Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
I’ve been thinking lately just how much technology – especially digital communications technology has changed every aspect of our lives. I mean in less than twenty years digital technologies have completely changed (and dramatically impacted) how we live our lives, how we conduct our business, how we teach our students, how we learn, how we communicate to our friends, family, employers, employees, loved ones and the world in general.
The internet and “open source” programs like Skype, DIM DIM and even IM have enabled me to nurture my relationship with my daughter Andei even though she lived in Sicily for almost 2 years and now is sailing around the Bahamas with her Mom and Step-Dad.
We talk via Skype almost every day and share photos, plans and our daily lives with one another even though she’s hundreds of miles away. Digital technology has enabled me stay connected to my daughter Andei and many other friends and family even though they live in other states and even foreign countries.
Another thing that continues to amaze me is how I can teach just about any subject online. Think about it…ten – twenty years ago it would have been unheard of to teach photography, art, and a variety of other subjects outside the traditional classroom environment. Now with course management systems like Blackboard and Moodle just about anything can be taught online effectively. I’ve been teaching online for over ten years and this past semester I took a risk (accepted a challenge) to teach Computer Art totally online.
At first I was a little apprehensive, but now four weeks into the class it’s going great and the students are creating some absolutely AMAZING digital art (see below) by following my posted lectures, video tutorials, screen casts and screen shots sequences on how to use Photoshop and digital image manipulation programs.
Digital Composite by Anna McDonald – Computer Art I
Digital Composite by Joshua Hilbish
White Tigers and Owl with Girl by LaToya Hendley
Digital Composite by Cindy Sigmon
Predators by Bryson Scott
Technology is changing so rapidly and I admit it takes time and effort to stay abreast of all the changes – in fact…no one can keep abreast of this technological roller coaster. With that said…I appreciate what it’s done for me in my life – it’s empowered me in my teaching career and has enabled me to stay close to my children, friends and family, where as 20 or 30 years ago we may have just drifted apart due to the distance between us. There really is no distance anymore – we are as connected as we want to be.
You just can’t be afraid or intimidated by it all – hey…I’m an art guy with absolutely no formal computer training and somehow I figured it out enough to make it work for me.
Gotta Go! Andei is Skyping me. Cheers!