Computer Graphics World

July/August 2014

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j u ly . a u g u s t 2 0 1 4 c g w 4 5 E D U C A T I O N ou're in college or art school, and it's time to get social. A decade or so ago, that meant a get-together. Today, it means connecting digitally with friends and peers via social networking sites. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, Google+, tumblr, Instagram, VK, and fl ickr are the most popular (for now), but there are many more out there just waiting for students and teachers to sign on and sign in. Early social networking websites emerged as early as 1985, and by 2005, college and high school students across the globe were sharing everything with everyone on MySpace, while professionals were busy building business contacts on LinkedIn. When Facebook ex- panded beyond the boundaries of the college dorm, just about everyone began connecting to friends, relatives, and colleagues. Thanks to the sophistication of mobile devices and fast In- ternet connections, we have be- come part of a very social world. So much so that social media – a vital element of our personal lives – has become essential as a professional tool. Recruiters have long been using social media. Those working in sales fi nd it useful to keep up with potential clients and connect with them on a personal as well as business level. Now, social media-savvy college students are employ- ing these same tools to make contacts with those working in their desired fi eld, to keep tabs on studios where they would like to work, to learn about the next wave of tools, and more. And, inside the classroom, instructors rely on social media to instruct, remind, assist, communicate, and off er tips and advice. C O N N E C T I N G W I T H T E A C H E R S Schools are employing social media in a number of ways, from recruiting students, to keeping abreast of the latest technology trends, to maintaining connec- tions within the industry. At the School of Visual Arts (SVA), social media has become an "unavoidable" part of the curriculum, the classes, and the fabric of the college experience. "Messaging o en replaces e-mails, and group chats replace study groups," says John McIntosh, chair of the college's Computer Art, Com- puter Animation, and Visual Eff ects Department. "There is an immediacy that is satisfying and quite eff ective – to a point." Elizabeth Ku, an SVA comput- er art major, used Facebook on two group projects as the main source of communication, en- abling the team to share ideas, give and receive feedback, and organize meetings. Outside the classroom, she uses Facebook to post artwork and animated shorts. "Classmates and fellow artists are constantly sharing art, interesting articles, tools, and more. It feels like being in a classroom," she says. For Ku, Facebook is her generation's go-to place for staying up to date with industry happenings. "We are still reading articles and learning, but it is through Facebook," she says. The casual, conversational nature of posting and texting has limitations in both appro- priateness and privacy that can become inappropriate quickly. "If we look at social media mes- Social Situations Y "SOCIAL MEDIA IS A VERY POWERFUL TOOL, AND IF USED PROPERLY, IT IS A GREAT WAY TO INTERACT AND CONNECT WITH STUDENTS TO SHARE YOUR WORK, YOUR GOALS, AND YOUR PERSONALITY." CHRISTINA FARAJ SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS "OFTEN I FIND MYSELF SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME READING ARTICLES AND COMMENTING ON POSTS. FINDING A BALANCE IS A BIT TRICKY." LEART ZOGJANI ANIMATION MENTOR Students Connect SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN KEEPING SCHOOLS CONNECTED TO STUDENTS AND STUDENTS CONNECTED IN THEIR CAREERS BY KAREN MOLTENBREY STUDENTS USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO GARNER ATTENTION TO THEIR ARTWORK: 1. CHRISTINA FARAJ 2. GABRIEL DAVIS 3. LEART ZOGJANI 4. GIAN LOMBARDI 5. ANDREW FINLEY 6. IVAN AGUILAR 7. NICK ARBEITER 8. NICHOLAS DEASE 9. ELIZABETH KU 10. CRAIG HARKNESS 11. KARYN MCCOLLOUGH 12. BRANDON CLEMENTS 13. DEVIN JENSEN

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