Motionographer just published a good article about the problems of motion design education. A topic i had to struggle with myself, when i was teaching animation at university some years ago: how do you teach a craft, that doesn’t even have an official name?
Here’s my 2 cents on the topic:
One big Problem with motion design education ist to much focus on software and technical skills. Students are often taught After Effects before they even understand the principles of animation. I studied in the late nineties and most of the software i learned back then doesn’t even exist anymore (Softimage 3D, Softimage Eddie, Eclipse or Freehand for example) other apps, that i learned on the way, are long gone as well (Media100, Shake or FinalCut Pro anyone?). However: lessons that will stick for life are the principles of design, colour, composition, typography, drawing, thinking in concepts, photography, lighting, dramaturgy, storytelling, editing, keyframing, a sense for pace & rhythm and so on.
Yes, motion design requires a lot of technical- and software knowledge – but good motion designers should be able to create decent animations with flip books, cel animation, live action shooting, stop motion or any piece of animation software besides AE & C4D. Not because they know the specific technique but because they do know motion & design.
Don’t learn how to push a button – try to learn why…