New media creates new technology needs
Published: Thursday, March 8, 2012
Updated: Friday, March 9, 2012 11:03
I've been attending FSCJ since 2007 as a Digital Media student. I've taken about 15 to 20 different classes in my five years here. In the Florida State College 2011-2012 catalog, there are five Digital Media/Graphic Design classes. In those five classes, there are 27 courses that focus completely on fine-tuning the digital design craft. If you stuck your head into any of the classes, you'd find at least 15 of us sitting in front of fancy Mac computers, learning everything from typography to print publishing to computer animation.
Do you know what it requires to be a Digital Media student? Other than a lot of creativity and time, the complete Adobe Creative Suite is a must. DIG 2000, Introduction to Digital Media, the first class I took, used Adobe Flash. GRA 1105, Typography, which is the selecting and arranging of type, another of the first classes I took, required InDesign. I used Adobe Flash, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign back in my first year at FSCJ. Over the past three years, programs like Adobe After Effects, Final Cut and Maya have been added to the list of software need to be a Digital Media student.
Now, for a second, let's note the addresses of the only two campus fully stocked with Adobe programs. FSCJ Deerwood Center is located at 9911 Old Baymeadows Road, Jacksonville, FL 32256 and South Campus is located at 11901 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32246. From my house on the west side to South Campus is a 60 mile round trip, and it's about a 40 mile round trip to Deerwood.
If you're not aware, the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5, which comes with Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Illustrator CS5, InDesign CS5.5, Dreamweaver CS5.5, Flash Professional CS5.5, Flash Catalyst CS5.5, Fireworks CS5, Acrobat X Pro, Bridge CS5 and Adobe Device Central CS5.5 costs $449.95. The average college student can't afford to pay for such a costly array of software, even with finical aid. Not to mention, you'd need a computer that is capable of handling the software. So, a huge chunk of us have to find extra time around classes, part-time jobs and family life to drive back up to South Campus or Deerwood Center to finish homework. It's an inconvenience, not to mention a gas waster, when Kent campus is conveniently located on the west side but doesn't have any of the required software or computers. Add to that the fact that the software Maya, which is made by Autodesk, is only available in the M313b lab at South Campus. Maya is a 3D modeling software that requires an extensive amount of processing power to run, so chances are, it's not going to run on the average home computer.
As a full time student who has no job and very little gas money, it would be fantastic to have a lab at Kent with the full Adobe Suite and Maya in more than one lab. It would make getting work done a lot easier. If I had time to make picket signs, I would, and I assure you, the rest of the Digital Media students would be right behind me.