With e-books, Powerpoint presentations and other forms of computer software becoming the standard medium through which students create and develop ideas, a large educational void has been left for students to fill themselves.
For a number of students, the task of learning computer programs like Adobe’s Photoshop and Thomson Reuters’ Endnote has largely been left unto themselves, mostly through a trial and error based method of understanding.
While private tutors and self-help books may offer some support, these methods of aid can end up costing the student a great deal of money in the end.
Yet for members of the Tech community, the often troublesome task of learning new and slightly unruly software can easily be accomplished thanks in large part to the staff of the Tech library.
Throughout the year, the library offers professionally led, hands-on workshops, giving Tech students the chance to learn the ins and outs of a wide variety of computer programs, along with methods helping to aid in research paper generalities.
The classes range from an orientation of library services and short workshops on everything from citation management to Photoshop or Dreamweaver.
Many of the classes have been created to serve as part of a series to help in the student’s transformation from undergraduate studies to graduate studies.
And while they may seem geared more toward students than the public, many of the workshops are designed with the intention of addressing a much broader audience of everyday people who are looking for ways of advancing their own practical education.
With class durations lasting anywhere between an hour and an hour and a half, the seminars are led by various senior staff members of the library, some of whom have over a decade of multimedia experience.
Many of the staff members hold degrees from institutions across the south such as Duke University, Emory University, Florida State University, University of Alabama and Tech alike.
For example, Tuesday, July 12, at 3:00 p.m., Alison Valk, a senior staff member, will be leading a workshop on Adobe InDesign, a program typically utilized by graphic designers to format layouts of publications like posters and other forms of print media.
During the class, participants will skillfully create a business card or event brochure.
For some students, the benefits of having a proficiency in such document processing programs like that of InDesign can be used to help students gain the upper hand on not only schoolwork here on campus, but also on tasks within the business sector.
“As I’ve started to finish up here at Tech, I’ve begun to rely on programs like Endnote to help with citations for the sources in my research that I provide for companies. I didn’t really know anything about the program at the start of my education, but I was able to get a better understanding of how to use it mainly because of the classes offered by the library. I would recommend the library’s classes first before you pick any price books,” said Blake Jackson, a fifth-year ME major.
On the other hand, some students feel that the library’s classes go unnoticed and do not recieve enough attention.
“[I had] no idea they existed,” said Colby Pines, a third-year STaC major, of the programs.
Pines went on to describe how the library has done little to promote its classes
“I’d like to see the library promote their classes elsewhere so that more people could know about them because, overall, they seem pretty beneficial,” Pines said in reference to the library’s advertising process.
While the courses vary throughout the semester, a calendar of classes offered is available through the library’s official website.