UX design was the number one, in-demand job in 2018. Knowing this, Belinda Medellin, from CAST Tech High School in San Antonio, TX, took action and created the first ever, high school level UX design course. As a master teacher of digital art, animation and professional communications, Medellin knows the importance of creativity and the right tools to feed it. Today, she’s bringing relevance and revolution to her school.
We wanted to learn more about her work and why her students are using bulb digital portfolios.
Q. Do you feel the skills needed to curate a digital portfolio coincide to skills required for the job market today? Do digital portfolios play a prominent role in the national trends or demands you predict?
A. Creating a digital portfolio requires choice and for students to work through different questions, obstacles and design thinking (problem solving with design).
Industry partners are interested in seeing what future hires can do, rather than what their resume says. They want soft-skills. To curate a portfolio, soft-skills are a must and (are developed) when students share their bulb. It’s more interactive and personable than a slideshow and the tendencies for communication and listening heighten. So does teamwork and empathy. Companies value that.
Q. Do you feel digital portfolios accurately and uniquely measure competencies beyond a testing environment?
A. Yes. I struggled with taking tests in high school. I always gravitated towards the arts. I loved projects and the process of getting to the final product. Digital portfolios show what my students can do, their “aha” moment and my visual data to see what each individual student needs.
Q. How often do you use bulb to support project based and personalized learning in your classroom?
A. About 90% of the time. I spend about 2 to 3 days creating a collection with the timelines, rubrics, tutorials and resources. I personalize with station rotations and give students choice from how they work best. I always require a reflection page in bulb. It’s my favorite to assess.
Q. Will you use this year’s resources in your bulb for next year? Once implemented, does bulb ease your planning process for upcoming years?
A. Yes. Using bulb has made my life so much easier. Once the students learned bulb, the expectations were set and met. The “bulb” entered their vocabulary, and it makes it easy when there’s a sub. I conduct professional development with bulb. I easily share info with interactive sessions, rather than boring slide presentations.
Belinda Medellin defines wanting the best for your students. And she isn’t stopping soon, as some of her goals include:
- Teaming up with corporations and UX designers for impactful project based learning
- Pursuing grants to take as many students to a UX design conference for training
- Personally reaching out to as many districts and teachers to let them know what UX is, why they should offer it and help with training
Belinda’s main goal is to give her students the opportunity to be top contenders in this exciting career field. She’s making it happen and transforming CAST Tech High as a pipeline for the tech industry today. Hear from one of Belinda’s students about how they are using their bulb portfolio to secure CTE career opportunities.
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