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Lesson Plans

Re: Computers and Art

From: E Jane Beckwith (ejb35)
Date: Sun Jul 30 2000 - 20:43:37 PDT

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    I teach graphic design at the college level. The school purchased PageMaker
    before I was hired, and they have IBM computers. Personally, I work on Macs and
    use Quark as it is the industry standard. That said, I am very happy that my
    students are using PageMaker (not so happy about the platform) because it is so
    intuitive. I have them appropriating images from various GOOD clip art and photo
    sites on the Web, which they enjoy. Graphic design, rather than drawing
    programs, is a fine place to start because you can teach all the basics with
    practical applications (my logo) even just using the geometric tools in the
    toolbox. Too many bells and whistles (templates. Ugh.) do make it seem like
    anyone can make art on a computer. As for the awful display type available in
    Word. . . It is a shame that there are so many trashy software "art" packages
    out there. The other problem is time. PhotoShop, Illustrator etc. have very long
    learning curves. For the general classroom they aren't practical. As for the
    anyone can do it attitude, I got frustrated on jobs where I was handed things
    scratched on the backs of envelopes and asked to make them "look nice." Then I
    would hear how easy it was and how you can do it all by pushing a few buttons. I
    wish. Some companies I worked for decided to cut costs by having the
    receptionist learn PageMaker so she could put out the employe newsletter in her
    "spare time" (right) The uninitiated really believe that the software package
    does all the work. I am looking at various school websites now to get some ideas
    for one at our school. A lot of them are cobweb sites that is, they have not
    been updated for months or years. Maintaining a Web site takes a lot of time and
    it looks pretty lame if you can't keep it up by refreshing it every week with
    something interesting. I hesitate to get started 'cause I am not sure I can make


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