Digital Literacy

VIDEO – Media Literacy


Most young people are comfortable using modern technology. Social Media and other Digital Communication skills are second nature. However, there are strong focuses that use the media to control their message.

How can we trust media?

Begin, by question how we use media and technology. By learning how we use media we will be able to.

  1. Make Choices
  2. Take Decisions
  3. Communicate

Build Strong Tech Skills

Know your environment. Take the time to learn the tech skills required. And, keep learning. Understand what content you need and what content is not needed. When searching for content online you need to be aware of.

  • Nasty Content and Viruses.

What is Media News

Everyone there are thousands of worthy news stories to report. However, in any given day only a few story will be broadcast as news worthy. With a smaller group of media outlets filtering the mainstream news hub.

Online Marketing

Online marketers are smarter than ever before. The online marketer now knows you. They know where you live. What shows you like, What size of colors you like. The books you read. The books you want to read. The items that you wish to buy. The marketers know you, your family, and everyone of your friends.



How to tell a Digital Story

The key to successful Digital Storytelling is to keep it simple. The COFFEE tutorial is an excellent example of how photography and Adobe Voice can work together to deliver a seamless digital experience.

Moreover, perhaps it is time for Weekend Coffee. Put the kettle on and enjoy.

1. Setting the Digital Storytelling Scene

Begin by creating your scene. Envision where you what your stage to be. Use your camera and lighting to run test shots for possible scenes. Keep it simple.

For the COFFEE tutoring video – I used a kitchen table to place my items. Think of the things as your actors, and position them where they can deliver your message best. It is important to have your story ready and to do a few practice rounds before committing.

With COFFEE the positioning of the items – begins with the coffee jar and moves right to the sugar, milk, and water.

Photography by Gary Crossey IrishGuy - How to make Coffee

2. Start your Digital Storytelling Experience

What are the things in your digital story? I used Adobe Photoshop to add ID text. Consider your viewer when adding labels to photos. In my case, most people know what a cup and spoon are. Even with the most annoying names – find a way to be useful.

Boiling Water – having the instruction in use boiling water is more user-friendly than the label Kettle.

Photography by IrishGuy Gary Crossey - Asheville

3. Tell Your Digital Story

One step (or a teaspoon at a time). Consider how the instruction and the objects in the scene interact with each other. For the instruction to add one teaspoon of coffee – the coffee jar is positioned in full view, with the lid (open) and in center view. The hand reaches from the right. During the storytelling, the length of the arm decrease – helping to carry the viewer’s eye from left to right.


4. The steps to Digital Storytelling success

Establish the pace. The sugar jar seizes the position of the coffee. The sugar jar lid resumes the location and position that the coffee jar lid – creating a learning expectation. The end user can focus on the essential element of the lesson by not having to consider the less valuable items.  By positioning the lid from each jar in the same location, the viewer does not have to second question what the item is.

Photography by IrishGuy Gary Crossey Add sugar to coffee cup

5. Maintain the Pace

Maintaining the pace for a Digital Story is hard. When teaching a step-by-step process, the user focus does best when the other items on the stage do not upstage the frame message.

Positioning the jar of Coffee and Sugar – back in their place – is created by the pattern established in the first four frames. Always look for opportunities in your storytelling to provide objects in your scene “their place”.

Add Milk to Coffee - Photography by Gary Crossey for IrishGuy Asheville

6. Enhance you Message

Enhance your Digital Story Lesson with visual effects. Reducing the exposure rate of the camera created a time-lapse. The motion of the hand is reinforced by the prior frames – with the hand is also shot in stillness. The hand motion was set up by leaving shooting the image with a long exposure.

Look for moments to enhance your message with special effects. However, be careful not to let the special effect overshadow your message.

Visual Effects are powerful tools that overpower a weak story.  

Stir Coffee

7. One Step at a Time

The second to last frame – this is where everything can go wrong. The end user has already figured out that the water is next. All other items have had their turn and have returned to their spot.

When creating this second to the last frame – maintain. Yes, manage and deliver the frame as expected.

Try not to break your visual pattern by moving items around, or altering the camera focus.  By planning the stage layout before beginning to photograph the frames – you can imagine the position of objects. Grouping the Coffee, Sugar, and Milk together allows the viewer to capture the three prior elements quickly and calculate that that process involved four steps.

