Category Archives: Uncategorized

Creating a Planet in a Galaxy in Photoshop CC (Grade 5)

Sometimes I feel like teaching Photoshop (or another big program) is like learning how to cook. When it comes to a big project like this, it’s a matter of following the steps one after the other to get the desired result. In the case of primary school students learning Photoshop, I’ve learned the best way is to model a couple of steps at a time, get them to go off and do it, come back to the screen, and going through the next couple.

This project had it’s genesis in the Grade 5 students studying space later in the year. I had this idea to create an engagement for them by getting them to design their own planet in their own galaxy. With that, they could take their finished image to class and then write up a report about their planet. The name, the kind of atmosphere, what kind of ecosystem, habitats and life their planet would have.

This project goes over two lessons. The first one, creating the galaxy, is relatively short. The second one where they create their planet takes a little longer, but is definitely achieveable in two lessons. Most steps must be done as is, but there is a little flexibility with colours and textures to make it their own.

I will credit upfront the video on YouTube I got most of my “recipe” for this was from <a href=””>Blue Lightning Photoshop TV</a> . My steps are mostly the same, but updated for Photoshop 2017 with a few small tweaks.

The videos below are in two parts: the galaxy and then the planet.

Here are a few examples from the students.


Webinar: Teaching Younger Students Composites by using Adobe Photoshop Mix

I presented a webinar last night on Photoshop Mix which may interest some of you. I’ve already had lots of positive feedback. The URL to view the recording is at

Adobe Education Committee Summit – Day 02

A very busy day here in Sydney for the APEC Adobe Education conference.

After a quick breakfast, we heard some great Catalyst talks from some really inspiring AELs. Daniel Budd presented on transforming instructional and reference materials. Henrietta Miller presented on preparing students for their future not your future. Chris Woldhuis presented on opening the paths to creativity. Finally, Mark Henley from Adobe Marketing Cloud came in and gave us the corporate perspective on how we are integrating Adobe into the community.

I got some great ideas from all these presenters. Daniel in particular gave me some great ideas about making interactive worksheets/comprehension sheets. Henrietta I really felt a connection with as her role and my role coming in the new year are very similar, and I could do well to continue networking with her. Chris had some new ideas I hadn’t considered before discussing “Student Opportunity Weeks” and teams such as media teams, production teams and graphic design teams. Finally, although I am by no means anything close to a corporate person, Mark had some interesting strategies in problem solving in teams – including AGILE.

After that we heard from our two American presenters – Matt Niemitz, manager of the Adobe Education Exchange; and Remy, a new recruit for Adobe stepping into Melissa Jones’ role. We heard some great data about what’s been happening with the Adobe Education Exchange.


Matt Niemitz

We then broke into a series of workshops lead by Pip Cleaves and Megan Townes looking at our roles as AELs, why schools do not prioritise creativity and – more importantly, what can we do about it?

We then broke into teams to look at solutions. My group was with Trevor Milevskiy, Abi Woldhuis and Shaoli Naik. We looked at coaching and mentoring and adding to the roles of AELs through links on the Adobe Education ExchangePhotos are

After a long day where we shared our projects thus far, we were treated to a beautiful Sydney Harbour Cruise in the evening complemented by a delicious buffet dinner.

A very busy day, and another one tomorrow, but I’m connecting lots and learning more.

Images are courtesy of a variety of AELs present at the conference (including me)

Adobe Education Committee Summit – Day 01

Photo 28-09-2015, 6 17 32 PM

So day one of the conference was really just a couple of hours of meet-and-greet with the amazing group of Adobe AELs (Adobe Education Leaders).

Some of them I knew in person, thanks to the Adobe Bootcamp in Melbourne earlier this year (shout out to Leigh, Margaret and Kev) and some I knew from doing courses and meet-ups online (shout out to Sjanni, Brett and Pip). I got to meet a few I hadn’t met before, but really I’ll get to know everyone better tomorrow during the presentations and team workshops.

Photo 28-09-2015, 5 54 18 PM

There’s not really anything to reflect on yet, except to say I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be here and to network and learn from all these amazing educators. In reality, I’m quite intimidated by the skills and experience that all these amazing people have. I am just dipping my toe as of now, but next year with my role as Media Arts specialist, I’ll be able to use my skills a lot more.

More to share tomorrow.