Author Archives: susanaconnell

Day 2 WTL students Skateboards in Skoolaborate

Day 2 WTL students embraced the program with their level of engagement growing. Mark developed their 3D building skills in Skoolaborate. Students also had fun go-cart racing and parachuting in the amusement park in Second Life. Phil was run off his feet tutoring and trouble shooting students designs in Photoshop.
The students were enthusiastic about resolving their designs and each student developing a personal signature to their work. Students forgot about time, mentored each other in Skoolaborate and at the end of the day they were still engaged in the program. The WTL students displayed a positive commitment to the program and were very pleased with the knowledge and skills they gained over the two days.






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Day I WTL students Skateboards in Skoolaborate

Today we welcomed the youth justice students to Skoolaborate. These at risk students will over the next two days investigate youth culture through Skateboards in Skoolaborate in the National Gallery and Virtual Design Spaces. Students were introduced to the project through designing avatars and navigating the virtual space. Students were impressed with Mark’s presentation on skateboarding which provided the excitement for them to engage in this project. Students spent the afternoon gaining hands on practical experience with Phil in CS5 photoshop designing tags for their skateboards. Students were focused and at the end of the day felt very proud of their achievements.




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Pilot Project NPAC Day 6

Students at NPAC exchanged their regular classroom for a virtual online classroom in Second Life. Students designed avatars and navigated the island of Skoolaborate admiring their comic book covers and visual storyboards in a virtual National Indigenous Gallery and design space called Skoolaborate.
Skoolaborate at NPAC is a pilot program running over six consecutive days where students studying via distance education meet in a virtual world to share their artwork and blogs. The fourteen students have spent the week working with Mark Kent the assistant principal of Distance Education Centre of Victoria. Mark is the director of Skoolaborate who oversees the environment as avatar ‘Clark Kent’.
The students also worked with Susan Connell Art Teacher and Head of Senior School at Cairns School of Distance Education and with Phil Schoutenen graphic artist and owner of Baste Design in Cairns. Phil and Susan have shared their art and photoshop knowledge with students over the 6 day workshop. The result has been amazing! Students with no prior knowledge and skills in Second Life / Skoolaborate and CS5 photoshop are now producing industry standard covers and storyboards that they have installed in the virtual National Indigenous Gallery. The NPAC students certainly have raised the bar with their expertise in Skoolaborate and their artwork. It will be exciting for them to share and discuss their work nationally with other students.
On the second last day of the project the Bamaga community gathered at NPAC for a special morning tea to celebrate the students success.
Congratulations to all the students in the pilot program as you will lead the way forward nationally in the Indigenous National Gallery.

Mark, Susan & Phil
Sent from my iPad

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Day 5 : The final touches

Day 5

NPAC students are still very enthusiastic about the project and spent Friday morning working on the final touches to their comic cover designs and visual storyboards. At the same time preparation for a morning tea was going on behind the scenes (a special thank you to the students : Ari, Shani and Taylah who helped me make sandwiches and chatted about life in Bamaga). Staff, parents and community members attended the morning tea where they were introduced to Skoolaborate and could see the students working first hand in second life. They were proudly installing their design work in the National Gallery. Positive feedback came from staff, teachers and the local art community expressing their support for the initiative. Agnes and Susan from the local arts cooperative showed their encouragement for the students work and had plenty of questions and comments about how the education system can provide new and exciting opportunities for students. throughout the course of the morning the students worked at their computers and were able to discuss their work with family,peers, teachers and the community. All students who presented their work in Skoolaborate and are keen to move to the next level and improve their knowledge, skills and exhibit their work to a national audience. Cassie (NPAC’s School Captain’s) comment was a timely evaluation of the work so far this week:

‘I am enjoying Skoolaborate very much, I don’t take art classes but this is the best art class ever’

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Skoolaborate showcase meeting the community





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Comic Photoshop with Phil






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NPAC students storyboarding……






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Visual Storytelling and Panel Design

NPAC students have created comic characters that are cool and original !!!!!!!!

The individual characters that they have developed all have personalities and back stories. Some students have chosen super heroes with a special cultural style. Over the past two days characters have been developed with costume elements and props. Students have focused on their visual storytelling breaking down their story into thumbnail layouts and working on composition and design within the panel picture.

Each of the students comic book characters are distinctive and memorable.

The NPAC students are a very talented group who are totally engaged in their artwork.

Stay tuned !!!!!!!!!



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