Posts in Category "Adobe Software"

Adobe InDesign – Path Animation

Adobe InDesign is no longer “just” a desktop publishing tool; it has turned into a full-blown multimedia machine!  As a former teacher and educational technologist, I highly recommend adding InDesign CS5 to your instructional technology tool bag.

The following tutorial demonstrates how easy it is to build path animations using InDesign CS5.  Imagine how much more engaging a lesson on diffusion would be if a student could animate the process rather than simply read about it!

Video 1 – Learn how to create a simple path animation using InDesign CS5


Video 2 – Create a path animation and add duration and timing settings

Prolific Powerhouse People: Teacher, Mike Skocko and the Mac Lab

Mike Skocko Keeps learning exciting and in balance in his Mac Lab

Valhalla High School teacher Mike Skocko keeps learning exciting and in balance in his Mac Lab.

 When it comes to learning Adobe software and technologies there is a fantastic cornucopia of terrific choices out there: great books, in-person seminars, online webinars, weekend hands on intensives and much, much more. I’m a visual learner so when it comes to my own way of learning Adobe tools I tend to gravitate towards one of the super online video offerings from companies like: KelbyTraining.com, VTC.com, TotalTraining.com, AtomicLearning.com, Lynda.com or our very own Adobe TV.

With the exception of Adobe TV mentioned above all of these training companies offer deep discounted education pricing to educators who subscribe to their offerings and in my humble opinion they are a super value. But what if I told you there is another source of terrific online video training available on Adobe tools and to access the videos it won’t cost you a dime?

Enter amazing prolific powerhouse Mike Skocko (pronounced skotch-ko) of Valhalla High School in El Cajon California who has produced and posted over 3,000 online video tutorials (no that’s not a typo – 3,000 and counting!) covering a wide range of Adobe tools and technologies. Best part, they’re totally FREE to watch and learn from. In fact Mike already has close to 300 videos on many of the current Adobe CS5 tools posted online and adds new ones daily.

Mike stated to me recently (and in the most humble way) he would have had near five hundred videos posted on the Adobe CS5 tools by now but since he was recently derailed by being accepted into Adobe’s Education Leaders (AEL) program and simultaneously started work on a Masters Program along with his fulltime teaching duties at Valhalla High, he’s only been able to add one video tutorial post per day. One per day!?  Five per week!?  Twenty per month!? Are you kidding me Mike!? I’m lucky if I can find the time to write three blog posts here on the Adobe Education Technologies Blog per month! So now dear blog readers you know why Mike has been picked by me as a Prolific Powerhouse Person here on our blog.

I encourage you to check out Mike’s excellent videos on Adobe’s software tools and share this great and free learning resource with your students and education associates far and wide.

The Mac Lab’s Online Adobe Software Tutorials can be found HERE.

Check out a cool interview Mike conducted with one of his former Students HERE.

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!


Acrobat X is Here!

Acrobat Box imageThe New Acrobat X is finally here! What can it do for education?

Acrobat X has been re-tooled to provide easier access to tools and more powerful features that are just right for education. For more info, visit the Acrobat in Education Blog

Prolific Powerhouse People: Teacher, Dr Katherine Nell McNeil

Dr. Katherine Nell McNeil, East County Academy of Learning, Lakeside Union School District, San Diego, California.

Dr. Katherine Nell McNeil, East County Academy of Learning, Lakeside Union School District, San Diego, California.

It’s not every day when I man an Adobe booth at an education tradeshow talking with our education customers that I suddenly see someone in front of me practically jumping up and down and waving their arms to get my attention. Usually educators stop by our Adobe booth and politely ask us questions about education pricing, when the next versions of our software is due out and where they can learn more about professional development or certification. But at the last CUE (Computer-Using Educators) Conference held in Palm Springs, CA I rapidly finished up a conversation I was having and turned my attention to the woman at our booth who now had tears streaming down her cheeks and suddenly burst out, “Adobe save’s lives! Adobe changes lives! Thank you so much for all you do!”

I stood there jaw dropped and thunderstruck not quite sure of how to respond. I recall saying something really lame like “Excuse me!? Come again!?” But the woman standing there was now so emotionally choked up she couldn’t even speak! I sensed I better do something quick before she really started crying so I took her gently by the hand and asked her to sit down in our booth so I could calm her down.

After several minutes she finally did and said, “My name is Dr. Katherine Nell McNeil. I’m a Special Education teacher from the East County Academy of Learning in the Lakeside Union School District in San Diego, California. I want you to know for all the work that Adobe does, to each employee who has had a hand in making your software a reality, you all need to know that I stand up and yell thank you.  Adobe saves lives.  Adobe changes lives. You guys are dream makers not dream breakers.  Through your products my students with severe emotional and behavioral disorders learn not only how to make award winning digital media designs, but also develop new behaviors, higher order thinking skills, academic and social skills which they previously did not possess”.

Now it was my turn to get emotional. I remember getting tears in my eyes and blurting something like “Wow! Really!? Thank you for sharing this!”  Dr McNeil went on to tell me she has been a special ed. teacher for over ten years and by using digital media design tools like Photoshop, she’s made a profound difference in many of her students behavior. She stated many of students have severe learning disabilities including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHAD).  But through the use of digital media tools many of her kids have been able to turn their lives around by expressing themselves and building self-confidence using these tools. In fact she beamed when she informed me that several of her students won ribbons at the recent California Del Mar fair for their digital media creations made with Adobe Photoshop and other Adobe tools.

Dr McNeil's student's showing examples of their Adobe Photoshop work.

Photo sent to me from Dr McNeil & her student's showing examples of their Adobe Photoshop work including ribbons!

