Sunday, January 10, 2010

Online Scrapbooking Classes Are Just Not Doing it for Me

I mentioned in an earlier post that I've developed a dislike for online scrapbooking classes, especially the ones with a long list of supplies to purchase.  The cost of a class can range from free to upwards of $95.  I got an email invite to one of these classes this weekend and, though the class sounds real nice, it's been my experience that the time I spend "in" class is yet one more activity that takes away from the time I could be, um, scrapbooking!

And I have a confession to make.  Of the half-dozen or so online classes I signed up for last year?  I didn't finish a single one, not even the ones I paid money for!

That just made me feel stupid not to mention a little poorer in both money and time.  Oh, and printer ink and paper, too, because it seems there's always stuff you gotta print out; worksheets, checklists, workbook dividers, organizational charts, and other handouts.  Aren't we digital scrapbookers trying to move toward paperless???  I only want to print my finished layouts! Instead, I ended up with a stack of stuff printed on cardstock but that I never put to use because I both lost interest in the class because there was too much  filling in of the blanks on those printouts (by hand!) AND I was busy scrapbooking.......!

Most classes now also include audio and/or video lessons.  I seldom have the patience to watch the video lessons (and I have even less patience with audio because I am a very visual learner). I'm sure a lot of people like them, but I don't.  Just give me a written tutorial with a few (a few, not dozens!) of screenshots.  I like to have something static to refer back to later if I need to; I don't want to have to watch the video all over again!  I can save a written tutorial in my Tutorials folder on my laptop and then search that folder for key words to find all tutorials dealing with the skill I am interested in.  As far as I know you can't search a video in that way.

And let's face it; there are so many versions of Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements and Digital Imaging Pro, and Scrapbook Max, and MemoryMixer, and there are new ones popping up all the time, these classes can't possibly cover the detailed step-by-step for every one of them.  I would rather the "lessons" just use terms such as "select {insert name of object here}" and let me decide which tool (in Photoshop CS3, in my case) to use to do that.  Let's understand our software, not just follow step-by-step procedures to perform a task because when one of those steps doesn't work for our particular software, we're hosed!

But not if you've learned to use the tools in your scrapbooking software's toolbox.  Then you can just say to yourself: "Self, my software does that in a different way, and I know what it is!"

Back to those {usually quite long} "supply" lists............granted, they are usually at their most damaging to your wallet if you are doing traditionl {paper} scrapbooking but, good grief, I've seen some for online digital scrapbooking that are ridiculous!  Most common is for the supply list to consist of kits and other products sold at the website that is offering the class.  Well, ok, that's a marketing technique to get more sales, I understand that.  But the rebel in me wants the choice to use products that I already have or {gasp!} my own designs.  Some instructors do say go ahead and use whatever you want or have but the lessons (and screenshots) are always geared toward using what's on the supply list.  Sorry, but that just saps my own creativity.

LOTS of people love those classes; they must, or there wouldn't be such a huge number of them being offered, and more popping up every day.  If you're one of those people, more power to ya, and have fun.

But don't look for me in class. ;-D


No Reimer Reason said...

I am with you on the written tutorials versus video. I much prefer written.

Barbara said...

I've been toying with the idea a taking a class, but I have hesitated for the very reasons you enumerated. I barely have time to watch the FREE tutorials! And, I, too, have noticed that so much of digital scrapping is really not scrapping at all; it's posting, commenting, browsing, etc. I have photos to scrap, people! The last thing I need is any more distractions! ;-)
So, thanks for this post; it helped me to just say no.