application and consider using it in Tech Class.  At first glance, it appeared a bit cumbersome and although I had access to tutorials on Atomic Learning and YouTube, I decided to seek out an expert and take a class from one.

Enter Madison, a sixth grader at the school I teach and resident expert in GIMP.  Together, on Thursdays after school for five weeks, Madison patiently taught me the ins and outs of GIMP.  I asked loads of questions and most of the time she had answers.  When she didn't, she did what most teachers do, she figured it out.  I appreciated Madison's willingness to help a teacher learn something new.  Her excitement about the application is what piqued my interest in the first place. 

I'm highly competent in the area of technology, yet I keep wondering what more I can learn from my students if I take the time.  I love learning what's new and relevant in their lives.  At any rate, this new route to professional development has been a great way to sneak some learning in and that's why I'm mad about Madison.


  1. Toni Olivieri-BartonNovember 9, 2010 at 9:34 AM

    You are an incredible educator. Way to use your resources. Wish more students and teachers relationships worked like this. How do we facilitate it. How do we make it better?

  2. What a great opportunity to work with students. It takes a special teacher to recognize that they can learn from their students.