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A micro-view of the educational issues brought on by CC

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Joseph W. Bourke
A micro-view of the educational issues brought on by CC
on May 28, 2013 at 4:28:18 pm

I just got back from a presentation at a regional Middle School in New Hampshire. It was for a class being taught by a graphic artist to give their kids a sampling of what goes on in the graphic design field. The kids were in grades 7 and 8, and, as we got rolling, and I was explaining what software I used, the teacher asked me a question: "Since we're not going to be able to afford the next version of the Adobe software, what alternatives are you aware of that I can teach, so that when the kids go on to high school, and have the Adobe software there, they won't be lost?"

I told them (these middle schoolers are only using Photoshop and Illustrator at this point) that there was GIMP that I was aware of, and that Blender was cool for 3D (although there was nothing from Adobe which corresponded to 3D software), but that the industry standards at this point are the Creative Suite.

She said that she really didn't want to be teaching something which didn't correspond to industry standards for design, web creation, and animation, but that there was currently no budget to allow for the new pricing model.

Now I've been pretty supportive of the CC, and I own the CS6 Master Collection, so I'm in a safe place for choices, but I immediately saw the sheer idiocy on Adobe's part, if they're really planning on cutting loose the breeding ground of future Adobe users. I'm all for alternatives, but in the design field especially, if you're a pro, you're using Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and InDesign (for the most part). Getting kids psyched about your software early on is the surest way to keep them psyched about it when they get to the professional level. I can't believe that Adobe is even considering making their software unaffordable to their first tier of future users.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Jim Wiseman
Re: A micro-view of the educational issues brought on by CC
on May 28, 2013 at 4:45:14 pm

Why not? They're making it unaffordable for many of their most loyal users in the private sector. Why should you expect good judgement from above in Adobe in education? It's obvious that someone making the decisions just doesn't get it.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.3, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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Chris Jacek
Re: A micro-view of the educational issues brought on by CC
on May 28, 2013 at 7:13:27 pm

I have actually spoken with one of the higher-ups in educational software sales. From what I have heard, they may still have something in the works for smaller educational institutions (larger institutions still have a pretty sweet deal with enterprise licensing). I am suspicious, however, that this may just be vaporware.

I get the sense that Adobe was genuinely shocked by the large backlash from the educational community that happened in early 2013 (keep in mind that most educational institutions were using a maintenance license under the CLP agreement, and that program was cancelled in January).

For them not to expect blowback from the institutions whose costs are quadrupling, or in some cases octupling, is reason for concern to all of us. I think it is further evidence that those who are calling the shots are working unilaterally, accepting little or no input from the various divisions within the organization. Sometimes it really is as simple as it looks: a money grab. It is becoming increasingly apparent that Adobe is making decisions that are strictly financial, and abandoning its previous philosophy of nurturing its brand and investing in long-term customer loyalty. What is even more disturbing to me, however, is that they appear to be acting recklessly, and not thinking things through.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Petros Kolyvas
Re: A micro-view of the educational issues brought on by CC
on May 28, 2013 at 7:55:59 pm

I believe the way forward is to stop teaching students proprietary "industry standard" tools, and instead teach them "industry standard" concepts. Vectors, splines, layers, cutting, trimming, rolls, slips, J and L cuts, alpha channels etc;, the kind of knowledge students can apply to their art, craft or profession, irrespective of what software they're sat in front of.

--
There is no intuitive interface, not even the nipple. It's all learned. - Bruce Ediger


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Brandon Cordy
Re: A micro-view of the educational issues brought on by CC
on May 28, 2013 at 8:48:05 pm

Exactly. My animation professors in college always said we were there to learn concepts, not programs. I forgot the exact quote, but it was something along the lines of "If you want to learn how to use After Effects, Maya, or whatever, lock yourself in a room with the software for a month and you'll come out a genius. We're here to learn how to animate, not how to use a program."


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: A micro-view of the educational issues brought on by CC
on May 28, 2013 at 9:21:10 pm

doesn't it go to the invested coursework and methodology built up around adobe software over quite a long period?

It's all well and good making noble points about the purity of concepts over the grubbiness of learning industry software, but either way you slice it, this move by adobe - quadrupling and more the prices for small, vulnerable education bodies and charities, doing this without warning or explanation, has to be one of the worst examples of bait and switch you can pretty much conceive of - they drew them in with highly competitive pricing, then after a certain period, when they felt there was enough of a catchment enmeshed in adobe products - they drove the price through the roof.

how does... how does that have any bearing on our current circumstances I wonder... what possible conclusions could you draw from it about future adobe behaviour, future adobe pricing with say, oh, I don't know say maybe a semi-captive subscriber base... man that tricky isn't it?

