Posts tagged "education"

Adobe EchoSign Can Save Your Organization Huge Time and Money

EchoSign Testimonial

Early in the year I received an unsolicited email from a customer that works for a large Texas independent school district touting the benefits of their EchoSign purchase.

 “Today I did a MegaSign of about 1,000 Letters of Reasonable Assurance to our at-will, non-contract employees who don’t work during the summer (we send about 3,000 total).  A process that used to take a team of people months to complete (printing letters, stuffing envelopes, mailing, tracking, receiving, logging, scanning…)

with EchoSign, I was able to do this myself.  I had about 40% back before I left work (with an average processing time of 21 minutes).  Incredible!”

Mike

Mike went on to explain that receiving signed Letters of Reasonable Assurance is extremely important in that it protects schools from paying unemployment during the summer break.  Without the letter, he explained,  districts would “pay enormous sums in unemployment.”

 So…what is EchoSign?

Adobe EchoSign provides an extremely easy-to-use electronic signature solution.

EchoSign can work with all kinds of documents.  The most common document formats used with EchoSign are:

  • PDFs
  • Word Documents
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel
  • Common image formats

With EchoSign there is no need for your customers (or students, faculty, and parents) to download or signup for anything. They can use their mouse, stylus, or finger to sign the document (heck, they can even type their name into a field and have EchoSign create a signature for them), and you don’t have to worry about what device or browser is supported.  EchoSign works on all browsers, across all devices.

How can teachers use EchoSign?

As a parent, I would love for my child’s school to offer a digital signature option.  For example, say my daughter’s teacher is charged with collecting fieldtrip permission slips from the entire 7th grade.  The teacher can use EchoSign to easily complete and manage this task. The teacher would simply upload the form into EchoSign, add a signature field (drag and drop simple), and send the digital permission slip out to the parents.

I would receive an email on my mobile device, open the email, click a link and sign my daughter’s permission slip (with my finger – touch devices are amazing)!   For those parents that do not have a touch device they can use their mouse or a stylus.  I submit the permission slip and receive a signed copy within seconds.  The teacher also receives a signed copy (everyone is happy).

For those that don’t immediately sign, the teacher can setup reminder emails that reoccur on a set schedule.  The teacher no longer has to deal with last minute phone calls with parents scrambling to find and return important school documents.

What about security?

“But how do I know that it truly was the parent that signed the permission slip?”

That is a great question!  If you think about it, e-signatures provide more security than the paper-based permission slips that the students are returning. The teacher has no idea that the paper-based document truly reflects the parent’s signature or a forgery.  However, with an e-signed document, the parent must log into their email account (presumably using a password) to view the document. An email-based delivery mechanism provides a layer of security that the student’s backpack does not.

More on EchoSign security…

How about complex signature routing?

No worries! EchoSign has you covered.

I’ve also viewed more than a few documents that require complex signature routing.  For example, a change-of-course form may require a signature from the student, professor, student advisor, and the dean of the college.  If each person takes a day it can easily take a document almost a week to process.  EchoSign can handle that kind of complex routing as well, and greatly reduce the time it take to process multi-signature documents.

Below are examples of common documents that require a signature.

  • Contracts
  • HR Documents
  • Permission Slips
  • Parent/Teacher/Administrator documents
  • Progress Reports
  • University change-of-course forms
  • Student Parking Forms
  • Student Housing Forms

…and the list goes on!

Fantastic!  How can I get it?

Hold your horses pardner!  You may want to speak with your Adobe Account Manager.

Ways to purchase EchoSign…

  • Signup for EchoSign electronic signature software online (great for individuals or small teams)
  • Speak to your Adobe Account manager (best for larger departmental and institutional purchases).  For larger purchases, I highly recommend speaking to your Adobe account manager, as they can make recommendations based on your organization’s needs and also provide you with the best pricing options.  

When you think of your organization’s document workflow think of the headaches you experience when trying to get paperwork signed and returned on a TIMELY basis.

Bottom-line… EchoSign has huge potential to save your institution time and money (while saving you from a huge document-induced migraine)!

