One might ask: Why would an English teacher/educational therapist attend a graphic design course? Well, here are three main reasons why I did just that. 


Firstly, we are currently living in the digital age. When I started teaching more than 10 years ago, my teaching world involved me creating worksheets or games on the computer and then printing them out on paper. Since then, the world has evolved and using educational technology in classes has become the norm. The world has transitioned to the world of video, colour and interactivity. My students are now able to do quizzes or their work on the ipads or laptops rather than just worksheets. During the circuit breaker period, I even conducted online classes using Google Meet with my students instead of meeting them face-to-face,  which was thought to be impossible many years ago. 


Next, even though there are in-house developed curriculum resources and other teaching materials available, there is a longstanding belief at the DAS that it is important to modify the exercises to suit the learning profiles and needs of our students with dyslexia. Therefore, as an educator and a curriculum specialist, I often find it a real challenge sourcing for royalty-free images that I could modify and use when I create worksheets.


Lastly, I have always wondered how to make my own resources and slideshows more interesting in order to cater to the students’ interests and abilities in this fast-paced age


Therefore, I decided to sign up for a graphic design course called - Creating Graphics with Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator held at Temasek Polytechnic. 


During this course, I learnt a very important skill - which was how to create my own clipart using the tools in Adobe Illustrator.


Below is the vector image that I created using the tools available in the software - Adobe Illustrator. I designed the coffee cup, the light shading in the cup, the brush strokes to mimic steam all the way to the coffee beans at the bottom. 




I also learnt how to modify images and create a new graphic stimulus in Adobe Photoshop if the images are royalty-free for use with modifications. 


Below is another example I created during the class. Although it looks simple, I had to crop the image of a pair of shoes using the lasso or marquee tool which was not an easy task at all. Additionally, I had to think about the advertisement tagline on the spot. It felt like I was taking an exam which I had very little time to prepare for! 




Through the course, I was able to create and modify images using the recommended tools and colours, which was otherwise not possible on Microsoft Paint or Powerpoint. 


With the knowledge and skills acquired, I am now able to create graphic stimulus exercises or resources to better suit my lesson objectives. I certainly look forward to creating more resources with the tools I have learnt!


Written by Rosalyn Wee
Lead Educational Therapist and Curriculum Specialist