Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
I’ve seen so many changes in photography over the past 30+ years. In many ways teaching photography used to be easier and less complex and demanding than it is today. We taught and worked with the analog (wet) process in the darkroom and used something called film in our cameras. Sure…there are still lots of photographers still using film, however it is no longer standard practice for the Photographic industry.
One day photographers like myself woke up to computers and something called digital technology. Then Photoshop came along and now we have to Light Room, Gimp, Aperture and a host of new and powerful imaging / editing programs to learn. Not only do we have to learn all these new programs – we also must stay abreast of the latest versions. Once I feel comfortable with PS CS 3 – CS4 comes along, and then CS5….. Sound familiar?
Then we started hearing about distance learning and online teaching. Then blackboard came along and now a new open source LMS called Moodle and we have to figure out how to deliver (teach) our course content in the online environment. Photo Educators like Patrick Millard and others are even using second life to teach some of their classes. Heck…I don’t even have time for my first life.
Yes absolutely!! I do believe technology has empowered us as Photographers and Photo Educators, however it has also presented us with a variety of new challenges and demands that we as photographers and photo educators didn’t have 10 – 20 years ago.
I find many of the challenges exciting, but with these new challenges comes additional pressures on our time.
Photography technology and education has evolved and changed rapidly the past 10 + years and we have woken up to realize that our work loads have increased exponentially as well – in many cases without additional compensation.
My upcoming presentation (and live Webinar see below) next Saturday at the Society for Photographic Eduction Regional Conference is meant to start a conversation about where we as photographers and photo educators find ourselves 2011 and beyond. That conversation can be continued on this blog post.
This link below will take you to my live webinar during SPE Regional this year. Just copy and paste this link into your browser to access and participate in the talk.
Challenges for Photo Educators in 2011 and Beyond: 10:00am October 29th
This presentation addresses a variety of issues directly related to the new roles, demands and expectations on Photo Educators. Most college faculty no longer teach 100% of the time in the traditional classroom/lab environment. Course management systems like Moodle and Blackboard have empowered teachers and students alike with a variety of new options, applications and networking tools for delivering and receiving viable and dynamic photographic instruction. Most instructors no longer have to be at any given place (office or classroom)) thanks to wireless communications and applications like Skype, Blackboard, Moodle and ITunes U when teaching their classes, however many of the traditional 20th Century expectations are still applied to online faculty by college administrators and students alike. Faculty must also constantly be upgrading their technical skill sets in order to incorporate the latest technologies into their online classes. Teachers are also expected to check-in to their online classes over weekends and on holidays with no additional compensation, in addition to spending countless hours developing, retooling and upgrading their online courses. The role of faculty is changing (evolving) rapidly and this presentation will address these changes and offer suggestions for adapting (surviving) in the new world of education we find ourselves in.