Skill test

This weekend computer class started with the usual enthusiasm. To test what the children have learnt so far, their tutor had announced a practical test on the subject “video editing.”

A boy named Ganesh, was very much excited to attend the test. He is one among the 8 children who learn video editing. Having the written notes as guidelines he was asked to do make a video and edit it. According to Ebi, Ganesh performed the test well – the video had a professional touch. His performance revealed the hidden skills and his interest to learn new things. The children were so happy to see the video made by Ganesh.

After the test, the children were taught more on video editing. The 7 children who did not perform the test were encouraged by their tutor who gave them the confidence to attend the test the following week. Due to power cut the tutor was unable to continue to teach the kids and thus the class came to an end.


2010-02-15: How to make videos

Video editing

This Saturday, the kids at PUSH home were eagerly waiting for their tutor, as they were going to learn “HOW TO MAKE A VIDEO”. This was some thing totally new for them, so they expressed their excitement with broad big smiles and cheerful welcome to their teacher.

Ebi (their new tutor) had planned to take separate classes for boys and girls, as he could easily attend to every individual child in a more personal way. So this week, few girls (from 6th grade onwards) were picked. The class started with the introduction on “how to make a video”.

In general, children in and around 4th grade gain much of their learning from what they read, so having this in mind, Ebi asked each of them to take notes as he taught them.  As he dictated the step-by-step procedures involved in ‘video making’, the girls penned them in a notebook.  Then taking few sample images he practically taught them video making. Meanwhile, boys of the same age group were asked to take notes as well.  So they will find it easy to learn when they are taught the following week.

As the class was going on, the tiny tots were having a nice time playing with the toys contributed by our Swedish friends.  Each one was playing games of their own interest. And few of them were enjoying a very good nap.

Finally the class came to an end, after the girls were informed of a test the following week. Their tutor has asked them to be ready with some nice pictures and using them they will have to do a video using their creativity.

This sounds interesting! Let us see how the girls perform the test. See you in the next blog.

Below are the Photos taken by two of the Push home boys. They are very interested and are well-versed in photography.

New Tutor

This Saturday the “Push” home children were more excited than ever before. What made them wait so eagerly? It was the arrival of a new computer tutor, who will teach them something that they have not learnt or even aware.  Yes, the new tutor will help them learn photography, image and video editing, how to use Ms-Word, Power point etc. Isn’t it nice to know that the kids will learn something that is fun at the same time educational?  

The Photoshop classes taken by their old tutor came to an end after the kids have learnt the basics in Photoshop. From last Saturday, the kids were exposed to new syllabus.  Few children (from grade 5-8) were picked and were taught to do image editing. They were even given the introduction about video editing. Today’s class was an introductory class for their new tutor to get acquainted with them.   

Their new tutor was surprised to see the kids pick up the lessons so fast. He agrees that this makes it really fun to teach. It is interesting to know how much better kids interact with technologies that are new to them.  

From next week, this blog will be updated with the new experiences of these kids. In the near future we are also planning to conduct competitions like photography, picture editing etc 

/Blog Mediator.

Knutpunkten – India (Event sponsor)

20100116 Little mirrors

Party inside my brain

My brain is like a juicer mixer mixing many things; similarly it’s like a bottle, having endless party inside. A short-circuit may cause lightnings frequently. Little candles of water flames spraying bubbles that clash each other will become droplets to cool my brain. I mirrored my short dream plus the kid’s ideas in a document.

I hadn’t prepared anything for yesterday’s class, so I killed some time designing the above picture. The kids were more zealous yesterday. I want to give them something more which they can keep it for their life. I sat and I was pondering in silence. My silence extended to the kids who sat in the mirror of my eyes.

I searched my brain for some time and I found the clipping mask lesson from the bin of older records. I explained the kids about clipping mask in Photoshop. Clipping masks allow you to define a mask in one or more layers with the shape of another layer. You can create clipping masks to shape an image to text or to mask multiple layers with the same shape. I started with a simple example and ended with a complex one (as shown in this picture).

Now the kids were given chances to apply masking, Manoth selected the outer area of the paper glass and using clipping mask send a balloon image to that area and also clipped inside the inner visible area of the paper cup with a flower picture.

Jothiraj selected an area over a dove picture and send inside that area a painting which was created by him in last class.

Prem kumar thoughts  reflected in the document. He selected the petals of rose flower and clipped inside that area with his last class’s painting and to the masked layer he changed the blending mode to overlay. In another design he send bunch of flowers to the rectangular stripes of mask layer.

Yesoda and Bhavani created two mirrored images of roses. Deboki who understood the clipping mask thoroughly created Polaroid photos. She desaturated the picture in the background layer and masked another copy of the same picture with its original color to a framed mask area.

20100110 Delicious colors

Eyes can feel and taste colors, nice color combination are feast to eyes. Colors will stimulate the feelings. Designing is like preparing meal; here in design colors are ingredients which give taste. So choosing the color and combining it is important like selecting ingredient to make delicious dainties.

Colors of love are the taste of life. To add colors to these kids, yesterday’s class I taught them about colors; both theory and practical.

When pure white light is passed through a prism, it separates into all of the visible colors. Light could be combined to form other colors. For example, red light mixed with light of yellow color creates an orange color. Some colors, such as yellow and purple, cancel each other out when mixed and result in a light of white color.

Our perception of color in the world can influence our mood. Red color will increase the appetite. Blue is pleasant and also, the color of sky and the ocean, blue is supposed as a constant in our lives. Green is growth and abundance like yielding plants. White is purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace and humility. Black is void of light, a drop of light in it will give hope. Black is also authoritative and powerful. Like the yellow traffic light, yellow signals caution.

Photoshop uses several systems of color representation. These systems — Bitmap, Grayscale, Duotone, Indexed Color, RGB Color, CMYK Color, Lab Color and Spot Color. I explained about this to the kids.

I made some brushes for the kids and I installed that brushes in their computer. I gave them two examples of using that brushes. I asked them to paint as free as like their mind goes and choose colors as their mind likes. The kids made some nice and colorful designs.

More time I spend today on lecture. Only some kids get sufficient time for their practice in my presence. Prem Kumar did an artwork; he used the water color brush- used colors of orange, green and yellow and also he cut-out the face from his photo, applied brush stroke filter and made the artwork, which is his freedom of expression.

Manoth did a design with some paintings using green, yellow and other colors he like. He also gave plastic wrap filter with his cut-out photo, which is merged with that painting.

Yesoda painted ‘Girl of colors’, depicting her expression of joy within barriers. I was wondering their minds flow in the brush stroke and selection of colors. Deboki’s red color painting is nice which expressed open hands, open mind and open happiness.

Something they learned from me today and many things I learned from them. The kids made the Sunday with delicious colors like Sun which gives color when it touches the land with light.

Push home kids @ McDonald’s

The party hall of McDonalds at Annanagar in Chennai was decorated with balloons and glittering papers, cartoons and more for the children.

The kids came by a van from their place. When the kids saw McDonald restaurant they applauded and were ardent to get in because they have never been to a place like this before. To make them merry the McDonalds restaurant had arranged some games and entertainment for them.

All the events are arranged by Knutpunkten. The entertaining team started the party by giving crowns to all the kids and it had made them feel like king and queen. A girl named Deboki from the home was given the first chance to take photographs of the event. She is learning Graphic Designing course sponsored by Knutpunkten India.  Some of the staff of Knutpunkten took care of the kids through out the events.  The kids were served with coke and chocolates.

Around ten McDonald’s staff were involved to entertain the kids. To make the kids happy they gave big balloons to them, one of the balloons busted with sound in the hand of a kid which made him afraid. So they stopped distributing those big balloons to the kids.

The kids were taken to the kitchen of McDonalds’ by the crew batch by batch and were given an explanation about their food preparations and the hygienic they follow.

When they came back, they switched of the background music playing in the party hall and asked the kids to sing the songs they knew. Some of the kids went in front and started singing some beautiful songs, the staff of Knutpunkten India and others encouraged them by clapping hands.

Isaac one of the Graphic Designing students was taking photos and started recording the events. The girl’s of McDonald’s who were entertaining the kids gave a demo of the balloon game. The game’s rule is that the balloon kept in between two person’s tummy and should not burst when they walk around a particular distance.

The next game is passing the balloon. The entertaining girls will start clapping seeing the wall behind them and when they stop whoever is having the balloon is out and that person should do any activity the other kids ask. Like this the balloon game started and it was in the hands of Sunitha from the entertainment crew of McDonalds when the claps stopped. The hall got busted with laughter and the kids demanded Sunitha to come in front and dance. And again when she danced the sounds of laughter bells rose. Some kids and the girls danced together and the hall was filled with excitements.

The other customers of the restaurant started noticing the party area through the glass walls because of the happy noise of the kids which filled the whole restaurant.

After all those events, the kids were served a happy meal kit which includes a burger, french fries and a small musical keyboard as a gift. McDonald does usually give a toy with the kid’s meal which differs from day to day.

The kids took many photos by sitting before the Ronald McDonald statue which is kept at the entrance of the restaurant. All the photos were taken by the kids learning computer classes and photography sponsored by

After the party is over, and when the kids are about to leave, the staff of McDonald’s and the Knutpunkten India team gave a good send off to the kids by joining with them until the van to the roadside where it was parked. One of the male staff of McDonald’s asked the kids to shout with their full voice. With applauds from all of us and the kids the van took them to their home.

This is really a great experience for the kids and for us too.

Click here to view Photo Gallery>>

20091212 Light rings and sparkles

For yesterday’s class I took lot of flower pictures with me. The little girls, when they look at them lifted their eyebrows. I asked them to choose one picture. I opened that picture as Photoshop document and from that only a rose was cutout and placed in a new document where I created a gradient background. I filled a layer below the rose flower and above the background layer with clouds filter, reduced the opacity to 50% and using skew, transformed it like a cone shape – duplicated a copy and kept each one on both sides to give a falling light effect.

In a separate document I taught them ‘how to use Photoshop brushes?’ also I explained how to create custom brushes and setting the properties of it like scatter, roundness & fade. Student’s eyes are fixed on the screen while I create some magic sparks and stars around the rose using brush tool. I also created some light rings circling the flower. An aura of white and bright light orbited around the rose. As yesterday’s lesson involves many steps I taught this lesson again one time and again one more time.

Now they want to do that designs by their own, using the picture they like and with their own imagination. I succeeded by creating an interest in them to do that things with their ideas. I sat relaxed and my directions were instant whenever they needed. The experience I got till this age is one thing that makes them learn easily and happily, other things are the support & encouragements I get.

The first student who made a tryout in this design was Yesodha. She created her own brush and gave it her name. She Sprinkled light sparkles over a bunch of roses in walls with the brush created by her. And she also did one more design.

Bhavani selected a butterfly brush and scattered it over the flowers in her first design and then started the other one. She selected a photo work done in one of the previous class in which she looks in black & white and with green eyes. She placed three light rings around her and sprinkled some stars around her photo.

In a black document Deboki kept a pair of flowers. She gave to those flowers an aura of green rings.  I remember what I studied about human aura in books. An aura is a field of subtle, luminous radiation supposedly surrounding a person or object. And in short a green aura denotes that person has love of nature, out of door life, travel in the country, sympathy and charity. Deboki also scattered some maple leaves using brush. And she tried with different kind of brushes in the document. At the end she wrote her name over it and set that picture as desktop wall paper.