Illustration – Avril Lavigne

It’s not very often that I get the luxurious amount of time required to do any illustration work, let alone do an illustration “just for fun”.

But as I found myself teaching a class of students how to use the pen tool in Illustrator, I couldn’t resist finishing off the image. Here ’tis:

And this is the source photo (gleefully scrounged from the interwebs):

Note that I’m not a big fan of Miss Avril, she just happened to appear when I did a search for “face” + “large” πŸ˜›



I know you love “sneak peeks” at what I’m working on, so here is another!

I tutor Graphic and Web Design at WITT, and now I am working on creating a website for the art department.

The site address is

Currently, the curtains are drawn and you will only see this:

But over the mid-semester break things have been happening. Below you can get a glimpse of what I’ve been working on. All the content is just dummy-content, and I’m am liable to change the entire look overnight yet, but it gives you an idea of where it’s going.

Lots of people have been asking when the final site will be up and ready??? The short answer is “when I get some time to work on it!” This job isΒ  a very large WordPress powered site, and it needs to be done right. Some of the features I’m including are:

  • Galleries of student work
  • A blog of news and events for the department
  • The ability for other tutors to upload and manage sections of the site
  • Timetables
  • Tutor galleries and profiles
  • Contact info and social media links
  • Tutorials and resources for our students
  • Information on preparing a portfolio of work, and enrolling
  • Info on what it’s like in each of our qualifications
  • Articles and photos about the cool new Art Block (F Block) which is currently being renovated especially for us!
  • And heaps more… ooh it should be good!

Gathering the content is the next big effort. As well as getting a bit of feedback from you kind folks about what you think of it so far… *hint hint*Β  πŸ˜€ Website Design: SNEAK PEEK

This project was a bit of fun: creating a visual design for the WordPress driven site

Visit the Members Preview area here.

The overall look of the site needed to be modern and calm, suitable for the many different types of people who enjoy yoga.

I started by searching for a strong colour palette, which led on to the logo design (note: I may yet totally re-create that logo – the swirly bit was a nice idea but I’m not convinced!)

Because this is just a visual design, all the elements have to belong to a logical set of design rules. In this way, the kind folks at EarthFirst Infotec who are building the site in-house are able to continue the theme throughout a massive 50 page site, without needed additional designs from me.

The site is still in development, but when it’s launched it will offer a lot of videos on yoga and healthy living. There is even a section to do with vegetarian cooking!

Julia Berry Design

Please welcome my sister, Julia Berry, to the web!

Her first website is due to go online shortly, in the meantime we have put together a holding page for her:

Julia is a print designer and does some extraordinary illustrations. I can’t wait until her portfolio is available for everyone to see! Yay! πŸ™‚

John McLeod Website Launched

I am delighted to announce that the major web project that I’ve been working on is finally online!

Check it out here:

John McLeod Website screenshot

Pop over and have a look πŸ™‚

Guest Speaker: John Eyles from Project Mobilise

What a delightful afternoon discussion we have just had with John Eyles from Project Mobilise.

He is a specialist in e-learning and m-learning (mobile learning), and he came to meet with a group of tutors at WITT who are interested in developing those techniques for their classrooms.

Here are some links to projects he works on:

Project Mobilise Logo

EON Foundation Logo

John talked about how classroom learning is like a meal; everything is carefully considered and prepared for the diner (student), and it should leave you wanting dessert! E-learning is like a banquet; traditionally there is lots on offer, and the hungry diner can pick at what they are ravenous for – although there is no-one there to guide them on which wine they should choose, for instance. M-learning is more like a powerbar – it’s a highly concentrated chunk of learning full of carbs and nutrients. What a cool metaphor! He also explained how he doesn’t see one method as being better than the others, and that ideally the teacher should use an appropriate combination of the three.

The discussion was mostly informal, although John gave it structure by getting us all to do some “work” by writing down the positive achievements we have already made in our teaching, specifically related to e-learning or m-learning. Later, we were asked to write down our ideas on how where we would like teaching at WITT to be in the future, and then we discussed the reasons/impediments for the gap between the two different states, here and the future.

One thing that really got us excited was EDUPOV (educational point of view); John showed us some prototype sunglasses which had been modified with a small camera sitting in between the eyes on the bridge of the glasses, a little streaming transmitter on one of the wings, and two biometric sensors at the end of each arm. The idea behind this arrangement is that the glasses sit on a charging dock when not in use. Once the teacher picks them up and puts them on, the biometric sensors recognise who it is, and with the help of a cellphone clipped to the teacher’s belt, they know where they are using GPS, and what time it is. The example John Eyles gave was of an automotive tutor, showing a class how to work under the engine of a car. This tutor would slip the glasses on, scoot under the car and wherever he looked, the video captured would be bluetoothed straight back to a screen or projector for the students to watch. (Of course, a mic must have been part of this arrangement too). Not only that, the streaming video data would also be sent to the cloud using Streamfolio, so it could be stored, then easily accessed and downloaded to mobile devices by each of the students when they need it.

Obviously this is very cool, and as the cost of the gear is not too high, (NZD $300 approx for the specs), it’s not completely beyond our expectations. The other awesome thing is that with the time and geo-location stamp, the tutor now has absolute proof of having taught a particular subject at that time and place. Like. Like very much. πŸ™‚

We also talked about blogging, game based learning, blended learning experiences we had, how to fill the space between the classroom and home, how fast retention rates for learning drops away, overlay-environments such which allow the virtual and real worlds to be combined, teachnig in Second Life virtual world and how it can be better than other forms of distance communication, and many more things that I can’t remember.

If you were there, what else do you remember? Post it in the comments πŸ™‚

Artist in residence – Dane Mitchell

There will be a talk by WITT’s artist in residence, Dane Mitchell, tomorrow at 9am in C101.

Dane won the Walters prize this year. Come and hear him speak.


%d bloggers like this: