Preparing courses in Illustrator and Indesign

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.

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Almost a year as a teacher

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…

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The more you know the more you may want to know.

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.

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Beta testing and forums: how a teacher can prepare students for tomorrow

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.

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Teaching for tomorrow

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 :)

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Back to school

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 :)

 

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Nice to be able to share some sneak peak peeks of CS6. Ever since I heard about the feature I was bursting, but here is the official video and if Brenda says it… that’s the way it is, at least in Illustrator.

Hope you all have enjoyed the pattern sneak preview, also staring Brenda.

It’s going to be an exciting year, and even if all our dreams don’t come true all at once, this is really exciting.

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Photoshop CS6 Public Beta

Adobe has released the public beta of Photoshop 6… and even better lynda.com released an introduction to all the new features so you know where to start playing with it :)

photoshopcs6beta

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Happy Birthday Adobe Illustrator

I can’t believe it’s been 25 years. Ok I admit that my first year of working with Illustrator 88 wasn’t void of frustrations… no one had taught me and there was no internet to browse for tutorials. The Macintosh IIci was still a bit of a toy next to the dedicated graphics station running Dalim, and the RIP connected to the slide recorder was still struggling in version one. But over the years I’ve grown to love the program. The combination of perfect control with the invoked random happy chance accidents that can bring life to computer graphics.

So Happy Birthday Illustrator, and thank you Adobe.

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February passes too fast…

It always gets me when I plan something in march thinking I’ve got plenty of time, and then all of a sudden february is over and…  this time it’s a pecha-kucha talk I have been planning for some time, was going to hold it in november, and now after several postponements it’s here. Thursday 1st march. 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide… thinking can I be that focussed? I normally demo live, or use the whiteboard :S

I’m actually looking forward too it, my plan is a colourful Aleph-beta, and yes I’ll not reach Z let alone any of the scandinavian characters even if i and j share a slide. I’m hoping to just inspire to look at letters in a new light… we use them every day and hardly give them a fleeting glance. I hope to pay the craftsmen respect one glyph at a time …but choosing 20 representations was a challenge.

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