The learning process in this frame would less if the jars had not resumed their original position, with the caps restored.


8. Show the Result

What have we achieved? Was the lesson plan a success?

The successful reader of the Digital Story Lesson has a new or refined skill or piece of knowledge.

The Show The Result frame finalizes the lesson.  There is no more ground work, no more questions, no more information to share. The viewer has this last frame to grasp the importance, and leave with a deeper understanding.


9. Provide that Something Extra

Include something extra. Wrap up the experience with a helpful piece of information – that some of the users can use. The Digital Storytelling Lesson taught the user how to make a cup of coffee. The frame provides the user with the information they can add liquor to the drink – with the disclaimer that adding this step is limited to weekend use.


10. Recap the Essentials

Recap the overall process. When teaching a class – this is a perfect final slide that can be left on the screen for students to capture the information they need. Don’t treat this Digital Storytelling Lessons like a cooking show – that would end highlighting the final product. With a Digital Storytelling Lesson, it is best to recap the main points in the final frame (which may often be a repeat of the first frame).

Building the Perfect Classroom


The Six Stages of Creativity wall graphics. The wall graphics began with a discussion with other teachers. The following two questions.

  1. What is your ideal active adult learning space?
    With active learning and flipped classroom teaching styles the students do best when provided one-on-one problem solving. And the classroom can handle working in groups, and alone. With devices becoming more lightweight and wireless we can start to imagine active teaching learning environments and classroom layout adapting to the different functions of the active learning. This idea is already very present in early learning classroom. But, what about the adults?
  2. How can we best adapt our classroom to best suite active learning for adults?
    Please share your creative layout solutions, experiences, or ideas for creating an active adult learning space.

Adobe included the discussion during a newsletter update – which created incredible insight to adult learning space.


REVIEW: 21st Century Enlightenment

21st Century Enlightenment has bought us insight into individualism. We know more about how we function than any time prior.

As a society we create dications of life based on economic circumstance and social convention. Rather than on the empathic capacity of the person.

While the Utilitarian notion is to maximise human happiness. Research tells us that we are not good at predicting our own happiness.  And we are even worse at descripting past happiness.

Research also demonstrates that people tend to respond automatically. That conscious decision making is infrequently deployed in short-term decision making. We are no better at long-term decisions than we are with short-term decisions.

When it comes to making a decision we tend to turn to one of two options: 

  1. Right / True = Familiar.
  2. Wrong / False = Strange.

What went wrong with 21st Century Enlightenment?

As a society we have moved forward. Progress in evident in every area of life. People live longer. We experience an improved quality of life. As a society we have had a revolution in social attitudes toward civil rights including race, gender, and sexuality.

Until recently people have felt self-aware and socially embedded within our modern model of autonomy and progress. Until recently no-one raising substantive and ethical questions on how the three main Society Logics obtain progress.

The three main Society Logics

  1. Logics of Science & Technological. 
  2. Logics of the Markets.
  3. Logics of the Bureaucracy. 

The three deciding Society Logics answer only to their own objective. They are indifference to a substantive concern for the general good.

  • Bureaucracy –  Rationality of rules above the rationality of events.
  • Markets – If it can be sold, it should be sold.
  • Science & Technological  – Everything should be discovered and developed.

The short-term national concerns are superior than the long-term sustainable needs of the planet and it’s people.

Developing Ideals of Cultural Consciousness

Fostering communal, interpersonal, and global empathic capacity is essential for cultural consciousness. Media coverage and foreign travel have expanded global knowledge on the suffering of people, immigration and emigration.

Out interpersonal empathy sought answers to:

  • Who we are as human beings?
  • Political debates about who we need to be?
  • Philosophical and spiritual exploration we might aspire to be.

Our ideals of Cultural Consciousness require change. 

To move forward and progress with consciousness and self-awareness our ideals of cultural consciousness should include the following.

  • Reasoning – the laws of nature fail to conform to religious doctrine and intuitions.
  • Popular Government.
  • Centrality of Economics in Policies.
  • Consciousness is universal.
  • Secularism.
  • Human Autonomy.
  • Diverse Values 
    • Norms.
    • Lifestyles.
    • Cultural Psychotherapy.
    • Traditions.

