Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Setting up a Pub Center

What is a Pub Center here.
Setting up a Pub Center is a work in progress. December 1, 2008.

added Dec 2:
This is a view from 15,000 feet. In this post I'm trying to set a common framework that could apply whether a "Publishing Center" lives in a school, a printing company or a community. The ideas are based on classroom experience in design schools, but the hope is that the principles that work in the classroom can be transfered to make project based team learning happen in many contexts. Using the word, Publishing Center, is just a shorthand to capture research, writing, designing and publishing.
thank you, SK

added Dec 3
I found this at Education Week: Human Capital a Key Worry for Reformers. Since human capital, also called social capital, is a key worry for every organization, it's worth a read.
But as the pressure to improve schools continues to mount—and reform efforts fall short—a growing number of school district leaders, funders, education thinkers, and policymakers are zeroing in on developing “human capital” as the key strategy to improve student learning.
Replacing "schools" with business yields:
But as the pressure to improve business continues to mount—and reform efforts fall short—a growing number of business leaders, shareholders, business thinkers are zeroing in on developing “human capital” as the key strategy to improve performance. the link
Added December 3
This is a story that points to a Publishing Center model in the Global space : Input - Transformation - Output. If and when they add hard copy output to the mix, it's done.
MUMBAI, India--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX; www.blackstone.com) today announced that it is partnering with the CMS Group to setup a new company by carving out the IT Infrastructure Management and Outsourced Business Services divisions (comprising Card Solutions, Transaction Printing Solutions and ATM Cash Management) of CMS Computers Ltd. The link

The Process Requirements of a Publishing Center.
Minimum functional requirements:
Note: personnel requirements are flexible as one person might be able to perform muoltiple functions.

Director:
Needs trusted connections into the local activity space. Since the Publishing Center is focused on using Print to create measurable improvements in behavior, it is necessary to have a professional to negotiate access and buy in to real world situations. This will become more clear in the description of the process.

Teacher:
Experienced in understanding and implementing the various strategies to frame information and manage conversations in ways that will work for each student and each team. Experience in printing technology or commercial art preferable, but not required.

Typography Professional who can teach:
Experienced both as a professional typographer and the ability to present material and exercises on line to enable learning of basic typographic principles.

Project Management Professional who can teach:
Experienced in setting goals, managing on line conversations, negotiating the inevitable conflicts that come with team building and keeping the teams on track and removing obstacles to progress in a timely way.

Students
Students are organized in teams of 3 minimum and 5 maximum. The exact number in each team is determined by the logistics as determined by the teaching team. Each student team must have at least one member who has a good conversational knowledge of a standard layout program such as Quark or InDesign. If there is also a member that has a good conversational knowledge of web or video creation techniques that is a plus, but not a requirement.

Optimal Functionalities might include:
Professional Print Technician: Needs access to a commercial print shop. The purpose is to bring a printing technology presence to the center. If the printing technician is present Print solutions would be designed to maximize efficiencies on the accessible print equipment. To be clear, the print technician would not assume training responsibilities on the equipment. Depending on logistics, a "shadow the pro" internship might be instituted.

Entrepreneur Business Professional: Since one of the success criteria of the Print solution is a definable path to scale, an experienced entrepreneur would act as a online consultant to the Publishing Center teams.

Time and process requirements for minimum functionalities:
Teacher: at minimum once a week face time meeting with all the teams. or Depending on the logistics on the ground. Monitor and intervene with team progress on line. Approximately 6 hours per week. 1 hour every day for 6 days.

Typographer: Approximately 8 hours online per week. Seven hours can be asynchronous , as posting assignments and critiquing work does not have to happen in real time. One hour each week is necessary for open discussion through chat or video chat through Skype.

Project Manager: Approximately 7 hours online per week asynchronous. This needs to be one hour per day every day. The purpose is to manage on line conversations through Basecamp.
One hour each week is synchronous with the teacher and the typographer. Using video conference call through Skype.

Technical requirements:
Internet access. Cloud based project management through Basecamp and video enabled conference calls through Skype. Students must have access to InDesign or Quark. InDesign is much preferred. All students must work on the same page composition software. It is not necessary that each student has a copy. Only that students have at least 10 hours per week access to complete their typography assignments.

