Trials and tribulations with technology

Carrie Snow was right when she said, “Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.” As an educator, I have prided myself on learning new technologies and introducing innovative ways to help students understand content and complex ideas. PowerPoint, Camtasia, Screencast-o matic these are common programs. Digital stories using iMovie or We Video are written and created. These are just a few tools I use to engage students. So, I thought I would have no problem mastering Adobe photoshop for use in my education modules with Teach By Tech. It seems that everyone can use Photoshop, even my 70-year-old aunt has figured out how to “cut the fat” and wrinkles in her photos. How hard could it be? I should know better than to have such a cavalier attitude towards learning anything new.  First, learning anything new is time consuming! Second, books and online tutorials are nowhere to begin for me. Thankfully, there is a wonderful resource in Denver known as the Open Media Foundation. They provide classes that take you step by step on a variety of programs. Each class is designed to offer hands-on application, which is invaluable to me and the only way I seem to master computer applications. My first class I entered and there were about 8 other students. Everything was going well. I could follow along pretty easily. A few days later I get to work on new pictures for an animation I am making. Things went downhill fast. I kept forgetting to hit enter, or I was on the wrong layer, I could not remember the shortcut command to delete. I was going back and forth with tutorials online, but the tutorials were not specific to what I wanted. I was spending way too much time combing through the plethora of tutorials trying to find the right one. It was frustrating and mind numbing. I was jonesing for the days of papers and pens. But, that is not the world we live in. Perseverance is the key. Lucky for me, Open Media offered the same class in a week. I went back a second time and realized there were a few key points I had missed the first time. After about 6 weeks, I have been able to create most of what I need. I try to practice Photoshop every day. Much like learning a new language if you don’t use it, you lose it. I would by no means consider myself an expert, but the progress is fascinating. I still get angry with my computer daily and wonder why this user seems to err so often. But, I know that the final outcome will be worth the effort. One bonus to the madness, what I learn with Photoshop is applicable to many other programs! When the day begins I never know if this is a stab in the back day or a great gift day. Honestly, it is usually a combination of both.

Does anybody else feel like this somedays?