ZDNet by Christopher Dawson
Summary: Sometimes a tool is so good, it’s possible to build high-value courses around it.
Regular readers will know that, while there are certain applications that I like a lot, I generally prefer a conceptual approach to teaching technology skills. I’d rather see a class on written communication or desktop publishing than a class on Microsoft Word, for example. A class on web design is, I think, more useful than one on Dreamweaver, even if Dreamweaver is the tool of choice for the class. And, whenever possible, schools can save money by teaching principles and concepts using open source software, the outcomes of which are broadly applicable to a variety of real-world situations and any number of software applications.
However, I recently had a chance to produce some training videos and a DVD of a community theater project using Adobe Premiere. Previously, I’d been an iMovie sort of guy. I’d given up on finding a decent open source video editor, despite having a tweaked out Linux laptop that was ideally suited for video work (at least from a hardware perspective) and iMovie always did everything I wanted it to. As my day job pulled me further and further to the dark side of sales and marketing, though, iMovie was, well, lacking. And I just happened to have this trial copy of Premiere Pro CS5.5 floating around. Full 64-bit support, GPU acceleration, an updated graphics engine that could happily leverage as much horsepower as I threw at it, and native support for the video files from the DSLR I used to shoot the footage…How could I resist?
So I set that Linux laptop up to dual boot 64-bit Windows 7 alongside an HP Z210 workstation and I went to town. I’d dabbled with Premiere when I tested CS5, but never had occasion to really force myself to learn it. No time like the present, though, right? While Adobe Premiere isn’t for the faint of heart, it didn’t take me long to master the basics, nor did it take me much longer to be using nested timelines, manage multiple audio tracks, adjust lighting, and otherwise produce video that was vastly more polished and professional than any I’d managed to crank out before. read more...