How to manage and fund a Pub Center to come . . .

4 comments:

  1. 1. I am not sure if a physical pub-center is necessary. Virtual is cheaper and easier.
    2. Using virtual and applying your criteria to a real project seems like too many hours and too many people. Two professionals (could be typographer, designer, photographer teacher). Each 4-hours a week face time with students. Email, maybe blackboard for the student teams to work out design & logistical problems.
    3. Students email project pages to for additional critiques. Easy-peasy 2-4 additional hours a week per instructor to make it happen.
    4. My experience with video conference is that it is a waste of time. A great excuse for bullshit to happen. Me and one other instructor? I can call him if email is not sufficient. Most video conf is a waste as is most blackboard use. It's sexy and has sizzl--DT and Admin people love it. And we know why Admin people love it! The reality of it that it is over-hyped.
    5. I am running a small 5-week test project as we speak. Into the 4th week. I have identified a few week points. I plan to run this project on a larger scale in February. I am waiting for corporate and Admin ok.

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  2. I would disagree with Steve Kennedy about not needing a physical space at all. It's true online can carry a lot of weight, but classes are as much a social event as it is an instrumental educational event. Never seeing the teacher's faces or my peers would be odd, and a very displeasing feeling. If I can't put a face to the name, how am I really going to trust what they tell me or have to deliver?

    Not to say we need horrible 3 hour marathon lectures, just maybe a 2 hour meeting total 2x a week.

    When I was taking dr droock's "Production" class, which was modeled a lot like this blog post suggests, that's in reality what my team did. We would meet outside class for 1 hour, and another 1 hour in class.

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  3. Thomas:
    I think you mis-understood. I said "4-hrs per week face time with students." The "Pub Center" itself is not necessary. We don't need equipment, personnel, Director, Professional Print Technician or a commercial print shop. All that exists on-line, cheaper and better than what we have physically available.

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  4. Steve-
    Thanks for you thoughtful comments. Clearly the idea needs to be clarified. Within a couple of days I will post version 2. In the meantime, I added a paragraph at the top to try to more clearly set the context.

    Having said that, here are some responses to the points you raise:

    1. I am not sure if a physical pub-center is necessary. Virtual is cheaper and easier.

    We agree. The cool thing is that by eliminating the need for a new physical space you can concentrate on teaching. My experience is that "physical space" is the coin of power in schools. No need to go there.

    2. Using virtual and applying your criteria to a real project seems like too many hours and too many people. Two professionals (could be typographer, designer, photographer teacher). Each 4-hours a week face time with students. Email, maybe blackboard for the student teams to work out design & logistical problems.

    I think that can work for a very talented pro. The problem I'm looking at is defining a process that can scale. Also, my experience is that "managing the client" can be a job unto itself. Also keeping the whole thing on track can also be a full time job. Once that's taken out of the responsibility of the teachers, they can spend alot more time looking at the students.

    3. Students email project pages to for additional critiques. Easy-peasy 2-4 additional hours a week per instructor to make it happen.

    My experience is that email can get very complicated very fast. Although it is easy peasy in the short run, in the long run it makes it much harder. The other problem with email is that it makes it much harder to capture and share what is learned about managing learning.

    4. My experience with video conference is that it is a waste of time. A great excuse for bullshit to happen. Me and one other instructor? I can call him if email is not sufficient. Most video conf is a waste as is most blackboard use. It's sexy and has sizzl--DT and Admin people love it. And we know why Admin people love it! The reality of it that it is over-hyped.

    I added video conferencing for situations where the teaching team is not in the same place. Maybe one in New York, another in Mumbai, another in The Domican Republic. The teacher job has to be in the same physical location as the students. The idea is to figure out a way to integrate talent from anywhere.

    To be clear the video conference piece would be maybe once a week or every other week. It would be in the form of a well defined meeting. keep the bs to a minimum.

    5. I am running a small 5-week test project as we speak. Into the 4th week. I have identified a few week points. I plan to run this project on a larger scale in February. I am waiting for corporate and Admin ok.

    Sounds great. I'm sure that there is alot to learn from what you're up to.

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