June 22, 2006

Just in time learning?

I always like the little comic avatars some people use in their profiles. (see Rob) Never sure how to create one, I did a bit of searching yesterday to see if there was either some free software or some tutorials using existing software. My photo and image editor of choice has always been Fireworks. I do have Photoshop installed but quite frankly have never had a deep love affair with Adobe because I felt there was way more there than I or certainly most students needed.

Unfortunately I had no luck finding software or tutorials for fireworks. I did find a tutorial for Photoshop. So this morning I spent about 15 minutes walking through it step by step and came up with this creation.

Having walked through the tutorial, I had no real idea what I was doing and if it would turn out. This is fairly similar to many students experience with school. Just follow along and don’t ask questions. You’ll see it’s right in the end.
In this case, it was fine. The key here is I had a goal and was willing to walk through the steps blindly to reach it. Is this just in time learning? Not really. I didn’t really learn anything. I couldn’t reuse any of the tools and step in the tutorial for anything else. There is no transfer of learning. For some things, that’s okay. I’m happy with the outcome but don’t have anything reusable. Students need to experience more transferable learning and yet understand the value of this type of “throw away learning”.

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