Thursday, October 19, 2006

Teaching & learning Photoshop

I've been teaching a group of retired folk like me, a fair
amount of Photoshop 7, and today is the last session of my
short course. It's something I feel enthusiastic about, and
I hope I've been able to put that feeling across.

I think I've made the mistake of putting too much info across
at any one time, so when I come to repeat the course in Jan-
Feb, I'll do less. For example today, I'm covering correcting
red eye, some fancy things you can do with text, creating
borders (to create an illusion of an inner bevelled edge), a
couple of layering techniques to add blur or chrome to a
background, and building some simple photo-montages, all in
less than an hour. It's teaching up front with lots of
repetition, as we haven't got extra laptops for folk to get
their hands on. Also to do the latter would require 2-3 times
the amount of time to allow people to work at different
speeds, and for me to go round the class helping them out.
I've been giving out written material also, for "homework".

I mention all this as along the way, I've learned a tremendous
amount, by looking up how to do things in books and on the
internet, by creating a course with increasing technical
difficulty and putting material together in a logical
progression, and by trying out a lot of stuff myself to get
the presentation right.

I'm not a natural teacher. I'd be hopeless in front of a
disruptive class of teenagers, but it's a lot easier teaching
a group of people who've chosen to be there, and who ask
relevant questions (and help me out occasionally when things
go wrong). I work with Windows 98 most of the time on this old
machine, and I've found it difficult to get used to the layout
of Windows XP, which I'm using to present the course (and
which most people have got). Mrs C has Windows XP on her
laptop, but I've been wrong-footed a few times by a slightly
different version of XP on the teaching machine. Another
problem which some of you will be used, to is that the colour
produced by the Powerpoint projector we've got, is rubbish
compared with what's on the laptop screen -- I've found that
so frustrating at times.

That's enough of all this, as I'll be boring the pants off
you -- that's an odd expression, isn't it? Hardly a seduction
technique, more the complete opposite...your partner at the
dinner table will be wondering where the nearest exit is.


Anonymous Katt said...

I'm in desperate need of some Photoshop tutoring. Maybe I should fly over to England and sign up. I'll be the disruptive teenage... or at least I will pretend to be a teenager.

7:50 AM  
Blogger justin said...

Katt: I think you'd either fall asleep or die of boredom in one of my classes. :)

10:53 PM  
Anonymous edt said...

Adobe Elements 4(with a free upgrade to Ver5 when its launched here) arrived by courier this morning. I can't WAIT to get at it (have been using Win98se and Adobe PhotoDeluxVer4 since 2000...but...further deliveries of PC components over the next few days are required. Am having a go at self assembling a Windows XP PC based on one of these, using my existing monitor/speakers/keyboard.It has the advantage of having the motherboard/PSU all pre-installed and wired. No significant price saving by self installing, but I wind up with a MUCH more powerful machine for the same dollars that a store bought machine would cost. Wish me luck though, I anticipate a bit of head scratching to make it run ;)... Regards from a sunny but windy spring day in NZ.

1:07 AM  
Blogger angel said...

i would so dearly love to learn photoshop... i have it on my laptop but i haven't had time to learn it yet!

9:46 PM  
Blogger justin said...

edt: wow, building your own computer - that's something way beyond me, and installing all the programs too. I've installed a few, when Windows crashed on me once, but linking up to the internet was a real pain. Good luck.
angel: I imagine you've got access to books, etc, on Photoshop but no time to learn it.
I've found the free IT classes on hplearningcenter dot com, very good -- well put together and well presented, for beginners and more advanced folk. There's one on Photoshop CS soon - enrollment starts in November.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous edt said...

Update: the new Shuttle PC GOES :)...a cry of joy was heard when the blue light lit up on the front on first power up...All software loaded, and its a lil stormer, Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 4600+ 2.4GHz CPU and 2 x 1 Gig of Corsair DDR2-800 RAM.

Adobe Elements 4 is a CONSIDERABLE improvement over PhotoDelux4, lots to learn there.

A few irritating hardware compatibility issues with the 56k modem and our Caller Alert system that makes a phone behind me ring regardless of being on the net on our single phone line(dial-up here) and a Plug/Socket nightmare with me internal Camera Memory Card reader to sort, and Cripes there's Networking to learn :(

The daily head scratching goes on I can tell you ;)... but I'm learning lots.

Regards from better spring weather in NZ.

9:55 AM  

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