MAPPING: 21st Century Enlightenment

ZOOM MAP: CTRL + Mouse Scroll Wheel.
MOVE MAP: Click on map and drag.

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

REVIEW: Network Thinking

Illustration: Tree of Life by Gary Crossey

Illustration: Tree of Life by Gary Crossey
Tree Illustration by Gary Crossey

Mapping Complexity

Aristotle is credited as the first person to use the tree method as a classification system. Where information and knowledge are represented with branches that do not touch.

Tree Metaphor

Entire systems of Religious Symbols and Classification System all depend on the symmetry of the tree metaphor. The tree creates a hierarchy, balance, order, and unity for the collective.

Tree of Enlightenment & Life


1751 French Encyclopedia published The Tree of Enlightenment. Created by Chrétien Frederic Guillaume Roth. 

Tree of Life




100 years later in 1859 Darwin published his diagram Tree of Life.  Cataloging the species.

By the millennium the Tree of Life diagram has evolved to include more categories.

Organized Complexity

1948 the paradigm shift begins with the publication of Warren Weaver article Organized Complexity.

A social paradigm shifts is a fundamental change often born from simplicity.

Warren Weaver introduced one fundamental difference. That knowledge is interconnected.

That classification at its most fundamental state, should represent “how one element influences the other”.

Modern Science became aware that elements have a bigger relationship to one another than a hierarchy system could represent.

Universal Structure

2000 Millennium Simulation published the mapping system of millions of galaxies.


Six year later, Neural Networks of a Mouse was published.  The visual representation of the patterns of a mouse brain.


Network Thinking

Both mapping systems look very similar. The galaxies represent the largest scale of the Network Thinking mapping system. While the mouse brain represents the smallest scale of the same Network Thinking mapping system.

Network Thinking 

  • Collective Intelligence.
  • Innovation Partnerships.
  • Shared Ethical and Moral Principles.

Non-Structured Leadership

Knowledge is interconnected. Examples of collaboration are everywhere. With  the arrival of Wikipedia rhizomatic (multiple, non-hierarchical) structure. And the many successful open source programming projects that have been successful based on the contribution of the individuals to the good of the collective.

Mind Map of Network Thinking

ZOOM MAP: CTRL + Mouse Scroll Wheel.
MOVE MAP: Click on map and drag.

Resources Mapping Systems

RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

REVIEW The Secret Powers of Time

A child drops out of an American school every 9 seconds. I understand that child. I did everything to avoid attending high-school. But, here I am talking about higher-education. And like many of the kids in today’s education system – lack of interest is not due to poor performance.

The youth of today is different. Research suggests that most 21 year old males have spent 10,000 hours playing video games. That is the same as working a 40 hour job for 250 weeks. Or, working of 40 hours a week for almost 5 years. Most young adults have spent more time playing video games, than it takes to earn a four-year degree. Current research does not include the time spent on pron, and social networking.

While kids may be clocking in hours on gaming. Adults are now equally likely binge watching the new sensational TV show. Hasn’t anyone noticed – a TV show went from 20-45 minutes, to running the entire season in one viewing. We are all digitally rewired. It’s foolish to think that the kids are experiencing this reality alone.

How does any of this new media involvement fit into a traditional classroom? 

FIRST – We need to change the teaching approach. Provide the lesson plans that provide people with the learning experience they deserve.

  • People today want to have control.
  • People do not appreciate being passive.
  • People believe they have a voice.
  • People believe what they say holds value.

The Secret of Powers of Time video does have some awesome and insightful aspects. While, the idea that the young are engaging differently that the adults simply is not true. While the kids may not have other frames of reference to old tech – the high levels of engagement by adults with computer interfaces is often higher than that of the youth.

  • Highest percent of gamer population are women over 40 (Farmville, Scrabble, Bingo).
  • Amazon highest increased customer base are the 65 years plus age group.

While Amazon may be boosting increased sales from the elderly. The youth today seem to be happy enough settling in a night with the streaming TV shows, while saving for a Facebook ready holiday.


RSA Review Series by Gary Crossey.

