Digital StoryTelling

Last Friday and Saturday, Macy Gallery hosted two identical full-day sessions on Digital StoryTelling: Experimenting with digital media for art educators. The two sessions ran from 9:30 to 5:00, and was led by Dr. Hua-Chu Yen, an artist,educator and digital media specialist. This workshop was the first of a series that is open and free to all members of the TC community, both past and present.

The day began well as a group of us crowded around the entrance to Macy Gallery. We spontaneously started to introduce ourselves, noting that many of the people present were not art educators, but from departments all across TC. There was an interesting mixture of alumni, masters, and doctoral students, all eager to learn about incorporating digital media into their classrooms or presentations.

We began the workshop with a section called “Every Photo tells a Story,” and Dr. Yen, who told us to call her Hua-Chu, went over the basics of iPhoto and Adobe Photoshop. While there were a few glitches, as there always is with digital media, in all, the two hour long section went very smoothly. Hua-Chu covered all aspects of iPhoto from basic organizational tips to creating movie slide shows. As we transitioned into Photoshop, Hua-Chu delved deeply into the basic Photoshop concepts that were necessary to understand its workings.

We discussed layers, making composites using several different photos, resizing images and the definitions of “resolution” and the different file extensions. It was an extremely thorough investigation of Photoshop, and the concepts discussed were the ones that were absolutely imperative for a beginning Photoshop user to understand. There were also several handouts provided by Hua-Chu and Macy Gallery that covered everything that we discussed with clarity and easy to follow images. It was obvious from the many questions that were asked all around the room that learning was occurring, and that people were becoming more comfortable with the use of technology.

From Photoshop, we went onto discuss Garageband, iMovie, Quicktime, Dreamweaver, and WordPress/Pressible. Hua-Chu also told us several little known resources at TC, which included TC’s free Quicktime server and Columbia’s FTP (host: cunix.cc.columbia.edu), which is available for student use. There were also discussions about the amazing resources available at Lynda.com, which Michael Vlahovic did a post about a few days ago.

Through the Digital StoryTelling workshop, the group definitely came closer to “acquiring production skills and understanding the theories and specificities of digital media, in order to develop a critical perspective that conveys a teacher’s philosophy of teaching through the engagement of digital technologies,” as the overview of the workshop stated.