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.

 

Updated Adobe Acrobat X PDF Portfolio Layout

In Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro we introduced PDF portfolios with which you were able to create a welcome screen as well as a banner at the top of the navigation screen for a portfolio title, contact information, head shot, etc. With Adobe Acrobat X Pro we made changes to the layout options which removed these features. Well the good news is that Joel Geraci, Adobe Acrobat technical evangelist, has created an Adobe Acrobat X billboard layout adding these features back in. Check out Joel’s blog and download the file!

Adobe FormsCentral – Skip Logic

The smart gang over at Adobe FormsCentral recently added a great new feature to the forms service. You can now direct users to different pages based on their previous answers.

Check out this video for more on Adobe FormsCentral’s latest feature…”Skip Logic.”

Abracadabra! The Green Screen Magic of Premiere Elements 9

Adobe Education Leaders (AELs) in front of a portable green screen

Adobe Education Leaders (AELs) in front of a portable green screen

If you’ve ever been to famed Las Vegas, Nevada you may have had the pleasure of seeing one of the many fantastic Illusionists preforming their incredible magic there. Several years ago I had the fun opportunity to see world famous illusionist David Copperfield in action at Cesar’s Palace along with my wife. During one of David’s sold out performances I was one of twelve lucky audience members who was picked by him to come up on stage to take part in one of his tricks. After entering a strange transparent on all sides box like contraption with the other volunteers the contraption exploded with a bang into flames, fireworks and flashing lights! I suddenly “disappeared” along with the eleven other audience members to the simultaneous loud gasp from hundreds of people watching the trick from their theater seats. To my amazement along with the other eleven people who disappeared with me we all had a big laugh together when we realized how David actually made us disappear – it was incredibly simple how he did, but from the perspective of the people watching the trick out in the theater it was astonishing.

Before we were made to reappear in the magic box and be reunited with our friends and loved ones David appeared in person back stage with all of us! David quickly told us he would give each of us a personalized autographed photo of himself in exchange for our life-long swearing of total secrecy of how he did the trick. All twelve of us happily agreed and promised David we would never ever tell anyone how he did this trick; to this day fifteen years later I never have – even to my wife or kids who have begged me repeatedly to divulge all. So what does this have to do with Premiere Elements? – read on.

What’s interesting is some of the earliest silent film makers were previously stage magicians before they hand cranked a film camera. In fact one the earliest projection apparatus even before film cameras and film projectors were invented was called a “Magic Lantern,” a tin lamp-like device with a concave mirror, lens and an oil lamp or candle inside of it which was used as the light source to project a still image on to a screen or wall.

We’ve come a long, long way since the eras of the early stage magicians and first film makers who magically made things disappear and reappear on their limelight lit stages or in their early hand cranked films shown in picture palaces. In the case of the silent film makers to make say an actor magically disappear or appear in a scene it simply came down to scratching the actor’s image out of the nitrate film with a sharp blade.

In this digital age we are all a part of right now we are stunned by the digital CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) magic of the likes of James Cameron’s award winning film “Avatar,” or a flim like I saw last night; Rise of the Planet of the Apes and other amazing movies and television series that use state-of-the-art 3D techniques, or compositing tricks to create the illusion that different elements are all parts of the same scene to make things magically disappear or reappear in scenes.

Now you might be thinking to create this same kind of CGI magic for your own movie projects is not only super expensive, but most likely really hard to do – not at all. In fact with Premiere Elements it is as simple as shooting two clips of video, dragging & dropping them into Premiere Elements timeline and then clicking the mouse just once to achieve the same kind of CGI compositing magic of a James Cameron or making things appear or disappearing like David Copperfield on a live stage. Note in Premiere elements we call this cool trick “Video Merge,” but it also goes by a few other names like: Blue or Green Screen, Chroma Key and Compositing.

I’ve created two short Adobe Captivate screen capture demonstrations of how to do a basic Video Merge effect with Premiere Elements as well as a bit more advanced features and posted the demos to YouTube. Check out Part 1 or Part 2 (links below) to learn how you too can become a CGI magician in just a few mouse clicks using Premiere Elements Video Merge!

Part 1: Movie Magic with Adobe Premiere Elements Video Merge

Part 2: Creating Video Merge effects with Adobe Premiere Elements

Adobe Connect Mobile 1.5 – Tablet Ready!

Our Connect team has been busy adding many great features to Adobe Connect Mobile.   Adobe Connect Mobile 1.5 is now a much more complete mobile conferencing tool.

Here are some highlights:

  • Add your own upstream broadcast
  • Connect Mobile for ios now supports both rear and forward facing cameras
  • Meeting “Overview” mode – making the Connect experience much more like the desktop experience
  • “Focus View” notifications let you know about off-screen activities (while in Focus View)
  • Ability to see and interact with the note pod
  • Ability to see and interact with Poll pod

Check out the YouTube Video

Read more at the Adobe Connect Blog

Indiana University creates Digital Publications

IU Digital Imprint

IU Digital Imprint

Using the Digital Publishing Suite, Indiana University has created an iPad app – IU Libris – with three publications available for download.
Take a look on iTunes

Free Issue of the May Digital Edition of WIRED Magazine

Adobe is celebrating the first anniversary of WIRED magazine’s digital edition on the iPad by sponsoring the May 2011 issue.  For the next 30 days, your can go grab a copy for FREE!

WIRED magazine is published using Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite which helps the publisher bring cool stuff like, video, animated infographics, and social sharing to the iPad.

So, what are you waiting for?  Go download the WIRED app from the App Store at no cost!

 

Adobe Announces CS5.5 Creative Suite

Creating content for multiple screens sizes and various mobile OSs (think Android, BlackBerry, and IOS) just got a whole lot easier.  Today Adobe announced the CS5.5 family of products and with it a slew of great tools that will help you keep up with today’s fast-changing developer/designer demands.  Here are a few resources to help you learn more about the CS5.5 release.

 

How Are We Doing? Introducing Adobe FormsCentral!

First on behalf of all of the Adobe Education Solution Consultants (formally Solution Engineers) who contribute to this blog a big and sincere Thank You for stopping by and learning about Adobe tools and technologies from us. We are all honored to have you here reading our post, posting comments and more.

Second I wanted to invite you to tell us how we’re doing here as authors and at the same time introduce you to a brand new online based tool we recently announced and made live called Adobe FormsCentral. Adobe FormsCentral is a new online service that lets you easily and quickly create and distribute online forms and surveys – including analyzing the results.

I’m really excited about FormsCentral because I believe powerful tools do not have to be complicated to get a job well done. In fact in my humble opinion powerful tools that are easy to use are the true mark of outstanding software craftsmanship. FormsCentral is powerful yet super easy to use too. That’s why to solicit your feedback here on our blog to help us all do a better job for you I used FormsCentral to create a quick and easy feedback form to have you tell us what future topics you’d like us to consider blogging about, get suggest from you on other ways we can improve the blog and continue to serve you better.

Note the link below will take you to a super short FormsCentral form that took me less than half an hour to design, test and distribute right here in this blog post. Now you may be thinking I have days and days of experience in FormsCentral to have been able to do this in half an hour – nope. The truth is I played around with FormsCentral for about one hour total and was creating nice looking forms within that hour and even posting them online!

You might also be wondering that this new tool cost a pretty penny. I’m happy to inform you there are two affordable subscriptions offered for FormsCentral and a third which is free!

To give the Adobe Education Technologies bloggers some feedback on the blog please click here; time to fill out the form is about three minutes or less.

To get started with FormsCentral click here to open a FormsCentral Account.

Happy FormsCentral form making!

Richard John Jenkins