Author Archive: John Schuman

Project Rome for Education, public preview announced today


We’re excited to finally announce Project ROME for Education. Available as a pilot program for school districts, Project ROME for Education lets students and educators express, collaborate and communicate ideas using graphics, photos, text, video, audio and animation in a simple, unified content creation and publishing environment to enhance the learning experience.   Project ROME for Education is designed specifically for students in classroom settings.

If you are interested in having your school district or institution participate, please go to http://rome.adobe.com/education and register.  Eligibility criteria must be met for program acceptance.  A member of the Adobe Education will contact qualified applicants with further information.  Those in education who wish to try out Project ROME for Education individually can also go to http://rome.adobe.com/education to download the offering as part of the free preview program.

Check back here soon for much more information on Project Rome for Education!


Adobe Creative Suite 5 Global Online Launch Event Announced

You will not want to miss this…RSVP now for the CS5 global online launch event happening April 12 on Adobe TV. Be one of the first in the world to see new game-changing features and hear Adobe community feedback (event lasts approximately 30 minutes).
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Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro goes Mobile.

There was some big news today for users of Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro. Adobe has just announced a new mobile version of the popular communication tool, which is used widely in education for virtual classrooms and online meetings. This new mobile version will allow iPhone and iPod Touch users access to the virtual classroom from anywhere.
First previewed at MAX 2009, Connect Pro Mobile version 1.0 is now available for FREE on iTunes. Just go to http://itunes.com/apps/AdobeAcrobatConnectProMobile to download it now.
Connect Pro Mobile was built using a pre-release of the next version of Adobe Flash Pro and was published as a native iPhone application. This is first publicly available Adobe-authored application that uses the Packager for iPhone technology. Because Connect Pro Mobile was created using Flash, Adobe will also be able to use the same code to deliver this application on other mobile devices when AIR for mobile devices becomes available. We anticipate iPad users will be able to take advantage of Connect Pro Mobile as well. For more information on iPad applications with Flash, go to http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplatform/2010/01/building_ipad_apps.html
Key Features of the Application:

  • Attend Connect Pro Meetings with integrated conference call or Voice over IP audio.
  • If your meeting host is using integrated conferencing, you can let the meeting call you, and avoid entering cumbersome dialing codes.
  • See who has joined the meeting, and their role (host, presenter, or attendee)
  • View presentations, PDF documents, videos, and screen sharing provided by the meeting organizer. Rotate, pan, and zoom to choose your personal ‘best view’ of shared content
  • View webcamera broadcasts from unlimited live camera feeds provided in the meeting
  • Participate in chat conversations throughout the meeting.
  • Join meetings attended by users on virtually any computer system: Mac, Windows, Linux, and Solaris. Plus other mobile attendees on iPhone and iPod touch.


To learn more about this application, please view the Connect Pro Mobile overview video.
Connect Pro Mobile lets you join meetings run by anyone with an Acrobat Connect Pro account. If you want to try hosting meetings for others to join on their iPhone or iPod touch, sign up for a FREE 30 DAY TRIAL here: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatconnectpro/trial/

Adobe Education Events at South By Southwest Interactive

The Adobe Education team will be hosting a few events at this year’s SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, TX. I will be doing a special video session that will cover some unique tips for producing streaming video content in an education or eLearning environment on Saturday March 14th.  

We would love to meet any of our Education Technologies Blog readers there in person.

I will be Twittering through this event too. You can follow me at jbschuman on Twitter if you can’t make it there in person.

Saturday March 14th 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  
There will be three one-hour presentations

10:00 – 11:00 – Ryan Stewart, Adobe Platform Evangelist will present on Rich Internet Applications in education.

11:00 – 12:00 – John Schuman, Education Solution Architect for Adobe will kick it off with a Production Premium and Flash Media Server demonstration.

12:00 – 1:00 – Members of the Society of Digital Agencies (SODA) will be providing their thoughts on what the industry is looking for in new hires and how you can best prepare students for successful careers.

Located at the Austin Convention Center – Mezz Room 7
 *RSVP IS REQUIRED FOR THIS EVENT Please send a message to Sandy Balzer if you would like to attend.
 
Sunday March 15th 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
This session is an informal Click gathering at the Day Stage area – beer, soda, food, good conversation and networking. Located at the Day Stage area of the convention center
No RSVP required – we look forward to meeting you!

