Yes, it has. Did you miss me? Don’t worry—you don’t have to answer that.
I considered reviving the blog for NaBloPoMo but decided to participate in something on LiveJournal instead (and I’m woefully behind on that). Doing NaNoWriMo is completely insane, but I’m still giving it a shot. The story behind that spark of insanity is on Tumblr, if you’re curious.
What finally brought me back here was Adobe Generation Professional’s Digital Creativity in the Classroom (I’ll give you more specifics about the blogging project in another post). This is a course for educators, so you might be wondering why I’m taking it since I am not currently an educator, nor do I have any past teaching experience.
What I do have is a long and mostly positive history with Adobe software, thanks to the many years I spent in the graphic arts, specifically prepress production. Since my particular area was typography and page layout, my expertise is with InDesign. I’m also familiar with Dreamweaver, and I’ve been criminally underutilizing Photoshop and Illustrator for many years. Despite this, I’d only just discovered the depth of the educational resources that Adobe provides in the way of paid and free content. I was searching through some of the free content on the Adobe Education Exchange in an effort to help a friend who wanted to learn InDesign, and stumbled across the Digital Creativity course.
Encouraged by the fact that apparently no one was going to force me to prove that I was an educator before I could sign up, and also by the fact there was no class fee, I signed up. My rationale was that we are all called upon to educate others at some time, no matter our job description, and that is how I introduced myself:
But these days, aren’t we all educators in some way or another? Working for a very small business, there is often a need to present information clearly to co-workers or clients, and I’m hoping this class will help me to get better at it.
I am so glad I took this course. It helped to bring out a creative spark that had been obscured by years of executing other people’s designs, rather than creating something of my own. The course was set up perfectly for my own personal situation. It started with a Photoshop project. Being able to work in a program I was already pretty familiar with allowed me to concentrate on ideas, rather than worry about execution. I would need the feeling of success from the Photoshop project to carry me through the next two projects.
My past experience with Flash was very minimal and not particularly positive, and I had no experience at all with Premiere Pro. I kept telling myself that the ideas were more important than the execution and I think I convinced myself by the time I completed these projects. I’m afraid I’m failing miserably at being “economical and efficient” with my time on this blogging projects, but those are the breaks!
So a few more observations on the course.
For the most part, the course structure was great. I was not able to attend all of the live classes, but the ones I attended were informative, made excellent use of guest speakers, and (very important) began and ended on time without shortchanging any of the topics that needed to be covered. One thing that would have been nice is a little more pre-course information and tutorials for the programs used. Photoshop, Flash, and Premiere all have pretty substantial learning curves, and I am sure it was not easy for first-time users of the programs. The Education Exchange, and other parts of Adobe’s site, have a ton of available resources, but a little nudge towards them would have been helpful.
Speaking of first-time users, I am so, so impressed with the participants who did not have any previous experience with the programs. Their first efforts were amazing, not only in creativity but in execution. That cannot have been easy.
As for me, I still hope to use what I’ve learned in this class to make any educational or informational presentations to co-workers and clients more interesting and more entertaining. I’m proficient at breaking down instructions into logical steps, but I haven’t utilized visuals often enough and I plan to change that.