“Let the adventure begin!” As of this week, my job changes for a whole month to focus on a self-directed learning opportunity! I’m the Education Outreach Specialist at the Byrd Polar Research Center, where I’ve always had multiple roles to play. With a professional development grant from Learning Technology, I’ve been granted release time from my normal duties to concentrate on enhancing my technical skills. I’ll spend the next four weeks learning to use some of the applications in Creative Suite 5.5 to edit diagrams and help to create and edit short video clips.
I have been frustrated by my inability to modify the technical diagrams and illustrations that the scientists develop. Their graphics are often too complex (and busy) for use in presentations to students and visitors to Byrd Polar. I’ve sometimes been able to hire students or others with the expertise to work on graphics. But that always involved a time delay, and negotiations over funding. I’m really looking forward to enhancing my skills over the next four weeks, especially the potential for creativity. The project should improve my abilities to help with production of media objects at BPRC, and we thought some of you might “tag along” in the blogosphere.
As they say at NASA, “all systems are go.” The software has been installed, and I’ll be working on a new MacBook Pro as I learn. So there’s a bit of a learning curve ahead, but it should certainly be manageable. Mostly, I plan to use the online tutorials that Adobe provides. There’s a “Dummies” book for CS5 too, but I’m not sure how well it will work with version 5.5. Initially, I’ll be working with existing video footage from Dr. Ellen Mosley-Thompson’s trip to the Bruce Peninsula of Antarctica in 2009. We would also like to produce a general introduction to Antarctica, which will probably require that I either design or modify some graphics too.
I’m happy to share this journey, and thank both Ellen and the Learning Technology group within the Office of the Chief Information Officer for enabling me to set out on a self-directed learning adventure.