It was fun being on stage at MAX with David Wadhwani to share a few of the projects that we have been working on in XD. The team has been exploring how new form factor displays, new interactions (like touch and gesture), cloud connections and even new hardware might change how you all create and in turn how it might impact what software we need to build. And we have been having a serious amount of fun.
Although there are many explorations going on, we chose three to highlight. The first, Mighty, is our connected pen:
The Adobe “Project Mighty” Connected Pen
We actually started project Mighty, our “cloud pen” to help us focus on the future of drawing. I’ve always been a little obsessed with drawing. An early mentor of mine said: “If you can’t draw, you can’t think. I guess I took that to heart. The good news is that absolutely anyone can train himself or herself to draw. With the right tools to support you it’s a little bit like learning to ride a bike – you just have to keep doing it until you tease out your own style of drawing.
Mighty is pressure sensitive, which helps it draw a natural and expressive line. It is also connected to the Creative Cloud through the software and a local Bluetooth LE connection. We have used this connection to pull up Kuler themes and enable a “cloud clipboard” which gives you access to assets you have saved to the cloud for reuse.
Mighty was created with the help of Ammunition, the industrial design firm founded by Robert Brunner. They landed on a three-sided, twisted form that is inspired by the ergonomics of holding a pen. When a child struggles with writing, he or she is given a triangular grip that fits over the pencil. Our design takes that one step further by twisting the pen’s triangular form so that it also rests gently on the hand. It also yields a sculptural object that is both beautiful and distinct. There’s a lot of hardware technology involved in bringing a high tech pen like this to life, so we’ve been working with San Francisco-based MindTribe on the electrical and mechanical engineering.
Although we spend many hours a day behind the keyboard and mouse, we still often start the creative process as we did thousands of years ago with pen and paper. But with tablets and new input methods like Mighty, this is going to change – I am confident. Over the last year, my tablet has replaced my sketchbook. I never thought I would give up drawing in a moleskin sketchbook.
Our second exploration, code named Napoleon is complementary to Mighty. This digital ruler is designed to bring back some of the feeling of drawing with analog tools like the t-square and triangle. Adobe has been talking about building a physical drawing aid like this ever since we built our first digital drafting table, almost two years ago.
Adobe “Project Mighty” Connected Pen & Project Napoleon” Digital Ruler Working on iPad
I was originally trained as an architect, and still find great comfort and confidence drawing with these tools. There is something about the confidence of drawing a line aided by a physical device – the tactile feedback you get as you move the straightedge around – as well as the fluidity and accuracy of drawing that comes from interacting with physical objects. Our little ruler (Napoleon, get it?) creates a digitally projected edge that you can use to accurately draw shapes and lines. It just feels right.
The Adobe “Project Napoleon” Digital Ruler
We are looking at a lot of potential features for Napoleon, but a favorite of mine is snapping to vanishing points. Imagine how easy it will be to sketch in perspective, when you can use the ruler to quickly create and then snap to perspective vanishing points that are well off screen.
Finally, Project Context is the most ambitious of the three explorations. I like to think of it as our answer to “big content.” You know, just like big data, but with images and text and video and the like. Most of us have experience with printing hundreds of images and trying to pin them all on the wall or spreading them on the floor just to try to figure out the big picture. This is another good example of how something was lost when we went from physical to digital. Somehow file folders full of assets, or tiled displays of images don’t quite cut it. We think that large screens with touch and gesture interaction paired with the appropriate software design are a way to not only get back what was lost, but to take the organizing and producing experience to a whole new level.
When combined with InDesign and the Digital Publishing Suite, Context creates an ideal editorial and publishing environment for Wired and other publishers. Context offers a powerful and intuitive way to grab assets from just about anywhere, and to collaboratively organize and eventually even edit and publish them. These exploratory projects stand a much better chance of becoming real shipping products when we work with a customer to build them. We have the good fortune to be working with WIRED to build out the first version of Context as a system to support the editorial and layout process for their magazine.
Digitally enabled, cloud connected physical devices leverage the best from both the digital and the analog worlds. They could enable whole new levels of creative productivity and artistic confidence – and one of the many innovation milestones that makes an Adobe incredible place to work.
With conflicting research on how classrooms can and should change to better support student learning, it can be challenging for education reformers to know where to focus.
Recently, the Carnegie Corporation announced a $15M grant program to seed the creation of innovative models for new high schools in the U.S. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate how their school plans to leverage Carnegie’s 10 integrated design principles for a high performing secondary school. In their report, Opportunity by Design: New High School Models for Student Success, Carnegie notes that “Instead of retooling individual elements such as teacher preparation, learning time, or technology in isolation, all the elements that we know work and some emerging tools must be integrated into comprehensive school designs that will truly meet the needs of every student.” In essence, we need a complete redesign of how schools work and what schooling means.
