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Teaching Paint.Net to kids

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Hi, new to the forum. I've just recently been put in charge of planning and teaching a week-long computer camp for kids age 7-12. One of the most popular lessons in this camp from the years before has been an introduction to Photoshop, which I have no experience with. I'm not too worried though since I have about a month and a half to learn it - not enough time to become a genius, but probably enough to teach a one day introduction to it.

However, I was thinking that since I have no experience with computer art at all (beyond just messing around), it would make way more sense for me to familiarize myself with and teach the kids a program they can get for free, as opposed to one that costs $600. Which is how I arrived at Paint.Net.

Now, the information on the boards is probably enough for me to figure out how to do this all by myself. I don't have to become an expert to at least give the kids an idea of how to use the program. But I would really appreciate some input from people who actually know what they are doing. What are some of the things you would want to let kids know if you were going to try to teach them?

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I taught a class on Paint.NET to a group of highschool kids. It was 13 hours long (1 hour sessions). I based my lectures around realworld tasks as much as I could. Then, I filled in the gaps with interesting projects from the tutorials section of this message board.

I started out with teaching the kids all of the tools and menus. Moved into adjustments and effects. And, finished up the basics with layers and blending modes. Finally, we did some projects which combined many of the things the kids had learned.

I did simple projects like color correcting photographs, cropping, and publishing to the web. I did more complex projects like coloring black and white photographs, making a software box (see tutorials), and "photochops" using feather, etc. Many of the boys enjoyed the "making fire" demonstration.

I showed the kids where to download Paint.NET and where to get plugins. We also had a project where the kids had to go to dafont.com and download/install a font to complete a project.

I also talked a lot about design considerations (espically during the lesson on making Windows desktop wallpaper, and also during the lecture on image composition--i.e. the rule of thirds) and file types (download speed vs. image clarity). We had a lesson on making animated GIF files using unfreeze.

I had all the kids bring in digital photographs that they had taken. These were used during the various lessons. If the student didn't have any pictures, I would let them use my digital camera to take pictures of stuff in the class room for their use or I would allow them to use Google Image Search to find interesting images.

Post here if you have specific questions.

Good luck!

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Description from BoltBait is great.

In France I would have add a speech about rights and copyrights.

Using a picture from the net is doable under some restrictions. And at school we must be clear regarding this propriety law!

Another recommandation is to NOT use Google Image Search, but another kids'friendly methode to find images.

(example: searching on GIS for the word "rabbit" brings up some stuff linked to the Pleyboy adult site...)

You could read this discussion:


You could use this:

http://pdninclass.freephpbb3.com/draw-a ... s-vt6.html

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  • 1 month later...

I came to Paint.Net for (nearly) exactly the same reasons as Speckles.

The only difference is that my little students are 9-10; so the age range is narrower. What I have to do is create an ongoing afternoon workshop for those kids who participate in all-day schooling, once a week, each 60 minutes long, either for the whole schoolyear or maybe half, I don't know exactly how they will plan it.

BoltBait, reading what you did with the kids gave me an idea --- and at the same time the idea that I am not at all fit to teach them these things. (Your curriculum sounds so "scientific", oh dear, I couldn't do all that myself, let alone teach it! *lol*) Of course, I can work around the things I haven't mastered yet in PDN, there's enough basic stuff for them to understand first.

Using their own pictures is a great idea, and it comes in handy that our school possesses one (in figures: 1) digital camera which we can then use for all those who have no own digital photo. I have the same scrupulosity about using the Google Image Search with these young kids ... in another computer course I did, I had them search for Dolphins on the net.... and you wouldn't believe that even with an innocent word like "Delfin" or "Delphin" how many sleezy photos would also come up. :x

And then, of course, I am also actively looking up the tut section in order to find tuts which are easy enough for me to keep in mind. *lol - getting older requires some simplification* ;)

Would you be able to point out some simple, basic tuts for me to look into?


During my current summer break, PDN will be installed on all the computers in our computer lab (13 pieces), but just the basic, most recent version.... Is it recommendable that I go ahead and also install some plug-ins right away, or should I wait till the kids will have made a little progress and have become acquainted enough with the program?

Myself, I installed your plugin pack, along with the pyrochild effects and also downloaded Madjik's pack, but haven't installed it yet, as I was unsure if I needed the setup as well. This has been clarified for me, and I also will install this pack one of these days.

Do you think we could use them with the beginner's course right away? (If so, I will have to teach them how to download [& maybe install] the plugins, as it would take me forever to do this on 13 computers all on my own... *lol*)


And my last question is: Have you already written up and/or posted a tut about how you do the photo"chops" ? I am fascinated by the pic I saw in your Pictorium thread, and would love to learn how to do that!

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Kat: Some of the best tutorials have been compiled here:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Paint.NET/ ... /Tutorials

Also, check out the "stickied" threads in the "Tutorials" section of the Forum.

This is a good guide (in Adobe Flash format) to Paint.NET's tooolbars, menus, and effects:


These tutorials are fun and easy:



This is more complicated, and requires a plugin, but still very fun:




I am a disco dancer. +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+

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Oh, thank you so much, ncfan! That's gonna be very helpful!

This is a good guide (in Adobe Flash format) to Paint.NET's tooolbars, menus, and effects:

Yes I found that earlier, but my kids speak German... ;)

Looking forward to getting started with the kids :)

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