Monday, November 12, 2012

I is for... Insight Technical Education

Several years ago I happened upon something interesting while browsing a vendor at a homeschool curriculum fair - a workbook called Practical Drafting from Insight Technical Education.  It's a course in technical drawing, the kind used in engineering design and technical manuals and other settings.  Sort of a specialized version of perspective drawing.  Technical drawing, with or without a computer, is an important skill used in all kinds of engineering, construction and technical fields.

It was so unique and... well... PRACTICAL, that I was intrigued.  I purchased that book, as well as Practical Graphic Design.

Practical Graphic Design teaches the basics of page layouts and effective use of elements like fonts, headers, graphics and designing logos in practical applications.  The book is humorous and gives tools and ideas for designing ads, business cards, presentations, and all kinds of documents.  It also gives ideas of the many career options that involve graphic design.  In this example image from their website, it shows the different elements of a magazine layout and how it's put together.

We also have the set of three volumes of Complete-A-Sketch, which serve as introductions to technical drawing.  Volume I Orthographic introduces the basics of two-dimensional technical sketching.  Volume II introduces three-dimensional technical sketching.  And Volume III Perspective teaches perspective technical sketching.

The title Complete-A-Sketch is very apt, because this is exactly how the concepts are taught.  A small line drawing appears on each page, along with a grid or dot grid and some very light guidelines and the "corners" of the drawing on a larger scale.  The student simply completes the sketch and gets a good introduction to those concepts of dimensions and perspective and ratios in the process.

Harrison completed half of his required Fine Arts credit by completing the Practical Graphic Design workbook, and what's more - he enjoyed it! He developed a hobbyist's interest in graphics and logos as they are used in sports, and still actively follows a website that critiques and analyzes the aesthetics of hockey team logos and jerseys, and participates in creating fantasy league logos and jerseys on the website.  (Find it at Icethetics)

Spencer completed Practical Technical Drawing two years ago and is working through Practical Graphic Design this year.  I wish I had pictures to share of the graphics my boys have designed, but I don't.  I do have pictures of these paper 3D objects that Spencer had to make using his drawings from the technical drawing course to prove that they are proportioned correctly etc.

I've decided that Landon can start working on the Complete-A-Sketch books this year, so that he can be doing something artistic that also fits with his very practical style. All these books are self-paced and self-teaching, so the student works on his own and can take responsibility for their own learning.

If you have a high school student that needs an Art credit, but isn't the least bit interested in watercolors or still life drawings, I'd recommend checking out the Graphic Design book, or any of these books!

Insight Tech Ed also has courses in Accounting and Business, and a Complete-A-Sketch set called Vision-Dexterity-Focus that is designed especially for challenged learners.

Please visit Ben and Me: J is for Juicing to join in and to see what thoughts this week's letter has prompted for other bloggers.
Blogging Through the Alphabet
To find out more about the Blogging through the Alphabet link-up, and how to participate, visit Ben and Me: Blogging Through The Alphabet

Disclaimer: I purchased and used these products in my homeschool and am offering my opinions voluntarily.  I received no compensation of any kind for this review or for the mention of the products.


Stefanie said...

You always find the most interesting stuff. I took a drafting class in 8th grade. I sucked. lol

Post a Comment

I love comments! It's like visiting over a virtual cup of coffee.