Managing Classroom Documents: Keeping It Together with Buzzword’s Open Access Docs

Guest post by Dan Weinstein, Ph.D.
(Dan Weinstein is currently Associate Professor of English at Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota. There, roughly 1400 miles from his birthplace in New York City, he teaches both writing and web design and researches best practices for computer supported writing instruction.)

One key to good teaching is simply the habit of keeping one’s teaching house in order. Usually, there is quite a bit to keep track of. Documents that range from assignment descriptions to lectures, handouts, and tests need to be created, updated, distributed, archived, and kept ready for access at a moment’s notice (this is particularly true when one is teaching online, which I quite often do).
To minimize the burden of this sort of housekeeping and keep my attention where it should be (on my students), I have devised a system of file management that streamlines my workflow to the point where virtually all I have to think about are the critical human interactions the system exists to support.
To do this, I use two tools in tandem: Buzzword and a spreadsheet. Any garden variety spreadsheet will do, the only requirement being that it support hyperlinks. At the moment I use either OpenOffice.org Calc or Microsoft Excel. If Buzzword were to host a spreadsheet application, I would probably use that. ;)
Here’s what I do:
At the beginning of the academic semester I set up my spreadsheet workbook. I make seven sheets: a calendar, a sheet of email address lists for my classes (I copy the addresses from my rosters and separate them with semicolons), a sheet I use as a “to do” list, and four sheets to use as grade books for my courses.
The sheet of email addresses, the “todo” sheet, and the grade sheets are pretty self explanatory. However, the calendar sheet requires a little more explanation, for it is here, in the calendar sheet, that integration with Buzzword takes place.
My calendar spreadsheet contains seven columns, A – G. Column A holds a semester’s worth of days and dates and organizes the whole of sheet A chronologically, from top to bottom. Column B holds important institutional dates, such as the last date on which students may withdraw from a course and still get their money back. Column C serves as my personal vertical “date book” for meeting and other appointments. Then, the remaining columns, D, E, F, and G, contain the assignment schedules for each of the four courses I am slated to teach that semester.
As I fill in the cells of columns D, E, F, and G with the titles and deadlines of assignments, I note at what points I will need to furnish an assignment description or set up an assignment with the text of a lecture. This is where Buzzword comes in. There is no platform for shared documents my students and I like better than Buzzword. The beauty of Buzzword’s display distinguishes the content of Buzzword documents, making them look different, and a bit more “serious”, than the HTML text that usually flashes across my students’ browsers. In addition, the discrete pagination of Buzzword documents helps students keep track of information in longer documents (and I admit that, at times, those lectures of mine can get pretty long winded). So, whenever I find I have an assignment to describe, or a lecture to ventilate, I turn to Buzzword, create the document, and use the nifty new “paste sharing list” function to share a document with the class for which it was meant. Where do I get the sharing list? Why, from my sheet of email addresses, of course! Having done that one time, I can just as easily copy the same list from one Buzzword document to another. Sweet!
Once I have created and shared a Buzzword document for distribution to a class, I add a hyperlink to that live document within the appropriate cell of my spreadsheet. When I have done this for all the assignments in a course, I scarcely have to think about the location of an assignment description or lecture for the rest of the semester. I can export columns [A, B], and D, E F or G to the syllabus of a particular course (thus transferring not just the assignment schedule but links to all the associated descriptions and lectures as well). In addition, I can subsequently share documents with student or expert co-authors and, by virtue of their contributions to these preexisting files, appoint these folks “guest lecturers” without altering the assignment schedule one whit (I just have to let the students in the course know in advance that live materials are subject to change). Further, if, at any time, a student IMs me in need of an assignment description, all I have to do is glance at my spreadsheet and send the right link in reply.
The upshot of this two-tool document management system is that, between Buzzword and my spreadsheet workbook, I am able to orchestrate my entire professional life.
I do other things with Buzzword, too, such as, in my English Composition courses, creating shared documents for 1:1 conferencing with students about their writing, in concert with voice calls. In this case, a copy of the class roster becomes the scaffold for a hyperlinked index of such individualized instructional documents. But such tales as this are, perhaps, too discipline-specific for this venue.
In general, then, for anyone with a need to contextually index a set of Buzzword documents, whether for document management, project management, or some other kind of digital housekeeping, I suggest the combination of Buzzword and a spreadsheet. It works for me.
Originally posted at http://blogs.adobe.com/acom/

Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro and Blackboard

I will be presenting a free Adobe Education eSeminar on the topic of Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro and Blackboard Integration on September 23, 2008. If you use Blackboard and have ever considered using a virtual classroom technology, you will want to see this one. Here is the official description of the presentation…
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 10:00 A.M. PDT
Extend the reach and scope of your online learning experience by using the advanced communication features of Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro within the Blackboard learning environment. Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro offers an ideal platform for virtual classrooms or meetings and generally requires no additional software on end-user computers by employing Adobe Flash Player to enable the virtual meeting room. This complete solution for integrating Blackboard software (Release 7.3 and higher) with Adobe Connect Pro is now available for free to Blackboard or Adobe Connect Pro Administrators.
Click here to register for this event.
To learn more about the Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro and Blackboard Integration solution, please go to the Acrobat Connect Community Website Blackboard Integration FAQ.
You can also download the Blackboard integration solution brief or the LMS primer from the Adobe Acrobat Connect 7 education page.
TIP: The Adobe Connect User Community Website is a great resource for learning more about Adobe Acrobat Connect and/or virtual classroom technology.

Adobe Education eSeminar Series

The Adobe Education eSeminar Series begins August 14, 2008.
These free of charge online events will cover topics such as distance and eLearning projects using Acrobat 9, creating interactive PDF files, electronic portfolios for students and educators and much more.
The presentations will be conducted by Adobe education product experts and/or Adobe Education Leaders.
This is a great opportunity to learn from the experts right from your computer.
Please click this link for details and registration.

Just Released – Free Content for Educators!

Communication and Collaboration Resource Center
The Communication and collaboration center offers resources for faculty who want to use online learning in a variety of ways. Whether you want to extend your classes with virtual elements or run an entirely virtual course; create reusable online learning content; or collaborate with other researchers, faculty, students, parents, or the community at large, you’ll find help here.
Higher Education
http://www.adobe.com/education/resources/hed/instructional/connect/collaborative_teaching/index.html
K-12
http://www.adobe.com/education/resources/k12/resourcecenters/communication/communication_collaboration/index.html
Rich Internet Application Teaching Resources
These resources provide a combination of online workshop modules for self-study, course projects to apply the skills learned, and book recommendations to put together a course on RIA design and development.
http://www.adobe.com/education/instruction/teach/ria.html
Anuja Dharkar
Worldwide Education Manager, Curriculum and Professional Development
Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe Max 2008 – Education community survey

The Adobe Systems Education team would like to invite members of the worldwide education community to participate in a brief online survey to help us make this year’s Adobe MAX the best ever for the education community.
Please click this link to take the brief survey. Let us know what matters to you most as we make preparations for MAX 2008.
You may also be interested in joining the Adobe MAX 2008 mailing list, which can be found at http://adobemax08.com/ as well as dates and locations.

A new generation of eLearning tools has been announced

This has been a big week for those of us on the Adobe Education team. Adobe has announced all new versions of two powerful tools for education and eLearning. Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro 7 and Adobe Presenter 7. Both products are packed with new features, many of which were suggested by our education customers.
One really significant new feature of this release pertaining to education is a complete integration solution for Blackboard (version 7.3 or higher).
Here are some of the highlights:
• Administrators can download, deploy and configure the integration solution in just a few short minutes.
• Educators can quickly and easily create, manage, and access Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro meetings or virtual classrooms from within a Blackboard course or community.
• Educators can view attendance reports on Connect Pro 7 meetings or virtual classrooms from any of several Connect Pro access point within Blackboard.
• Educators can easily assign course enrollees or community members to an online meeting or classroom.
• Students can view and access any scheduled or assigned meetings or classes right from the initial sign-in or home page.
• Single sign-on. No need to enter credentials a second time when attending or managing a meeting or virtual classroom.
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Creating an Acrobat Connect Pro Meeting in a Blackboard Course.
There will be more detailed information about Blackboard integration and Adobe Acrobat Connect 7 in the coming days. I will be posting the links as they become available.
You can find more detailed information about this very exciting release of Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro here.