NIC graphic design instructor produces DVD for Spokane educational project
North Idaho College Graphic Design Instructor Philippe Valle doesn’t want to be part of the classic education double standard: where he teaches about the most advanced techniques and technologies in the field of graphic design, but fails to use them in practice.
That’s why after more than 25 years as a graphic designer, Valle continues to take on graphic design projects on the side while teaching at NIC.
“I try to be on the cutting edge, so I can bring that information and experience to my students,” said Valle, who is originally from France and has worked for such companies as KHQ-TV, RXL Pulitzer and Honeywell and done various freelance feature films. “These side projects help me sharpen the blade. Before I was a teacher, I was a professional in the field. I want my students to know that so they can have confidence in my experience.”
His most recent side project ended up including 150-200 hours of production time and took most of the summer to complete.
Valle helped produce a DVD intended to boost the community spirit of the small Spokane Logan neighborhood, beginning with the children of the low-income area of Spokane.
The project was paid for through a $64,000 grant from the Beaumont Foundation of America, which provides funding to schools in poor neighborhoods for new technology and innovative educational projects. The grant was written by Vicki Soderberg, who now works at Logan Elementary School. She brought Valle into the project early, asking him to produce the DVD given his experience in both graphic design and video production.
Valle worked with the kindergarten through sixth-graders at Logan Elementary to help with the production of the DVD. The grant money was primarily used to purchase laptops, projectors, cameras, printers and other technology, with which the children then worked to design the segments of the video that would be used as social studies curriculum.
“The kids were the real force behind this project,” Valle said. “We were just there to guide them along the way.”
The educational DVD ties geography into the history of the Logan neighborhood and uses positive images of successful people from the neighborhood, such as former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tom S. Foley, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, entertainer Bing Crosby and NBA player John Stockton.
After interviews and filming were complete, Valle started nearly two months of studio production time to complete the project. The final product was “The Pride of Logan Lions,” a title playing off the Logan Elementary School mascot of the lion. The DVD was handed out to each student at Logan Elementary and a free copy was distributed to each family in the Logan neighborhood, city officials and the Spokane School District 81 board. The libraries in Spokane carry copies as well.
“It was very rewarding to be a part of an educational piece like this,” Valle said. “It’s amazing when you see it all come together.”
Valle also watched the pieces come together as he tied this volunteer project to his professional career as a graphic designer and his work as an instructor.
Valle has used the DVD as part of his curriculum in the classroom. It has also sparked a new video editing class that’s now available through the graphic design program at NIC.
“The cycle just continues,” Valle said.
(Photo top) North Idaho College Graphic Design Instructor Philippe Valle has spent more than 25 years as a graphic designer and video producer. He recently used those skills to complete an educational DVD project in the Logan neighborhood of Spokane.
(Photo bottom) DVD cover for “The Pride of Logan Lions,” an educational DVD project completed by North Idaho College Graphic Design Instructor Philippe Valle.
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NIC Graphic Design Instructor Philippe Valle, (208) 769-3426Posted: Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006