Time spent in Digital Imaging bears no relationship to time the real world.
In the last few weeks I’ve dived into three different projects for Adobe’s online *course, Digital Creativity in the Classroom. In each project, after spending a reasonable hour or so working up an idea, learning state-of-the-art software, and executing the project, I came back to the surface of the real world, only to find that an entire evening, or in one case an entire Saturday, had passed me by. The flash animation shown above, assigned for the second week, took parts of three days. It was my most satisfying accomplishment, and my first use of Adobe Flash.
In spite of the huge time commitment, the course was well worth it for the following reasons:
- Learning new software with others is exciting because it opens your eyes to possibilities you would not imagine on your own
- It focused on creative uses of digital imaging to engage students, engagement being one of my primary concerns as an adult educator
- Connection with a supportive community of practitioners and learners encouraged me to try more and take more risks
- Numerous tech tips gave a short-cut past digging everything out of tutorials on my own – participants also shared useful links they’d discovered
- I got to view spectacular examples from guest experts on the show
- The facilitators Roxana and Kelly keep the tone of the live sessions informal yet informative – a very comfortable learning environment
The first project, a still-image “Big and Small” assignment involved smart selection and multiple layers in Photoshop. Mediocre inspiration knocked gently after the live session demo, and I was able to shoot, edit, and publish my image in a single real-time evening – that ended after midnight.
But THE time-suck champion was a 30-second movie-trailer-style book review of War and Peace I assembled with Adobe Premiere. I have always reserved a bit of skepticism for Adobe Education Exchange, expecting to be ambushed by product promotions. I didn’t get ambushed. I got seduced. Subscribed to the Creative Cloud. Busted my bandwidth limit downloading Premiere Pro. Then spent the better part of a week (when not at my job) brainstorming, shooting, recording, cutting, morphing, and cramming my ideas into the time limit imposed by the assignment rubric. It took almost as long as reading this best-known of Tolstoy’s novels.
Since you won’t understand it without help, the fast-talking disclaimer at the end (which I think is terribly clever and funny and don’t want you to miss) originally read:
“Warning: may contain scenes of nineteenth century moral impropriety, implied violence, and extreme cruelty to horses and wolves. Readers may suffer disorientation and confusion. Names are impossible to pronounce and even more difficult to remember. Lead character may be referenced by surname, Christian name, familial pet name, title, rank or patronymic or any combination thereof. Portrayals of nobility and serfs are not necessarily approved by the People’s committee for equal opportunity. Dueling with pistols should only be attempted under responsible adult supervision. Winter attacks on Moscow should only be attempted by those who have achieved global megalomaniac status.”
but I had to redact portions.
Without a hard copy of War and Peace, I had to make a fake movie prop. I told the truth. I’m a little over half-way through the electronic version of the book, reading it on my iPod. And yes, it is the ultimate bathroom reader.
*Just realized I have not heard anyone refer to this course as a MOOC