But adobe are good guys right?
that is, when they're not financially raping schools, charities and australians -I mean apart from those cases, we have nothing at all to be worried about here going forward.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Kris Merkel
Re: A micro-view of the educational issues brought on by CC
on May 29, 2013 at 2:13:42 pm

Not that I want to sidetrack this thread, but why for goodness sakes would an educator bring up this question in the middle of your presentation in front of the class when your preso was about design and not economics?

Debate about the cloud is not appropriate for that type of setting in the time that you have had and should have been discussed privately. These students are already living in a world where they perceive everything as crumbling and are more apt to innovate if given proper encouragement instead of pointing out obstacles to the potential futures.

Their reality in the years to come will certainly look much different than the reality of their instructors here and now. And more than likely each and every one of them when they are in the workforce will have everything delivered, stored, accessed in the cloud.

Makes my stomach turn to think about an instructors opinion being forced upon young people instead of allowing them to lean how to express their own ideas and creativity just because they are big and the students are small. That is not how the future is to be shaped.

"Think of everything in terms of building capacity."

Kris Merkel
twitter: @kris_merkel
Product Manager, Flanders Scientific Inc.
http://www.shopfsi.com
Co-Founder, Atlanta Cutters Post Production User Group
http://www.atlantacutters.com

2.2Ghz MBP core i7
16Gb RAM
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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: A micro-view of the educational issues brought on by CC
on May 29, 2013 at 4:55:20 pm

[Kris Merkel] " will have everything delivered, stored, accessed in the cloud."

thou art surely having a laugh, o brother?

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: A micro-view of the educational issues brought on by CC
on May 29, 2013 at 6:37:18 pm

Kris -

It struck me as rather odd as well, but it came at a point in the presentation where I had just made my first "any questions?" query, and the students were not responding with any questions. I think she jumped in with that question just to do something, and the something on her mind was the issue she was faced with, in terms of finding new teaching tools, was the budget. She was speaking in the "interest" of her students, who at this point, had no idea that there were any issues revolving around schools affording the software they might use next year.

And it wasn't a "debate" about the Cloud, she asked a question, and I answered it to the best of my ability, neither being all-knowing about what's coming, or an Adobe employee. I suggested a couple of the alternatives (if they might be needed - the kids seemed to already be aware of, and using GIMP, and even Garage Band was mentioned, although I had no idea it would do any graphics oriented stuff), then we moved on...

These were seventh and eighth graders, and most of them have given little thought to the realities coming with "life in the real world". They're mostly too busy dealing with hormonal changes, and interest in the "opposite sex" to worry about how they'll get access to their software. There only seemed to be two kids out of the twenty or so who were even vaguely interested in what I was showing them, and they seemed excited about the possibility that you can earn a living doing something you actually like.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Chris Jacek
Re: A micro-view of the educational issues brought on by CC
on May 29, 2013 at 3:02:37 am

This a very progressive way to teach students to be become more enlightened editors and animators who will never get hired. I agree with "teach the concept" in theory. In practice, however, companies are rarely looking for the entry-level employee who has experience with a concept. In most cases, a job posting requires experience with a specific software platform, and 3 years experience on a rival platform won't even get their resume past the circular file.

Unfortunately, the people who are hiring, especially when it comes to entry-level positions, want someone who already knows how to run the system that they already have. In many cases, the person doing the hiring may not even know how to use the software themselves. There's no way they are going to hire someone that needs additional time or training to use the company's existing editing setup.

Last year, while still on Macs, I taught my students FCP7, FCPX, Premiere, Avid, and After Effects. Ideally, we could all do this, but I have the advantage of teaching on the "block system" which means that my students take one class at a time, 3 hours a day, for 3.5 weeks. For us, the 30-day trial is the perfect way to teach many platforms, as the students each have their own machines. For a more traditional set-up, I'm not really sure how that would work. I don't know what the ethics would be of re-imaging the machines each semester or year, and using the 30-day trial only whenever there is a new class of students.

Professor, Producer, Editor
and former Apple Employee


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Brandon Cordy
Re: A micro-view of the educational issues brought on by CC
on May 30, 2013 at 5:20:43 pm

I didn't say we weren't taught the specific software platforms; it's just that (a) the concepts, not the software functions, were the primary foci of the courses and (b) we usually used no less than two software packages per class (and even if we only used one software package at a time, in another class you often used the other. For example, I had an animation class that taught only Maya and a modeling class that taught only 3DS Max the same semester).

It was important for us to learn that technology changes and we needed to be able to roll with the punches and not get "trapped" into only knowing how to use this package or that package, only to get stuck when the industry tilts in a different direction.

It's worked for me so far, and I've seen others who have been proselytized to about certain packages to where working with other software became a hassle for them and for us (either the work wasn't as good or we got an earful of how X software would be so much better every day).


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