> Our school system appears to be headed for using GIMP as a way of
> teaching our students about graphics.
> Can you point me in the direction of where I would go to get GOOD
> tutorial information about GIMP so that I can properly teach it?
> Can you point me in the direction of a list of places that actually
> use GIMP for photo retouching and graphics creation. We are trying to
> give our kids real-world skills and we need to be able to point to
> real places that are using GIMP for photo retouching and graphics
> resolution. If I am going to teach using this software I need as much
> ammunition as possible to make this seem exciting and something that
> the kids will WANT to learn to use.

If I might give a piece of advice: if you're about to teach some
real-world skills, try to be as much software agnostic as possible. Most
of the tools and ideas in graphics editing are in fact common and
present in different applications, so if you'll put pressure on learning
“the way of thinking” rather than on “go to the X menu and choose Y
tool” you'll win. Maybe some examples will help clarify what I mean:

• If you talk about keyboard shortcuts, try to lure your students into
experimenting with them (customizing, discovering new ones etc.)
instead of just listing existing shortcuts and closing the subject :).
• If you talk about e.g. image tonal adjustment try to move (if
possible) to using “curves” as soon as possible. It's one of the most
universal tools out there and one of the most powerfull to that.
• If possible, make your students do the same task, using similar tools
but in different applications. This should lessen the possibility of
one's sticking to one-app-way-of-doing-things (much like using strange
variable names on math ;)).
• If possible, don't take rundowns on the contents of menus. Instead
choose consecutive exercises to be practical, to use each time some
new tools and to emphasize method rather than
• Be extra careful about teaching filters. One's natural tendency, I
think, is to use different filters extensively and aggressively in
one's works. The trick is to show your students how to use filters to
enhance their images in nondestructive way.
• If possible, leave some subjects unsaid and let your students search
their own way of getting demanded result. Only after they're done show
them (again: if possible and most of the time possible it is) a couple
of different solutions (won't leave your student with “I did it wrong
way” feeling). Also, try to survey your students about their ways of
completing the task–they can be interesting and non-standard.
• Always try to explain, in comparative manner, why this or that tool or
filter was used, e.g.: “it's faster to use X”, “it's safer to use X”
and so on.
• Encourage your students to use internet to find tutorials and

Well… sorry for such a long list. I work for a small publishing house
and I'm using most of these tips when I'm to take care of some interns
(which happens once in a couple of months). I put these points here only
because I truly hope they'll be of help to you, so please, don't take
me as a pompous prick ;), even 'though they may sound “ex cathedra”.

My best regards!

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