There is a lot to be done, but for starters, we’ve seen how integrating technology into a school’s fundamental design can create new avenues for learning and teaching. New tools for visualizing data enable teachers to explain complex material, while helping students better understand complicated math or science concepts. Technology unlocks access to ideas and resources that have value and application beyond the walls of a computer lab; the power of technology impacts classrooms long after the laptop has been powered down for the night.
Most importantly, technology fosters creative thinking by expanding the tools we have to be creative. By incorporating digital storytelling or mobile game design into the classroom, we allow students to explore and think outside the box. And, as we’ve said here before, companies want employees who can do more than specific tasks – they want people who can think creatively, who innovate and who have the right skills for tomorrow’s workplace. To better prepare our students for success, we should integrate lessons and assignments that promote creative and innovative thinking. Technology is just one tool that will help educators achieve these goals.
The opportunity to innovate is here. What do you think it will take to create the high school of tomorrow?
Technology is changing the way we teach and the classroom is no longer defined by paper, pencils and chalkboards. Thanks to technology, traditional ways of learning are evolving toward a more creative platform. In fact, educators and students alike are redefining the way they share and gain knowledge.
Last month, we had the pleasure of hosting 125 delegates from 12 countries across Asia Pacific at the Adobe Education Leadership Forum 2013. Many education leaders and institutions such as Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar School in Australia, Institute of Technical Education in Singapore, Learning Links Foundation in India and Korea Education Research Information Service, came together to share their experiences and discuss changes they see in education today.
Trevor Bailey, director of worldwide education at Adobe, addressed the importance of fostering creativity, highlighting that it should no longer be an elective in the classroom – it is the future. He also shared how technology enables teachers and students to tap into new streams of learning.
Bruce Dixon, co-founder of Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation and the founding director at ideasLAB Australia took the stage as well, stressing that educators shouldn’t underestimate the power of technology as it can help students through their learning journey. In fact, contemporary pedagogical insight comes from a better understanding of the realities of the modern learner’s world and how they gain knowledge. More specifically, today’s modern learner can be looked at in three different ways:
The Social Learner, who moves from ‘me’ to ‘we’
The Self-Directed Learner, who moves from dependency to autonomy
The Inquiry-Based Learner, who moves from the known into the unknown
Today, technology caters to the different learning styles, providing educators with a great opportunity to not only embrace the new tools but to continue the evolution of the way we teach and learn. By incorporating technology and creativity into the classroom we are teaching our modern learners in a language that is native to them. This is what they are used to and the best way to prepare them for future success!
Check out more photos from Adobe Education Leadership Forum 2013 here:
Last year, Adobe’s State of Create global benchmark study revealed the existence of a major ‘creativity gap’ in five of the world’s largest economies. The research showed us that four in 10 people believed that they did not have access to the tools needed to support creativity in the classroom.
In response to this study, we felt compelled to address this creativity gap by designating more than $1 million to the Adobe Foundation’s Creativity Scholarships for youth. The Creativity Scholarships program was developed to support the next generation of creative thinkers and equip them with resources to apply creative confidence to advance their education in creative fields.
The scholarships provide financial support to high school seniors and students in their first year of post-secondary education who have participated in the Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) program and will be attending or continuing an accredited post-secondary degree or certificate program. This scholarship reinforces Adobe’s commitment to igniting creative confidence in youth and enables AYV participants to launch creative careers and find innovative ways to improve their communities through creative problem solving and expression.
At Adobe, we believe everyone is born with innate creativity and the Creativity Scholarships are designed to support this belief. The power of creativity is real, and unlocking the creative potential in students can lead to real change in communities around the world.
Please check out our AYV site for more info and be sure to keep an eye out for more Creativity Scholarship announcements in the coming weeks.
Our Creative Camp at this year’s SXSW Interactive has officially come to a close. It was a great day filled with rich content and good conversations with attendees. Here’s a quick recap of the day’s highlights.
We started off the day with our tradition, the 5th annual bacon breakfast. You can’t start a productive day without a good breakfast, right? Then, worldwide evangelist Paul Trani jumped into the latest tools and services available in the Adobe Creative Cloud. Paul showed us how individuals and teams can create and collaborate in the Cloud. Then, he showed us how easily we can add animation and interactivity with Edge Animate.
Then, Product Manager Jacob Surber shared the development principles behind the creation of Adobe Edge Reflow. Jacob showed us all the iterations of Reflow’s UI, starting with today and going backwards all the way to the beginning.
