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Tutor Tips: Why Does Digital Media Matter?

The world of digital media has exploded in the last two decades, and there are no signs of it slowing down. With increasingly elaborate technical needs for both personal and professional users, there is a growing need for people to be familiar with how digital media works. But not everybody has those skills, and those without digital media skills will be at a disadvantage to those who do.

That’s where we come in. The Digital Media Centre and its team of tutors are here to help.

How we can help

The Digital Media Centre (DMC) has several computers equipped with Adobe Suite. DMC-21Anyone with a LabNet account can log into these computers for free. There is always at least one trained staff member available to help you, and if you require more in-depth assistance, you can book a free, one-on-one tutorial with any of our digital media tutors. Each tutor has different skill sets and specializations, and we will try to accommodate your needs as best we can.

What software do we offer?

DMC-Tutoring

Our digital media software includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Photoshop: a powerful image editing software optimized for altering pre-existing images
  • Illustrator: a vector-based image creation software best suited for logos and other marketing materials
  • Premiere: a video editing software
  • InDesign: an extremely flexible document creation software that is perfect for making complicated and elaborate documents such as magazines or resumes

All of our tutors will be able to help you with these programs, and some tutors may also be familiar with other applications. If you wish to learn a program not listed above, feel free to ask and we’ll do our best to find a compatible tutor.

Professional use

A lot of companies benefit from having people familiar with digital media on their team. It saves a lot of money when they have skilled designers or technicians in house: they do not need to outsource their projects to other companies, and they benefit from a designer who knows more about the company than an outsider would. Jobs that are not strictly “digital media” but that benefit from digital media skills include:

  • community managers
  • journalists
  • publishers
  • teachers
  • web developers

With a combination of skill and patience, it’s possible to create entire careers out of digital media. Some careers that revolve around digital media creation and manipulations include:

  • advertisement campaign creators
  • non-profit fundraisers
  • photographers
  • audio/video technicians
  • television, film, or online producers

Commons myths and concerns

So. You’ve made the decision to learn about digital media, but you still have some concerns. Here are some common myths:

“It’s too difficult for me”

Digital media is 10% technical knowledge, 40% design, and 50% patience. After learning the basic controls, most of your time will be spent figuring out what aesthetics look the best for your project. How difficult or time consuming the initial learning curve is depends on how much you use computers. If you are a regular computer user, you’ll likely learn the basics of the program in less time than it takes to watch a movie.

“I need to know what every tool does before I can make anything”

While it helps to know as many of your tools as possible, knowing every tool isn’t necessary when you begin learning. Like learning a language or an instrument, you work in increments: start with the basic structures and tools and build from there. If anything, trying to learn all the tools right away will cause more trouble than it’s worth. If you start with the basic functions (layering, movement, object creation, filters), you can add other tools as you gain more experience.

“What I learn won’t apply outside of Adobe Suite”

Many of the concepts and principles learned in the Adobe Suite are common across similar software. There will be an initial technical learning curve with any new program, but everything you learn about digital media theory and design will carry over. It’s like learning how to write different types of essays: while you may need to do things a bit differently between different types of writing, many of the basic principles remain the same.

Conclusion

With an increasingly digital world defining the workplace, it is becoming increasingly important to understand how digital media works. Whether you want to pursue a career in it, have fun photoshopping your friends into your favourite movie, or simply understand how people put it all together, we have the services you need. Come visit us today, and prepare to learn about a world of digital wonder.

You can enquire about either the Digital Media Centre or our digital media tutors at our main desk in the QEII Library, the DMC (at the back of The Commons), or in the Teachers’ Legacy Rotunda underneath the university clock tower. You can also email us at commons@mun.ca, or call 864-6159.

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