Being Creative is a Choice

The concept of right vs. left brain functions interest peaked in the 1960’s. During which time the idea that the right side of the brain deals with Reason & Vision. While, the left side of the brain could handle Emotion & Language. Today, the Right Left brain functionality is considered completely false.

Now, the concept of Right Hemisphere and Left Hemisphere is in vogue.

Right Hemisphere

“The right hemisphere by contrast yield a world of individual changing, evolving, interconnected, implicit, incarnate living beings with the context to the lived world. In the nature of things never fully graspable. Never perfectly known.”

  • Alertness.
  • Broad.
  • Open.
  • Sustained.
  • Vigilant.
  • Lookout of what is different from our expectations.
  • Understands individuals.
  • Disposition for the living.

Left Hemisphere

“The left hemisphere dependent on detective language in abstraction yields clarity and power to manipulate things that the known, fixed, static, isolated, decontextualized, explicit, general in nature but ultimately lifeless”.

  • Attention to detail.
  • Sharly focused.
  • Narrow.
  • Important and precise.
  • Specifics of what matters to you.
  • Understand Categories.
  • Disposition for the mechanic.
    • Tools and Machines are coded (even for a left handed person).

People who lose use of the Right Hemisphere have “a pathological narrowing of the window of attention”.

Frontal Lobe

  • Inhibit. (Permits you to stand back and observe).
    • Machiavellian (outwit the other party – manipulate).
      • Use and interact with the world for our benefit.
        • Food is the starting point.
    • Emphasize (see individuals from a distance – with interests and values).

For reasoning and imagination you need the use of both hemispheres.

Today’s Pursuit

Today we live in a paradoxical world. The pursuit of happiness is the objective.

  • Pursuit of happiness.
    • Leads to resentment and unhappiness.
    • Explosion of mental illness.
  • Pursuit of Freedom.
    • World that is more monitored by cameras.
    • Subjected to more networks of rules that strangle freedom.
  • Pursuit of Information.
    • Lead to less understanding.


Flipped Classroom

DEFINE: Flipped Classroom

Unlike the traditional teaching model of introducing new martial during lecture time and assimilating information is reached via homework. The flipped model has students discovering directed new material at home, prior to the lesson plan. And then assimilating the new concepts in class.

Research on learning styles have reported significant learning gains from the flipped classroom approach compared to the traditional teaching method of passive student lectures and algorithmic problem solving.

John Bransford , Ann Brown, and Rodney Cocking defined in their book How People Learn the three parts of learning.

  1. Student most have a deep foundation of factual knowledge.
  2. Student should understand the facts and ideas in the context of a conceptual framework.
  3. Organize knowledge in ways to facilitate retrieval and application.
  • Student gain access to new material outside the classroom.
    • Video
    • Reading
    • Infographics
    • Podcast
    • Slideshow
  • Class Time Assimilating the Information
    • Problem Solving
    • Debates
    • Discussion

Outside Classroom 

Lower Level cognitive work – Knowledge and comprehension.

Inside Classroom

High Level cognitive with the support of peers and instructor.

  1. Application
  2. Analysis
  3. Synthesis
  4. Evaluation

How to teach a Flipped Class

  • Teach cycles are 13 – 15 minutes.
  • Students are able to provide answers anonymously.
    • Instructor interaction and feedback.
  • All students answer conceptual questions.
  • The class has data feedback from the group.

History of the Flipped Class Profile

Walvoord and Anderson first proposed the Flipped Classroom approach for teaching in their 1998 book.

Flipped Classroom

For more information on using the Flipped Classroom method in your classroom contact Gary Crossey

ADOBE IPAD APPS – Improve Your Creativity

Class Outline

Access Class Outline via the Adobe Education Exchange: Adobe iPad Apps – Improve your Creativity

Adobe iPad Project Samples

Here are samples of projects that were created using Adobe iPad Apps. You may share these samples with your class.

Adobe Voice

Slideshow Voice Over App. Very easy to use and share stories.
The Icon library is a awesome design resource – simply enter a search term and select an icon.
Limit your use of photos – playback is more reliable with icons.

Here are two Adobe Voice Samples.

The Journey of Creativity

How I became the IrishGuy

APP: Adobe Draw

Adobe Draw is an easy to use paint program. With a select of different brushes, layers, and color picker.

