Results tagged “STEM”

Davos 2014: A View from the World Economic Forum

Note: This post is cross-posted from our Public Policy blog.

WEF 2014

I recently returned to California from a fantastic visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was my first time at Davos, and everything you have heard is true—it is an opportunity to cram a year’s worth of conversations into a few days, and talk directly to amazing thinkers. I am still digesting the discussions, with European and Asian government officials, representatives from the nonprofit and educational sectors, and other business people like me. The news media did a nice job of reporting the major themes that came out of the discussions at Davos. However, there were several interesting themes I picked up on that weren’t widely reported. Let me share a few.

First, Tom Friedman may have taught us all that The World Is Flat eight years ago—an eon ago in Internet time—but the insights in his book are as fresh as ever. Even the bankers were talking about the opportunities presented as the population of the developing world gets online and educated at an unprecedented rate. What this means for Adobe: we need to make sure that we are offering products and services that perform well in all countries where we are able to operate, and not just in our traditional developed-world markets. We believe Adobe provides the world’s best tools for creative people to express their ideas, and we have a responsibility to enable as many people as possible to have access to our tools, via whatever devices and Internet connections are available. As my colleagueDavid Wadhwani has described in the past, Adobe’s role is to help people tell their stories. And, of course, the Cloud and the lower price points of the subscription business model gives Adobe a mechanism to reach customers in the developing world that we couldn’t before with a traditional sales model and the drain of software piracy.

Second, as I took in lectures and presentations, I was struck by the importance of communications skills. One can have the most jaw-dropping research findings, but, unless the ideas are conveyed with impact and creativity, they fall on deaf ears. Really, the whole Davos experience, in which government officials are mixed with artists, explorers, academics, and musicians, is a recognition of the power of creativity. I had a number of conversations with government officials about STEAM – how the addition of the Arts to STEM (a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math curriculum) can pay huge dividends. Research shows that adding that “A” can help cultivate better problem solving skills, more academic engagement, and, of course, better communication.

Finally, governments around the world are increasingly aware of the need to engage citizens online. Many government officials realize the unprecedented opportunity at their disposal in assisting their constituents electronically. Whether it is the astounding technological advances in being able to serve up real-time, relevant content, or engaging content that can now be rendered to large majorities of citizens on mobile devices, government officials are now seeing the tremendous value of electronic engagement with citizens. Citizens are also consumers, and they carry into their interactions with governments expectations fueled by their interactions with best-of-breed commercial apps and Websites. As these citizen expectations increase, the new demands on governments to effectively engage their audiences is extraordinary.  To citizens accustomed to apps and online services that iterate continuously, a government Web portal with the capabilities of even two years ago misses the mark.  Thankfully, there is no lack of leadership and ideas when it comes to reaching more citizens with more information in ways that have never been available before.

We all know the positive impact that can happen when diverse groups work to solve problems. This year’s Davos had no shortage of problems to solve, but I was encouraged by the number of creative ideas being discussed and the appetite to work in earnest to solve them.

Congratulations to the 2013 Winners of the Congressional Art Competition!

Tacy Trowbridge Winners CAC 2013Each spring, high school students from around the United States are honored by Congress through a visual art competition. Since its beginning in 1982, more than 650,000 students have participated. Each year, winners from more than 400 Congressional Districts are invited to an awards ceremony in the U.S. Capitol and their works are displayed in the busy hallways beneath the capitol building. Adobe was honored to attend the event and help celebrate students’ creativity and their achievements.

It is particularly important to celebrate creative student work in light of recent study results about the barriers to creativity in education, which revealed that:

-          Almost 90% of parents and educators believe that fostering creativity in education will fuel the economies of tomorrow

-          More than 70% of parents and educators believe that creativity is not valued by the current education system

As we look to the future, creativity is essential to drive innovation and ultimately to make the world a better place. Innovation is not the sole domain of entrepreneurs, of engineers, or of programmers. Artists create meaning, communicate ideas and help us all see new problems and solutions. To succeed, we must not only invest in STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math – but also in the arts to grow our economy for the future. We need to expand our focus from STEM to STEAM. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (pictured above), one of this year’s co-sponsors of the event, is also a co-founder of the Congressional STEAM Caucus and has been active in advocating the value of creativity.

These students are already sharing and expressing creative ideas. Their creativity inspires hope and these students will lead the kind of innovation that improves our lives and solves the real problems we will face in the decades to come.

To further inspire self-expression and innovation, Adobe invites students to join the broader creative community by giving each winner a free year-long subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud. I want to extend my warmest congratulations to all of the students who participated and shared their ideas with us. We can’t wait to see what you create next!

Congratulations to San Jose/Silicon Valley Students!

CA Globeys - AdobeI wanted to share some exciting news around our continuous work with Globaloria, a national program that teaches kids how to design and program their own STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) digital games. I had a chance, along with Johann Zimmern, our worldwide education program manager, to honor several San Jose Bay Area students at the 2nd Annual Silicon Valley Globey Awards Ceremony designed to recognize the best in youth educational video game design and coding. At the ceremony, top students were awarded prizes for their work based on the technical quality of their game, its educational content, the quality of the original artwork and animations, teamwork, research skills, and the overall production process.

Among the prizes, student winners were awarded a one-year subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud, to support their future game design efforts. On behalf of Adobe, we want to congratulate all of the winners and encourage them to continue to explore their creative talents. To check out all the recognized student-designed games please visit Globaloria’s Game Gallery.

Adobe Encourages Young Girls to Consider Careers in Technology

techgirlsToday, the world needs creative thinkers to help solve the big challenges we face — in our global economy, in our environment, and in social issues. And we need people who are fluent in the latest digital tools that fuel creativity and self-expression. To inspire young women and help them develop skills they will need to become future problem solvers and innovators, Adobe Education hosted a special Tech Girls event at Presentation High School in San Jose, CA. A group of girls, ages 11 to 14, came from all over Silicon Valley to learn how to use Adobe tools including Adobe Edge Animate and Adobe Muse in a series of workshops. Mala Sharma, vice president of GTM and strategy for Creative Pro and Education at Adobe, spoke to these young women about her background and encouraged them to consider careers in technology.

The workshops were led by Adobe Education Leaders; Deila Caballero of Presentation High School, Jeff Larson of Balboa High School in San Francisco and Kevin McMahon of Bellarmine College Prep. All of the presenters were impressed by the knowledge and talent of these young women and praised Tech Girls for providing youth with such amazing opportunities:

“Workshops like this one directly impact the future of STEM fields by planting the seeds of technological inspiration in the minds of today’s young women. By encouraging each generation of girls to be fearless and confident technology users we give them a chance to explore educational opportunities which they may not otherwise have in the standard education model. The best part of this event was watching each student explore a new technology with excitement, creativity and success.” Deila Caballero, Presentation High School, San Jose, CA

“Having the chance to teach Adobe Edge to the young ladies involved in the Tech Girls workshop was a delightful reminder of the capacity of young people to rapidly learn and work with technology. The girls were quick to pick up on the general workflow and then quickly move into discovering things about the software I wasn’t even sure we’d have time to cover. I hope my daughter has a chance to participate in something like the Tech Girls program at some point, as the program is a beacon for encouraging girls pursuit of STEM related interests.” Jeff Larson, Balboa High School, San Francisco, CA

“The Tech Girls Workshop was a great experience. When teaching new apps such as Muse and Edge, students usually require some adjustment period. But these bright young girls were almost finishing my sentences by the time we were done. Moreover, their website and animation work was quite impressive. As a father of a daughter, the Tech Girls program gives me great hope for the future.” Kevin McMahon of Bellarmine College Prep, San Jose, CA

This is just one way Adobe is getting involved in helping youth explore new opportunities through technology and innovation. Share with us how your work inspires kids in new and creative ways.

Better Learning Through Game Design

Improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills for students is no longer confined to pencils, paper and flash cards. Educators today must embrace the latest technology to equip students with the skills to succeed. The World Wide Workshop’s Globaloria program takes a proactive approach to break out of the traditional education mold and help educators and students meet challenges with an innovative curriculum and social learning platform. With Globaloria, students in grades 6 through 12 learn STEM and computing knowledge through hands-on game design and programming with Adobe Creative Suite – providing students with a chance to build critical skills for college and career success with industry standard software.

“Students on the downside of the digital divide benefit greatly from the blended learning approach that this innovative initiative delivers,” says Dr. Joe Gonzales, school superintendent of East Austin College Prep Academy in Texas. “Globaloria transforms the way they engage with core curriculum, bringing STEM topics to life through game design.”

Students learn to design and program games using Adobe Flash Professional, chosen by Globaloria developers to expose participants to an industry-leading tool that is popular in the job market. At higher levels, students integrate assets created using Adobe Creative Suite, including characters designed in Adobe Photoshop, game elements created in Adobe Illustrator and effects created using Adobe Fireworks. These games are not only fun to play, but are also based on STEM-related or social issue topics. Check out a couple of these games such asHouse Fixers 2, where players must reduce fractions correctly before time runs out and an animated house collapses, and Tiger Savior, a safari-themed game designed to educate players about environmental threats facing tigers around the world.

“Many students who never learned to code before and who never thought of themselves as programmers are delving into coding through their use of Flash in the course of their Globaloria experience,” said Dr. Idit Harel Caperton, president and founder of the World Wide Workshop. “We have built a highly structured, yet user-friendly and playful environment for youth to take their first steps into computer science and software engineering.”

Research shows that students who participate in the Globaloria game design program gain measurable benefits in the classroom and beyond. They achieve higher test scores in core academic subjects, develop critical digital literacy skills that prepare them for success at higher levels of education and are more likely to gravitate toward STEM topics and IT as areas of educational and professional interest. To learn more about how Globaloria helps students achieve success, read the full story here. Also visit gaming.adobe.com to see what else can be accomplished using Adobe Gaming technology.

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