The pressure is on. It’s fun …thrilling is probably a better word. We’re almost at end of week 1. I go to my youtube channel and the list of countries that visit the site is growing. I heard that the course is over 2600 participants now… and then try to stay calm. People can join even during the course since it is a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning, and the live classes are recorded.
So fun also to see assignments coming in. I read a quote, but forgot who said it. “Teaching is not filling a bucket, but being the spark that lights a fire”. But now I must go back to all “My” students. This is going to be an intense 5 weeks
At the moment I’m working on the Publishing course at the Adobe Education Exchange. Crating snappy tutorials is quite hard, especially if your daily task is classroom teaching. It means much planning to condense the message without skipping important facts, or twisting your tongue. What I feel most difficult is trying to determine when I should explain terminology, and when I can assume that those that need to know will look it up.
Working across time zones, and cultures is also a challenge, but hopefully something that will help me grow.
Some time back I was feeling the pressure of not having formal education. I had grown gone to brittish school in Cyprus, doing O and A level exams.
Getting into the Swedish educational system seemd unattainable… I just didn’t know where to start. I did have solid Adobe skillls, and felt that going for ACE certification would at least be some way for me to document my skills. I did pass them, first Illustrator, then Photoshop and Indesign and last Acrobat.
Then I got the training to be an instructor, and started the route that made me quit production and dive into education. I didn’t know this road would lead me to becoming an Adobe Education Leader, though I’m glad it did. I got to visit the head office in San Jose, and network with some of the best educators in this field.
Now I’m travelling to Eindhoven for an exchange with SintLucas. Really looking forward to what’s round the corner
I crashed my iPhone. It was a bad thing, but it forced me to go through my list of passwords and apps. This was one thing I feel guilty about as I found some comments that been almost a year unanswered. So this is a public apology to those that had to wait.
When there is much to write about I find it hard to take the time, and when I have the time it’s because there’s not that much going on. I’ve been in San Jose at the Adobe offices, for the yearly Adobe Education Leader Summer Institute meeting together with Educators from around the globe.
Now I’m back in Sweden and am deep in planning the coming years teaching at my new job. I will be full time teacher at Broby Grafiska in Sunne, where I am looking forward to be involved in equipping the coming generation designers and prepress technicians in their software skills.
It’s approaching grades. According to Swedish those finishing secondary education had their hat/cap wearing ceremony, and I am reminded of my last days of school.
They say 50% of students will have jobs that are not invented while they are in school. I’m not sure my job as media teacher was invented, not when I look at how it has been defined. I have learned much. About myself, and about teaching. There are many things I thought obvious which in teaching I’ve found assumed certain knowledge… and I need to develop my critical path thinking to be a better teacher.
I also spend a fair amount of time networking and discussion online. Forums, LinkedIn, Facebook groups and some developer mail lists. In those different discussions I realise how quickly things move from theory to standard. From news to routine.
One great thing about teaching the courses I have is that it has given me the drive to get back in touch with video and multimedia. I think those skills will come in handy as publishing becomes more diverse and starts to include interactive elements in ePub and cross media.
… I wonder what these students who wore their caps will be working with in five to ten years…
The holidays go too quickly. Living in two places adds to the confusion, and I end up constantly carrying my books till my back aches, even in this digital age. Why books? Well I just love the way one can browse to get an overview… or perhaps it is my tactile memory.
Now books come in many flavours. And my family do know that they make good presents. My wife bought me an enormous book on infographics, and my daughter a volume on poster art, and still as I work my way through the books I’ve acquired in different ways I still find my wish list is growing.
The holidays have been spent also brushing up on special effects for video, and video training is great, but I still like the book for when I plan my own teaching. I find that when the screen has so many functions it spins my head till I loose direction. Lets be digital with moderation.
I’m feeling a little guilty for not having written in a while. I have written, on the net… but not here in my own private space. Bakhtin wrestles with the concept of other and self… and perhaps that is why I find a blog to be limiting… there is not the dynamics of dialogue.
But there are those that may find their way here to find out who I am or what I’m thinking. I cannot expect everyone to follow the same discussions that I’m involved in, though there are some I interact with in different media :).
One of the circles I’m thankful and proud to be part of is the Adobe Education Leaders. For me this is not just a network to be able to market a brand in an educational system, but a network of likeminded peers that help me hone my skills. We do discuss particular problems related to the software we have as a common tool, but there is much more to it than that. This international network gives me a chance to benchmark my students skills with students in other countries. It also helps me be informed of contests like the ACA world championship. There are also weekly webinars where we as members are given insight into and offered opportunity to give feedback on technological developments.
One more area where I have learned to take an active role is in reporting and following up discussions on bugs. If we teach something and we find that students frequently have problem with the design of a function, we can report it as a feature request or a bug. This is as important as taking an active role in giving voice to our concerns in media. Software companies, politicians and media companies do respond to our voice, if we learn to use the channels provided. Filling in a Feature Request or a bug, will make a difference, maybe not today, but if we clarify and motivate our requests we can hope for a change… or let me put it this way, if we only grumble to our peers and do not make the effort to use the feedback channels that we are offered, then we cannot assume that things will get better in the future. Voicing our concerns and seeing changes being made gives us confidence to raise our voices for change in other, more important, areas.
I believe we all can be active to change, and cause change, as long as we are not afraid to think and let our thoughts take the time to form words in the dialog of life.
Today, sitting at my new job as media teacher we came to discuss the curriculum outcomes of a certain course. Should we teach analogue video technology? Isn’t all digital now? And what would be included in analogue technologies?
Then it came to me. last year when my daughter was graduating I attempted to put together a short medley of her life. Digging through materials that I’ve collected over the past two decades… moments that cannot be retaken. VHS, VHSC, DV-cassettes, DVD’s and more. I remember trying to hook up all the equipment with the various cables I had. VHS and VHSC needed to be digitised… I had no card but when I had bought my video recorder i was sure to have one that could convert an analogue signal to digital, only I didn’t have the firewire compatible to the new computer. I booted an older computer and the test went fine… only I did forget about the 4GB limit for file size which meant having to recapture some of the material.
Being able to think outside of the standard, and to break down an impossible project into doable steps is something that need to be taught… now I need to think about how
Two years ago I went back to school, to study teaching. Now I’m going back to school again… as a teacher. There has been many changes in secondary education curriculum in Sweden. To know something is quite different to teaching it, but i feel comfortable with both. Still hungry to learn more, but it finding my confidence growing as I explain the same principles again and again testing analogies and metaphors till I can make the concepts understandable.
Some things will be new. The increased responsibility of planning an education as opposed to a project or a book. Finding the right level and pace to challenge upper secondary schools students will also be new. Knowing what they learn at university is a help, and getting some great positive feedback from my university students has boosted my confidence.
Another exciting challenge is to see if I can help form a network of media educators here in Sweden… but I’ll save that for my next post