How do you find the time to create all the artwork you need for a given project when there are so many deadlines and variables?

A friend who is just getting started in instructional design asked me recently, “How do you find the time to create all the artwork you need for a given project when there are so many deadlines and variables?”

Well, the truth is that I try to use open source artwork and icons whenever possible. At this moment I am employed at a community college in California, and tax payer dollars fund my position. I was hired to design and implement solutions to educational needs and challenges, but I was not hired to be an artist (although I am very artistically inclined, and have the skills and knowledge needed to create my own art).

Because I am the only person in my department, and I don’t have an art department at my disposition, nor any illustrators or production artists I can request artwork from, I often have to use resources freely available on the web. In an effort to save the tax payers (and my employer!) money, and to avoid reinventing the wheel I use open source icons and artwork whenever possible.

As you might imagine, there are times when I can’t find the icon/image I need, or when the project calls for original artwork. In those cases I do design my own icons and/or images. However, illustrating icons and images can be a very time consuming activity, so I avoid having to make them from scratch if at all possible. I do a lot of illustrations in my own time to release the creative urges within me (and to keep myself sane!), but at work I need to move fast, and to save my employer money while taking care of business effectively and efficiently I use open source icons/images (I edit them if necessary).

Although aesthetics are a subset of design; design does not mean art. Design means problem solving and creating solutions with a plan (hopefully you do it aesthetically). So I stick to problem solving and designing solutions to educational needs as much as possible to maximize ROI for my employer.

Here are a couple of free icon/image resources I find useful in my practice (but there are tons available on the web):

Instant Shift

100+ Free High Quality Icon Sets for Web Designers and Developers. FREE

The Noun Project

The Noun Project collects, organizes and adds to the highly recognizable symbols that form the world’s visual language. FREE

Flickr Creative Commons

Flickr is one of the largest user-driven collections of images on the web. Many users share their images under a creative commons license which allows different levels of use. FREE

Flickr Commons

This is different from Flickr Creative Commons. This is great for historical photographs. The images here are provided by museums, libraries, universities, and other cultural heritage centers from around the world. FREE

Stock.XCHNG

They offer a mix of free and low-cost photos and stock illustrations. They also offer tutorials.

If you use any of these resources make sure to attribute credit to the original authors. I hope you find these useful!

M. Ricardo Flores

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Directrices para participar en este blog

Envíos conteniendo cualquiera de los siguintes serán suprimidos y la persona enviandolos será removida:

  • Ad hominem envíos — No se toléran ataques personales ni comentarios detestables hacia el administrador u otros participantes en este blog.
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  • Comentarios irrelevantes –Su comentario no pertenece aquí si no se relaciona con lo siguiente: Diseño y Tecnología Instruccional, Sistemas de Tecnología instruccional,  Diseño Y Technología de Aprendizaje, Diseño, Educación, Evaluación, Entrenamiento para personal de corporaciones, Aprendizaje y Enseñamiento en Linea, ya se da usted una idea.
  • Obscenidad — No nos interesa leer que cosas le excitan ó le ponen a cien.
  • Comentarios anónimos — yo no tengo nada que esconder, y espero que usted tampoco. Por favor no use nombres falsos ni cuentas de correo eletrónico falsas.
  • Comentarios incendiarios — No se permite difamar a ninguno de los particpantes en este blog. Por favor respete los puntos de vista expresados.
  • Plagio —Si algo no es idea ó creación suya simplemente digalo, y de crédito a el autor original. Si usted miente tarde ó temprano la verdad surgira, y usted se verá como un tonto. Todos nos inspiramos por las palabras y las obras de otros. No hay nada de malo con eso, pero hay que dar crédito a los autores originales. No hay necesidad de mentir aquí.

Si usted no está segura/o sí su comentario es apropiado, por favor tomese la libertad de preguntar en  la categoria llamada “Questions (Q&A) – Preguntas y Respuestas”

Quizas revíse estas directrices en el futuro si se presenta la necesidad.

