How Parsons Uses Picter to Teach Photography
It was a typical mid-spring semester evening at the Parsons School of Design Photography MFA program. The MFA students had assembled to welcome a guest critique from Team Picter; myself, Claudio Ricci and Simon Lovermann – who also doubles as the founder and artistic director of DER GREIF.
Program director Jim Ramer and associate professor Stacy Miller brought together the MFA students for the guest critique. We were there both to introduce the students to DER GREIF and Picter, as well as become familiar with their work. After a brief presentation from Simon, we realized there was a great opportunity to show Picter in action by helping to facilitate a group presentation. We sent an Inbox Link around containing a single image with handwritten instructions for the students:
Within moments the project was populated with over a dozen images of student work – no slideshow, no PDF, no logins required. A process that could have taken hours of coordination had taken a couple minutes. Needless to say the professors were impressed, as were the students. And unlike a DropBox or Google Drive folder that would have necessitated additional steps to get to a slideshow, Picter made it possible to have all the student work presentable right away – and in a minimalist visual frame that did not detract from the work.
One by one, each student was invited to tell us a bit about their work. Since there were only one or two images for each student, the images served as a jumping off point for learning about each student’s working process as well as introduce themselves. Today, in a world of remote classrooms, this same process can be facilitated in the comments, annotations, image titles, and descriptions – and can be done either in real time or asynchronously.
One project that stood out to us included Spandita Malik’s unique artistic collaboration NĀ́RĪ, a project that involves rural Indian women in isolation in a mixed media self portrait that highlights embroidery techniques unique to each participant’s local region.
Bringing the Classroom Experience Online with Picter
In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful to Jim and the students of the Parsons MFA Photo program for putting Picter through the paces. Their early testing helped us to make the software what it is today – a robust collaborative resource for academic institutions of all sizes to enable students and teachers to engage in remote study and exchange. Now, with comments and annotations, conversations that used to live exclusively in person in a classroom can shine online as well. Picter’s comment filtering also means individual feedback can be tracked across updates or changes.
With growing support for a wide variety of visual image formats, Picter empowers visually-driven lesson plans with a common tool for visual feedback and learning. Our new observation mode allows a multi-collaborator project to follow the actions of a teacher or fellow student. This enables a rich, low-latency, high resolution, low bandwidth experience with no need for video. Picter is an inclusive and stable technical toolkit that makes class time more productive. We hope to support academic institutions to maintain a high level of instructional value despite the need to observe quarantines and social distancing.
In short: What was once done in photography, art and design classrooms can be moved online, powered by Picter.
If you are an educator faced with the fresh challenge of conducting an image-centric class remotely, please take advantage of our 2 month 100% discount for schools and universities, effective immediately. Read more about the offer here: