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Archive for February, 2008

IMD Applications vs Learning How to Learn

February 16, 2008 3 comments

skills.gif

The above scale indicates what is important in developing and preparing for a career in Interactive Media. It is only my opinion but there is a point to the graphic!

Flash, and all the other authoring tools for Interactive Media are important to becoming a successful professional in the industry. But these tools are constantly changing and they could easily be replaced in a few years by some other, more capable and easier to use tool. Social networking which also involves a variety of tools, represents a process of understanding the kinds of activities that designers must learn to create for their clients, and they offer a process of collaborating and social learning that helps develop skills vital to our industry. They even offer a process of gaining mastery in the authoring tools, as you share with one another the tips and tricks you learn about markup or coding/scripting. Without learning how to learn more efficiently and taking advantage of sharing with others in your field, you will have a shallow understanding of what designing interactive media is about.

It is easy to be caught up in the application gods. I want to be the best Flash developer or I want to be the best back-end developer, or HTML/CSS/JS/PHP developer is a normal quest. You may even want to be the best at all of these disciplines. But then the apps change, the tools are refined, and you have to start over and learn how to be the best of….

A perhaps trite but appropriate example here is that you can learn how to use a hammer in a very short period of time (or even a pneumatic nail gun!) but that does not mean you know how to build a fine crafted home. You can also learn to play the guitar or piano, but it doesn’t mean you will be a rock star!

Learning how to learn, learning the wide variety of tools that are part of gaining efficiency and greater productivity are high on the list of qualifications for being successful in interactive media. Be patient with learning the applications for they are not the difficult part of the process. Learn what the media is about and what people want to do with it, learn how to use the social networking applications for it is the same process as learning any application. Then you can apply all of your technical skills creatively and purposefully. Besides, there really is a time and place for everything.

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Categories: Class Activities