One of America’s best kept secrets
by Cheryl Machat Dorskind
Today begins my “Intro to Digital Photography” class at Suffolk County Community College. It is a five hour weekly class that teaches both camera and Adobe Photoshop skills. I have been teaching at this community college for twelve years and I agree with Jill Biden who says that “Community Colleges are “one of America’s best-kept secrets.”
Like Jill Biden, I see instantly how “classes at community college impact the lives of students for the better.” Teaching photography is a wonderful thing, as I can see how my student’s vision is forever changed. Some go on to have the “I-want-to-be-a-photographer” bug, while others have a new means of communicating their hearts and minds.
I also teach photography and art related classes online at the Perfect Picture School of Photography since 2006. Online education is a totally different mindset, but I love it just the same. It is amazing how connected you can be with others through sharing photography, strategy, and vision. I teach four courses online (All About Color, More About Color, Painting Photos, and Photographing Children: Rising to the Challenge) and many students join me for more than one, and over the years become my friends.
So with 2013, I thought, what better way to begin my passion for teaching than to leap into the rapidly growing field of MOOCs and be a student. For those who are unaware, MOOC is an acronym for Massive Open Online Course and many say (Forbes, NY Times, etc) that this forum is the future of education.
Currently courses are offered by a few distinguished organizations including Coursera, edX and Udacity and they are designed by “academic rockstars” attended by hundreds of thousands of students from around the world. While students are rarely rewarded for credit, MOOC classes inspire enrollment for learning satisfaction. What a great concept…learn for the sake of learning.
So I took the leap and joined a class.There are hundreds to choose from. For the moment, I would rather not say which class I enrolled in. Instead, I’d like you to explore the three MOOC venues I mentioned above and let’s start a conversation about courses that have captured your eye.
I will return to this discussion as my class unfolds and share new experiences.
All my best,