Yesterday I taught the third session of an 8-session (40 minutes per session) course on Inkscape at a Boston-area middle school. (For more general details about the class check out my blog post on day 1.)
Yesterday’s class was jam-packed with information, and it proved to be too much material to allow the students enough time to really play around with and try out the techniques in the lesson!
- Using the pen tool to create Bezier curves
- The different types of nodes
- Working with node handles
- Converting nodes between types
- Adding & Removing nodes
- Scaling and rotating nodes
- The pencil tool
- Simplifying Paths
- The tweak tool
- The fill tool
- Converting type to paths
The general approach I wanted to take was to show how to manipulate the nodes on a path in an advanced way, then show additional ways to create paths and form paths (pencil, tweak, fill, type) and show that the node manipulation skills could be applied to any path created using any of those techniques or the shapes from lesson 2.
I think it was a little too ambitious for only 40 minutes of classtime, though – I’m feeling the crunch of having only 8 sessions. If I could have an extra session and if I could go back and edit the lesson plan, I would focus solely on node types and manipulation and give the students plenty of exercises and time to play around with them on their own. As Eve said after class, working with nodes and the pen tool is a bit of a mental leap as well as a technically difficult thing to do – they need a full session. After splitting that out into its own session, I would then split the rest of the content in the class into a separate session, and proceed with the material for lesson 4 as if it was lesson 5.
That being said, class went okay. I think the students picked up on everything – I checked monitors after each section and it seemed the few who were not yet caught up were quickly caught up to speed with Eve’s help. One of the students even had an elaborate design of a bird going in between the quick exercises.
One thing John, Eve, Ken and I discussed after the class is that 3 classes in and the students seem very quiet and focused. I’m hoping for more collaboration between the students in session 4 – I’ve planned to take up no more than 10 minutes going over a little bit more on working with type in Inkscape, then giving them the rest of the class period to work on their band logos.
Class was so jam-packed for this third session that I didn’t get an opportunity to whip out the camera. I’ll be sure to do so in tomorrow morning’s session 4!
By the way, I received permission from Walter to post his notes on T-shirt printing technologies and his specifications for the project – I updated the Inkscape Class Day 2 post with the link.
Follow Along on Your Own
For those of you following along at home, here’s the lesson plan and exercise sheets we used for the class today:
Introduction to Inkscape Lesson 3
Introduction to Inkscape Lesson 3 Exercises
As always, the OpenOffice.org source files and the outlines for the entire course are at the course page on my website – but please note that’s a rough outline; as we progress through the class I’m coming up with the more-solid lesson plans based on how far the students get each session. By the end of the course I hope to have the course page organized much better.
By the way, if you’d like to follow all the blog posts about this class at one URL without getting the rest of my feed, I’ve set up a category in WordPress specifically for these posts:
Enjoy! And please do let me know in the comments if you have any questions or suggestions!
This course is sponsored by