M. Ricardo Flores

Guidelines for participation in this blog

Postings that feature any of the following will be swiftly deleted:

  • Ad hominem postings — Personal attacks on yours truly or anyone of the participants in this blog is unacceptable. Hateful speech is not welcome here.
  • SPAM — Nobody likes ham in a can. If you are a spammer, bug off!
  • Irrelevant comments – It does not belong here if it is not about: Instructional Design & Technology, Instructional Systems Technology, Learning Design & Technology, Design, Education, Assessment, Corporate Training, eLearning, Online Teaching & Learning, you get the idea.
  • Obscenity — I don’t care about what turns you on.
  • Anonymous Comments — I got nothing to hide, and neither should you. Do not use a false name, or a fake email address. There is Craigslist for that.
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  • Plagiarism — If it is not your idea or creation don’t lie and say it’s yours. We’ll figure out, and you’ll look foolish. Give credit where credit is due. We all are inspired by the words, and the work of others. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is wrong not to give authors credit for their works or ideas.

If you are unsure whether your post is appropriate, feel free to ask questions in the questions category.

I might revise these criteria if the need arises.

M. Ricardo Flores

De que se trata este blog

Ahora que estoy a punto de embarcarme en la busqueda de un doctorado (EdD) en educación con enfóque en Tecnología de Sistemas Instruccionales me doy cuenta que no solo es relevante, si no también necesario comenzar a registrar tanto mis reflexiones como todo los nuevos aprendizajes que voy adquiriendo en mi viaje académico y profesional.

Mi intención es utilizar este blog como un medio de refexión y aprendizaje de índole “personal”, pero a la vez abierto al mundo é invitando retroalimentación meditabunda, criticismo constructivo, preguntas, sugerencias, y comentarios por parte de personas con intereses académicos y profesionales similares a los mios.

En el párrafo anterior he escrito la palabra “personal” entre comillas, por que a pesar de que tengo metas personales para este blog, lo he abierto al público,  y por lo tanto es un foro público ó comunitario (suponiendo que haya suficiente interés y participación externa).

Por el momento estoy llamando el blog “learning + design + technology” el cual se traduce a “aprendizaje + diseño + tecnología” por las siguiente razones; a) no se me ha occurrido ningún nombre más fabuloso, b) WordPress no tenía disponibles los otros nombres que se me ocurrieron, y finalmente c) por que este título refleja mis intereses académicos y profesionales tanto como la naturaleza de el contenido que usted encontrará en este blog.

Haré todo lo posible por proveer citas en estílo APA cuando sean necesarias. Hasta donde me sea posible traduciré mis registros a el español para intentar obtener participación por parte de académicos y profesionales hispanoparlantes para incluir las perspectivas internacionales y aumentar la cantidad de contenido disponible en español, ya que la lengua predominante en la web hoy día es el inglés, y por lo tanto es necesario aumentar la participación hispanoparlante para democratizar la web.

Les agradezco su tiempo y atención a este blog, y les invito a particpar en él.

M. Ricardo Flores

What this blog is about

As I am about to embark on my quest for an EdD in Instructional Systems Technology I find it not only relevant, but also necessary to begin logging my reflections as well as any new learnings I come upon in my academic and professional journey.

I intend to use this blog as a “personal” learning/reflection environment that is open to the world and welcomes thoughtful and respectful feedback, questions,  suggestions, and commentary from similarly minded people. I have enclosed the word “personal” in quotation marks, because even though I have personal goals for this blog, it is open to the world, and thus it is also a public forum or community (assuming there is enough interest and external participation).

At this this time I am using the name “instructional design technology” because; a) I could not think of a catchier name, b) WordPress did not have available the other names I thought of, and c) because the title is reflective of my interests and the nature of the content you can expect to find in here.

I will do my best to provide citations in APA style when necessary, and will try to offer a translation in Spanish to hopefully get participation from Spanish-speaking academics and professionals to hopefully enrich the conversations in here by bringing in international perspectives.

M. Ricardo Flores