Our economic growth and health as a nation rely on our collective ability to innovate. The most successful innovations – across healthcare, education, and the environment – result from the combination of creative thinking, world-class technology, and cutting-edge design. But today’s education system needs to do a better job of setting our students up for success in today’s global workplace. One area we think is critical is around fostering creative thinking. Creativity can no longer be treated as an elective in education; it must be core to the way we teach and learn. STEAM – adding Art and creativity to the national imperative around Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) – is an important step forward here.
In collaboration with the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and a broad range of education and industry partners, Adobe is working to drive awareness and impact in this area. Part of this work will take place at the SXSW Education event next week in Austin, Texas, in the panel session called, “STEM to STEAM: Full Circle from Education to Economy.” I am thrilled to join other panelists such as Ainissa Ramirez (Yale University), Rosemarie Truglio (Sesame Workshop), Matt Goldman (Blue School & Blue Man Group) and John Maeda (Rhode Island School of Design) to discuss how art and design methods can be introduced into STEM-centric learning. We’d like to invite you to join us in one of the following ways:
Join us at SXSWedu. If you are attending this year’s SXSWedu conference, please join us on March 6 at 1:30 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center Room 16AB. We’re also hosting a STEAM social that night. For more information and to RSVP, go here.
Join the conversation. Share your thoughts and comments using the hashtag #SXSWSTEAM. If you are attending the SXSWedu panel please share your takeaways using the above hashtag.
Tweet to Give. For every mention of #AdobeSXSW on Twitter and Instagram, we will donate $1 up to $10,000 to STEM to STEAM. Learn more about our conversation for a cause here.
Adobe believes creativity not only makes the world a more beautiful place, but it is also a critical component to addressing some of the most difficult challenges we face as a society.
The global State of Create report Adobe released last year revealed only one in four people believe they’re living up to their own creative potential. In response, we’ve aimed to address this “creativity gap” by further imbedding creativity into our products, communities and schools.
Through Adobe Youth Voices (AYV), Adobe’s global philanthropic commitment, we’re working to ignite creative confidence in youth by empowering them to find their voice and make it heard. In doing so, we can help them become more active and engaged members of their communities and society at large. As an extension of this commitment, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of this year’s AYV Aspire Awards competition.
Now in its second year, AYV Aspire Awards is a global, online challenge that invites youth to creatively express their vision for driving positive change in local communities. Participants can convey their ideas using a variety of visual storytelling methods, from videos to photo essays. In addition, a new category for this year – the UNICEF Challenge – invites youth to develop a video proposal for a project they’d like to implement.
The Aspire Awards call for entries is now open, and we’re looking forward to kicking-off online voting for the public in late April.
Last year’s entries showcased remarkable talent. Below are a few of our favorites.
It’s an exciting time for us – please check out our AYV site for more info, and keep an eye out for more AYV-related announcements in the coming weeks.
Hoodforts dispels misconceptions about “hooded” youth in the Mile End area of London.
Cambio Jovenes explores how youth can shape the world around us.
Keep Pushing is about the importance of persistence in the face of hardship.
This month we celebrate our 30th anniversary, a major milestone for technology companies. We are in very rare company of those who have thrived over such a period by both making the billion-dollar-a-year and billion-dollar-a-quarter milestones.
This success over the past 30 years is as a result of a relentless focus on innovation and customers first set by our founders, John Warnock and Chuck Geschke. Our impact on every form of communication has been profound – every magazine, every newspaper and web site, images that you encounter, video and application on mobile devices – chances are Adobe has played a major role in its creation.
As we continued to evolve our company, we decided that as all businesses moved mobile and online, we needed to expand our offerings beyond creation to management, measurement and monetization. Through organic innovation and targeted acquisitions, we’ve aligned our strategy around Digital Media – the creation of content, and Digital Marketing – the business of content. Our goal is to make every digital experience across every device a high-impact experience.
The single biggest reason this vision is possible is our employees around the world. We are a truly globally diverse company with over 10,000 employees. Our core values of genuine, innovative, exceptional and involved are what set Adobe apart.
Happy anniversary, Adobe, and here’s to many more great years to come!
After exploring the meaning of creativity and the role it plays in education, we come to the final and perhaps most important question: What’s next? The future depends on cultivating the creativity of students. How do we shape and develop their thinking so they can go into the world and capitalize on the opportunities available to them? Watch this video to find out more.
I hope you enjoyed exploring the different aspects of creativity in education with us. I leave you with this quote from Sir Ken Robinson: “The best applications in the world won’t produce startling results. They need creative minds, adventurous spirits and developed imaginations to do that.”
What is your hope for the future of creativity? Please continue to join our conversation on Twitter using the #createnow hashtag and don’t forget to tag us at @adobeedu!
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