Adobe Draw – Interface Prototype

Adobe Draw is a great tool for creating design mockups. This events website prototype was created with Adobe Draw.

Digital Drawing creating using Adobe Draw.


APP: Adobe Shape

Capture and convert your line drawing into digital art. For best results draw on plain paper to reduce visual artifacts. Using Adobe Shape camera photography your sketch – and let Adobe Shape do the tracing and converting. High Contrast images have the best results.

Adobe Shape Examples

artwork_created_by_gary_crossey design_by_gary_crossey faces_created_by_gary_crossey

Or use Adobe Shape to capture layout plans or brainstorming sketches.


APP: Adobe Photoshop Express

Photoshop Express is a quick and easy way to enhance your photography. With an array of visual effects.


APP: Adobe Photoshop Touch

Adobe Photoshop Touch is a BIG APP. Full of special effects for photography and paint. It all you would expect from a iPad version of Photoshop – but with some really awesome new ways of thinking and working with digital media.

Created by Gary Crossey

Adobe Photoshop Touch is also a great way to capture old documents without using a scanner.


APP: Adobe Ideas

Adobe Ideas bring the power of layers to the iPad. Making if easy to control complex sketches. The automatic sync to Creative Cloud has been permanently disabled. However, you can still load files to the Creative Cloud, Share the artwork, or email as an attachment.

Here are two examples of digital sketches created using Adobe Ideas.

Both images were created during part of the brainstorming process. The Indian figure uses layers for foreground, midpoint, and background. The figure was sketch out in black outline on one layer. The colors were painted in – almost like paint by number – the black outline created an instant crisp mask. Textures and clothing details were drawn on a third layer. Shadows were draw on the final layer.

The second figure were quick sketches. I found that drawing on the iPad provides precise control. I liked how easy it was to create too different styles to express an expression. In both examples the hands are rendered differently.

Artwork by Gary Crossey - Created with Adobe Ideas

Session Closing

For my Professional Development Session Closing I always recap the class objective. I also include an instant Google Feedback Review. By using Google Forms – I have everyone complete an instant feedback form. Here is the Feedback form that I use for this class. The results of the form are shared with everyone in the class. Any unsolved problems or misunderstandings can normally be handled here. Or, it can simply be a strong visual way of recapping the elements of the class outline. For me, I use the group results to guide me though the closing statement – it’s my cheat sheet!

Some information about Feedback Forms

People love to fill in feedback forms! As much as most people love doing their taxes. 

Make them fun and engaging. If you want real results from your Feedback Forms you need to connect with your participants. Use a variety of quick fire questions. Share the results with all the class. Any questions or problem areas can be reinforced at this time.




Asheville College 100 Classes Taught

Classes developed and taught by Gary Crossey

Adobe Creative Suite – What’s New?

Keep up to date with all of Adobe’s best practices, software updates and improved workflows with the Adobe Creative Session – What’s New workshops.

With a different focus each week, join Gary Crossey (Asheville Adobe User Group) Join Gary Crossey (Asheville Adobe User Group) as he explores the Creative Suite. Lesson include real-world projects that include graphic design, web design and development, video and audio editing and special effects, as well as the best practices for deploying content via the internet, print or social networking.

Fun, face paced class for new or experienced Adobe user who is interested in discovering what’s new with Adobe.

