Home > Class Activities > IMD Applications vs Learning How to Learn

IMD Applications vs Learning How to Learn

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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
  1. adelarosa
    February 18, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Nicely stated! This truly expressed the importance of learning through interaction with people in my industry. Of course this is what you have been trying to get us to understand all along. For me, I thought IMD was about mastering the applications. Since being in your class I can see that I must master communication and learning through social networking. I have really tried to figure out why our class can not get this thing down! Maybe we haven’t perfected our own goals. To me this social networking takes passion, dedication and a love for your field. Since most of the students have no idea what they will be doing or better yet, don’t know what IMD really is, those components needed to start this up will not be there. But overall, this entry has set me on the right path to success!

  2. wayne
    February 18, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    It is never easy to envision what you have yet to experience. Yet some of you have some experiences in the industry, even if only as a beginning freelancer, or a job that is in the industry. Those experiences can be offered to the group, and you begin to pick up “what it’s like”. Next week we will have an industry speaker, describing his company and their work process and projects. Be prepared to ask him all the questions you have, and at least get a better flavor from an active participant.

  3. Nathan
    February 25, 2008 at 3:38 am

    This explains to me why you place so much importance on blogging. Here I am caught up in trying to be the best CSS developer or HTML guy, that I haven’t really focused on the big picture.

    I think that’s what you’re getting at here with your post. That to really have a grasp on the big picture and to stay ahead of johnny one note one must constantly be learning.

    Really what I believe what it boils down to is that becoming a great programmer or flash developer or any goal of that nature is easier to grasp than say, never having enough knowledge.

    Now don’t get me wrong the pursuit of knowledge is a worthy pursuit, it gave us the expression that knowledge is power. Whoever has the knowledge has the power. I think some people just don’t want to pursue that as much as focusing their attention on a solitary medium.

    For example, lets compare our programs Graphic Design and Interactive Media. Now I’m not a graphic designer, but I am a thinker.

    As far as I know the Graphic Design industry hasn’t changed for the past 20-30 years. You either draw well, or you don’t. You either understand typography and layout, or you don’t. Graphic Designers I think get the luxury of having a focused medium, where they can do well in a few things, and be very successful.

    Interactive Media or Web Design is constantly ever changing medium, and that’s the way it should be. The way I see it is, IMD defines all the other mediums nowadays. We set the standards more and more as our culture becomes more and more atuned with the internet.

    If we as web designers can’t stay ahead of the trend and the popular programs and fresh ideas, we’ll become lost in the sea of market failure.

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