Posts in Category "Students"

Adobe MAX 2011: an education perspective

MAX 2011 and pre-MAX sessions such as the full-day Education Summit gave educators many opportunities to learn from the industry, from Adobe and from each other.

The room fills up quickly as doors open for the first keynote

The room fills up quickly as doors open for the first keynote

Having been a teacher in Higher Ed for 20+ years, it’s natural for me to look at events like MAX with an educator’s eye. This is a perspective I hope I never lose, to be honest.

While MAX is a great networking occasion for professional designers and developers, it also gives teachers a chance to some important networking as well. They have the opportunity not only to learn new tips and techniques, but to talk to the people working in the industry, learning what skills are used, and what ones may be lacking. I think this is invaluable information; gaining this knowledge can help immensely when planning new courses, or updating existing ones to be more relevant.

The keynotes and sessions revolved around a major theme of Change, in my opinion. In the keynotes, Adobe continued to remind the industry that they are aware of – and actively involved in  – changes in the marketplace and user trends. Continue reading…

Fireworks Mobile Design Tip: Batch Processing app icons in Fireworks

In the previous post, I talked about using Fireworks to create multiple application icons for an Android device, and then how to export those multiple icons as individual flat files.

In this post, we’ll look at how to batch process those larger images into three different sizes, and how to automate that process for future work. The original icons were created quite large – 244 pixels square, to be exact. This made it easy to be very detailed when creating the look of the icons. And while this is useful from and editing and creative perspective, the project requires three sets of smaller dimension icons for an Android application.  Well, Fireworks excels at this type of workflow and produces very small files to boot. Continue reading…

Fireworks Mobile Design Tip: Exporting Layers to Files

In July of 2011, I presented a Fireworks session at D2WC called Wireframing and Prototyping for Mobile using Adobe Fireworks. I was so pleased to see a very full room of attendees. Even happier to note that many were not current Fireworks users.

Yes, I did say happy. The reason is simple. I want people to know what they’re missing out on. :-) As you might be noticing, I’m a big Fireworks fan. Huge, even.

My original goal with this session was to focus on some sample prototypes and wireframes, but based on the crowd and many of the questions fired at me, I changed the slant slightly and talked more about how many of the Fireworks built-in features are designed to save you time, without sacrificing quality. Time is money as they say. Projects are quoted on estimated number of hours, so the sooner you can complete a wireframe or a prototype, the sooner you can move forward to actually wiring up the actual application, and the happier everyone is.

The sooner students can learn how to achieve optimum results in less time, the more employable they are.

As usual, I had way more content than I needed or had time to use, so I’ve posted the files (including brief slide deck, a couple tutorials and LOTS of assets) on my web site.

Aside from using Fireworks pages to mock up wireframes and prototypes, FW also has many other built-in features that can really help with any kind of prototyping, especially mobile.

A couple things I really wanted to get to in my session but ran out of time were:

  1. Exporting layers to files
  2. Batch processing for mobile

In this tutorial we’ll look at exporting layers to files.  I’ll also be releasing a new tutorial that will cover batch processing the new files created from this tutorial. Continue reading…

Adobe Education Exchange Announces The 2011 Educators’ Choice Awards

Just as Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences, educators are changing the world through innovative teaching. From creating inspiring curricula to bringing dynamic, media-rich content into courses and assignments, educators go above and beyond to prepare students for today’s global workforce. But creating those amazing learning experiences for their students is not an easy task. To encourage educators to share their successful teaching materials and help each other get ready for the new school year, the Adobe Education Exchange launched the 2011 Educators’ Choice Awards. Starting this week, educators can win great prizes by simply submitting their best projects, lesson plans, curricula, and tutorials. Prepare to be inspired!

The 2011 Educators’ Choice Awards will recognize and reward Adobe Education Exchange members who submit the most innovative teaching and learning materials. The community will choose the winners of the awards by rating and voting for one another’s entries. Educators can submit entries in four categories including:

 Higher Education Digital Arts and Media

Primary/Secondary Digital Arts and Media

Higher Education Cross-Curricular

Primary/Secondary Cross-Curricular

Grand prize and runner-up winners will go home with prizes like laptop computers, tablets, digital cameras, and the new Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 to help them continue to create innovative learning experiences for their students.

For more information on the 2011 Educators’ Choice Awards or to enter, visit: http://www.adobe.com/go/AdobeEDUAwards. For inspiration and examples, join or sign in to browse the resources on the Adobe Education Exchange. Also, be sure to follow @AdobeEDU and #AdobeEDUAwards for the latest updates about the awards. Get your creative juices flowing, submit your great teaching materials and win big!

Underserved Youth + World + Media = Adobe Youth Voices!

As an educator you are most likely aware of many of Adobe’s great products, our super teacher resources like Adobe TV for professional development and the explosive growth of the Adobe Education Exchange. But what about those students of yours, especially students in underserved communities from around the world who could be empowered with some help from Adobe? Adobe Youth Voices (part of the Adobe Foundation Philanthropy Program) aims to help youth and educators who teach to them in these underserved communities from all over the world.

I recently had the honor of attending the 2011 Adobe Youth Voices summit in San Jose, CA where eighty educators chaperoned two youth from their schools and programs spending five days with them learning about Adobe products, technologies and teaching methodologies. But for me (who was on hand at the Summit doing some training) the high point was seeing what the educators along with their students created; outstanding short five minute movies covering subject like: Human Rights, Relationships, Communication, the Environment and other important topics.  Using basic video & sound capturing hardware gear and primarily Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements to edit their videos the attendees broke into several teams and over the course of five sleepless days and nights produced amazing videos in record time.

Check out examples of some of the great Adobe Youth Voices videos in the Youth Media Gallery link here as well as more general  information about the program here.

 

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!


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/

Adobe Announces Free eSignature Service

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Adobe’s new cloud-based eSignature Service was announced recently as a convenient way to get verifiable digital signatures on PDF documents quickly, securely, and conveniently. This service is based on our LiveCycle server-side technology that supports digital signatures and workflows.

The Service is easy to set up and use. All you need is a free Adobe ID. If you already have one or an Acrobat.com account, you are ready to use the service.

This new service has great potential for improving efficiencies and providing certified documents for a wide number of Education-specific requirements. Read more on the Acrobat In Education blog.

Check Out the New Video Production Resource Center

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CS4 Master Collection box shot  CS4 Production Premium box shot

The Adobe Education Technologies blog presents a fantastic new resource for faculty teaching digital video. The new Video Production Resource Center is a robust collection of sample projects, curriculum, professional development resources, tips & tricks, and more. You can also access video production resources for students with a wealth of free tutorials and inspiration from work created by their peers.