  • Adobe Create Suite – Introduction 5/4/2010
  • Adobe Create Suite – Introduction 8/14/2009
  • Adobe Create Suite – Introduction 1/10/2009
  • Adobe Create Suite – Introduction 10/18/2008
  • Adobe Create Suite – Introduction 1/23/2008
Date Class Title
10/1/2010 Adobe Dreamweaver – Advanced
1/25/2010 Adobe Dreamweaver – Beginning
9/17/2010 Adobe Dreamweaver – Intermediate
2/8/2010 Adobe Dreamweaver – Intermediate
9/30/2010 Adobe Dreamweaver – Intermediate
10/6/2009 Adobe Dreamweaver – Intro
11/9/2009 Adobe Dreamweaver – Introduction
10/7/2010 Adobe Illustrator – Beginning
9/24/2010 Adobe Illustrator – Beginning
10/29/2010 Adobe Illustrator – Intermediate
2/12/2010 Adobe Illustrator – Intermediate
3/28/2009 Adobe Illustrator – Introduction
3/15/2008 Adobe Illustrator – Introduction
7/12/2010 Adobe InDesign – Advanced
10/30/2009 Adobe InDesign – Advanced
6/6/2009 Adobe InDesign – Advanced
3/26/2009 Adobe InDesign – Advanced
5/17/2010 Adobe InDesign – Beginning
1/22/2010 Adobe InDesign – Beginning
6/4/2010 Adobe InDesign – Intermediate
5/23/2009 Adobe InDesign – Intermediate
3/19/2009 Adobe InDesign – Intermediate
10/13/2009 Adobe InDesign – Introduction
8/11/2009 Adobe InDesign – Introduction
5/9/2009 Adobe InDesign – Introduction
3/12/2009 Adobe InDesign – Introduction
2/26/2009 Adobe InDesign – Introduction
11/7/2008 Adobe InDesign – Introduction
6/7/2008 Adobe InDesign – Introduction
10/20/2009 Adobe InDesign – Introduction
6/12/2009 Adobe InDesign – Masters
11/6/2009 Adobe InDesign – Masters
7/15/2010 Adobe Photoshop – Advanced
9/26/2009 Adobe Photoshop – Advanced
10/21/2010 Adobe Photoshop – Beginning
10/27/2010 Adobe Photoshop – Beginning
5/24/2010 Adobe Photoshop – Beginning
1/29/2010 Adobe Photoshop – Beginning
6/7/2010 Adobe Photoshop – Intermediate
9/19/2009 Adobe Photoshop – Intermediate
9/5/2009 Adobe Photoshop – Intermediate
5/22/2009 Adobe Photoshop – Intermediate
2/20/2009 Adobe Photoshop – Intermediate
11/14/2008 Adobe Photoshop – Intermediate
3/14/2008 Adobe Photoshop – Intermediate
9/5/2009 Adobe Photoshop – Introduction
5/15/2009 Adobe Photoshop – Introduction
1/9/2009 Adobe Photoshop – Introduction
4/18/2008 Adobe Photoshop – Introduction
2/15/2008 Adobe Photoshop – Introduction
5/3/2010 Adobe Photoshop – Time Saving Tips and Tricks
5/31/2008 Adobe Photoshop Elements – Intermediate
4/20/2010 Computers for the Beginner
6/20/2009 Digital Photography / Portfolio
1/11/2010 DME 120 N1
1/14/2008 DME 140
1/12/2009 DME 260 D1
1/12/2009 DME 260 N1
1/12/2009 DME 285 D1
5/19/2009 Excel 2007 – Introduction
10/14/2010 Facebook for Business
1/19/2010 Facebook for Business
5/28/2010 Facebook for Business
4/22/2010 Facebook for Business
10/21/2009 Get the most out of Facebook
9/10/2009 Get the most out of Facebook
8/6/2009 Get the most out of Facebook
9/30/2010 Get your business online
7/16/2010 Get your business online
3/20/2010 Get your business online
9/17/2010 Get your business online
4/10/2010 Quickbooks Pro – Introduction
10/3/2009 Quickbooks Pro – Introduction
6/16/2009 Quickbooks Pro – Introduction
2/1/2008 SEF30017443400
2/25/2010 SEO / Business Website Engine Rankings
8/18/2009 Social Network Sites
10/8/2009 Using CSS for Web Design
1/14/2008 WEB 120
1/14/2008 WEB 120 D1
1/14/2008 WEB 140
5/21/2008 WEB 210 D1
5/21/2008 WEB 210 N1
3/27/2009 Web ActionScript – Projects
5/16/2008 Web Animation Flash – Intermediate
3/8/2008 Web Animation Flash – Intermediate
6/5/2009 Web Animation Flash – Introduction
3/20/2009 Web Animation Flash – Introduction
2/7/2009 Web Animation Flash – Introduction
3/7/2008 Web Animation Flash – Introduction
2/9/2008 Web Animation Flash – Introduction
10/15/2009 Website Marketing and Search Engine Optimization
6/24/2010 Word – Introduction
10/31/2009 WordPress
10/23/2010 WordPress Introduction