At CAA in NYC a few weeks back, I attended a panel sponsored by the Visual Resources Association entitled "Practical Tips for the Classroom Instructor: Get What You Want from Digital Tools." It was a wonderful panel. The presentations were provocative and full of useful information, but what was perhaps most interesting was the reaction from the audience in attendance. It was glaringly obvious from the question and answer session how unprepared teachers seem for the digital revolution. There was a string of discussion-stopping questions like, "so if I want to digitize my slides where do I begin?"
Christine Sundt, a visual resource consultant on the panel, seemed to be speaking directly to this disconnect between those who are deep in the water and those still left standing on the shore when she said, "teachers should consider leaving the acquiring and manipulating of digital images to professionals." This is a striking comment. Does it represnt a new elitism or rather it is an honest appeal to the need to establish a standard of quality in digital images?
Of course, the question hangs like fire, where will the images come from? Are we to return to the publishing companies who are of late offering high quality images with new textbooks or pushed to licensing deals with the likes of Saskia?