Adapting Classes to Use of Social Media

I have been using technology in my photography classes for years. The pressure to use technology started with the digital camera and then exploded with the advent of Social Media and a cell phone in every pocket.

Technologies creep into our lives (and my classes) slowly at first then seemed to explode with new Apps and access to information anywhere, any time.

I resisted a complete tech takeover of my classes at first (still do), but because of the subject matter and ease of adaptation, I have adjusted along with my students. I now know that I use an adapted version of a Flipped Classroom.

http://flippedlearning.org/site/default.aspx?PageID=1

I no longer care which device they use to take pictures, as long as the principles I teach are adhered to. I encourage my students to find tutorials online and to connect with each other to share their triumphs and sorrows.

It is a process of trial and error. Some online tools are great, YouTube for tutorials, Flickr to share images and Artcyclopedia: http://www.artcyclopedia.com/museums.html to look at any country in the world and see if they have a gallery presence online.

I discourage overuse of digital photo editing tools. No amount of tweaking can make up for a bad photograph. These tools can be useful but discourage the one thing we all need to do more of… practice.

I am lucky since the subject I teach adapts itself well to this new learning paradigm. I have found that it takes time, effort and constant research and adaptation on my part to keep up with the advancements in these new digital tools. In the end it was worth it, as my students are happier doing what they can on their own time and are more engaged and enthusiastic in class.

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