To learn more about this prolific powerhouse educator, Dr. McNeil and her special education teaching techniques check out this great video interview with her made by the San Diego Department of Education (SDDOE) at the link below.

Classroom of the Future Foundation Interview with Dr. McNeil

Adobe in Education: An Accessibility Guide

In recent years, the Education community has focusing increasingly on making all web content accessible to individual individuals with disabilities. Adobe® is an industry leader in accessibility and supports the creation of outstanding web experiences by encouraging web developers to produce rich, engaging content that is accessible to all. Adobe has also been focusing on this important task by improving and facilitating accessible content creation and consumption with its powerful design applications and productivity tools.

The information below references resources on our website that can help educators and authors understand the need for creating accessible content for an increasing diversity of users and screens. Not only will content creators learn more about how to optimize their workflows and effectively design a document that not only looks good, but they can also improve the experience as all users on a variety of screens and devices.

What is Accessibility?

Accessibility involves two key issues: first, how users with disabilities access electronic information, and second, how web content designers and developers enable web pages to function with assistive devices used by individuals with disabilities.

For the user with a disability, the challenge is to identify tools that provide the most convenient access to web-based and other electronic information. For the web content designer/developer, the challenge is to remove the obstacles that prevent accessibility tools from functioning effectively. In many cases, these challenges are relatively simple to overcome, but sometimes the solutions require some additional thought and effort.

For more information on Accessibility visit: http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/gettingstarted/accessibility.html

I have heard of Section 508 and the 508 standards. What are they?

Accessibility policies vary from country to country, but most countries, including those in the European Union, have adopted standards based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In the United States, Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act mandates that web content maintained by the federal government be made accessible to people with disabilities. This law is based on W3C Priority One checkpoints. Find more information at: http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/508standards.html

Where can I find the latest information about Adobe products and accessibility?

A great start to find out the latest information on Accessibility at Adobe is http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/. There you will find links and resources to examples compliance news, blogs, case studies, tips and tricks and more.

I have heard that Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader are very useful for working with and reading accessible content. Is that true?

Yes, unlike other PDF tools, Adobe® Acrobat® 9 and Reader® 9 software continue the tradition of providing strong accessibility support for Adobe PDF documents and forms. Acrobat 9 features a number of built-in accommodations for people with disabilities as well as support for users of assistive technologies.

Where can I find more detailed information about Adobe Acrobat and Reader’s roles in facilitating the creation and displaying of Accessible documents?

Are there any Adobe blogs that focus on Accessibility news and events?

Yes, visit the Adobe accessibility blog and join the discussion at: http://blogs.adobe.com/accessibility/

Which Adobe products support and encourage authors and developers in the production of accessible content?

Adobe seeks to provide products that support and encourage authors and developers in the production of accessible content. The latest information on these products can be found by clicking on these links.

Where can I find information on other Adobe applications and accessibility?

For information on additional applications please visit the Adobe Accessibility website at: http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/

Lynda.com APP for iPhone & Adobe!

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Recently as part of my job for Adobe I drove to one of Ventura Unified School Districts middle schools to conduct an hour long Acrobat 9 Pro demonstration of Acrobat’s incredible ePortfolio tools. Never knowing what Sothern California’s traffic might be I left early giving me plenty of time to get to De Anza Middle School about ten miles from my remote Adobe office here in east Ventura county. The traffic Gods were smiling on me and I actually arrived about half an hour early to the school. After turning off my car’s engine I wondered what I could do with the extra time I had when it suddenly dawned on me. I had been brushing up on learning the ins and outs of our recently released Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 application just before I drove to De Anza at my remote office watching one of my favorite online video training companies – Lynda.com.

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Prolific Powerhouse Profile – Terry White!

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This is the first post of a new series of profiles of Prolific Powerhouse People who use Adobe tools and technologies in a creative way. Feel free to inform me if you know of someone who is doing amazing things with Adobe technologies within HiEd or K12 education or beyond.
Photo by Joe McNally
If you’re like me trying to stay on top of all the amazing Adobe tools and technologies can be frankly a daunting task! Case in point Adobe just announced our CS5 suite of tools that will be available soon. As an Adobe employee my main focus right now is to quickly get up to speed on as many of them and their amazing features as I can before we actually start shipping the products; issue is I still have more to learn about our current CS4 tools. Thank goodness for Terry White!

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Easy Flash with New Flash Catalyst!

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I attend a lot of education conferences all over the U.S. as part of my job for Adobe Systems. Typically I will demonstrate our award winning tools to educators at these conferences in our trade show booth which usually has a small theater set up in it so conference attendees can watch half hour demos of our tools and learn all about the amazing features they have.
After my demonstrations I always get several folks who come up to me and ask the same two questions repeatedly no matter what conference I’m attending or in what part of the country I’m in. The first question typically is “Richard, where can I find affordable training on Adobe Tools?” In regards to this question I wrote a whole blog post about it here called Teacher’s Pet – A List of Affordable and Free Adobe Tools Training. The second question (which is the topic of this blog post) for the most part is “Richard, I love Adobe’s tools, but they have such a steep learning curve, especially Flash!”

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What? Another cool tool on labs, you say?

Yes. Yes we do say. We here at the Adobe Education Technologies blog love labs. Whenever we feel like facing a new challange and playing with some cool, new tools, we drift on over the Adobe Labs (link to Adobe Labs) and check it out. A new tool we found there got us very excited, so we wanted to share it with you.

Adobe WorkflowLab (beta)

It can be used for planning out project tasks and overall workflow and organize thoughts for project post-mortems or to learn about best practices using built-in workflow starting points. Go grab it for yourself and have a look (link to the WorkflowLab beta)

 

Read on for more details. . .

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