 

Scott Trudeau
Senior Solutions Consultant, Adobe Inc.
Education

For more Adobe Tips, Tricks, and Information Follow me on Twitter @scott_trudeau 

www.scotttrudeau.com

Amazing Photoshop Touch Technique

Russell Brown thought up a great Photoshop Touch hack that is just too darn cool! Check out this short video on how to use Photoshop Touch and a flashlight to create some AMAZING lighting effects.

 

Publish Photoshop 3D layers to PDF

In my last tutorial I showed you how to take an image and apply that image to a 3D object in Photoshop. In this tutorial I will show you how to publish a 3D layer to PDF.  Anybody with Acrobat Reader will then be able to interact with your 3D object.

 

  1. Create a 3D object in Photoshop (tutorial here)
  2. Right click on the 3D layer
  3. Select Export 3D layer
  4. Name the file and select U3D from the Format dropdown menu
  5. Click the Save button
  6. The 3D Export Options dialogue box will open.
  7. Make sure that JPEG is selected from the Texture Format dropdown
  8. Use ECMA1  for the U3D Options

 

The steps above exported the Photoshop layer to a U3D file.  The U3D file can now be published to PDF.

 

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat X
  2. Select File>Created PDF>From File
  3. Browse to the U3D file you saved earlier
  4. An Insert 3D dialogue box will open.  Select OK (You may want to check out the “Advanced” options by clicking on the Show Advanced Options check box.  There are some neat options to play around with).
  5. Click on your 3D object to interact with it.  Also notice the 3D tool bar that appears.

Cool!  Now anybody with Acrobat Reader can view your 3D content!

Build a 3D Planet in Photoshop

Imagine a satellite traveling thousands of miles into space, flying around distant planets, snapping pictures of their surfaces, and returning the images to Earth.  Well, it has been done, and the images are amazing (Thanks NASA).

What is even more amazing is that you can find the images using a simple Internet search (keywords:  Jupiter, surface, map) and wrap them around  3D objects created in Photoshop!

This makes for a great student project.

Here is how…http://youtu.be/uqQ9TTALw7U 

In my next tutorial I will show you how to export the 3D layer to an Acrobat PDF file.  This will allow mom, dad, or another student to view and manipulate the 3D object using the (free) Acrobat Reader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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/

Get Started in After Effects CS5

The Adobe TV team launched a new show today that is perfect for students and educators. The show is focused on getting started in After Effects CS5 and includes files to download and follow along with the tutorial to create a motion graphic title sequence.

Join educator and multimedia expert Adam Shaening-Pokrasso as he walks you through the basic concepts of digital compositing and animation in an in-depth introductory lesson in Adobe After Effects CS5. By the time you’re through, you will be able to create a stunning motion graphic title sequence for a film. http://tv.adobe.com/show/classroom-after-effects-cs5/

Adobe Education Exchange

The Adobe Education Exchange is a central location for educators to meet, share, discuss, and collaborate on topics of interest to the Adobe education community.

The Exchange is designed to help educators share and find teaching and learning resources and connect and collaborate on topics of interest to the Adobe education community. Our goal is to provide an unprecedented level of support to educators, build an engaged and increasingly loyal community, and learn more about who our customers are and how they are using our software.

http://edexchange.adobe.com

New Education Catergory at Adobe MAX Awards!

max_logo.jpgI’m sure you’ve all heard about the awesome Adobe Max Conference taking place October 4 – 7 in Los Angeles, California (What!? You haven’t registered for MAX yet? Click Here to do so right now!). But did you know that within the MAX Awards there is a brand spanking new Education category? This is the first time in fact that educators who are fans and users of Adobe’s tools have their very own category at MAX!
Below is some information from our awesome Adobe Education team about the new Max Awards EDU Category.
Across education institutions worldwide, technology is transforming the way we teach, learn and experience campus life. In this new EDU category, we will look for ways in which Adobe solutions are improving learning, facilitating access to information and services, and enabling better collaboration across the institution. Winning applications do more than just communicate information to students; they engage students to become active participants in their learning or greatly simplify institutional productivity and administration.
Category- Specific Judging Criterion: Innovative applications of technology to improve teaching and learning, communication and collaboration or to enable education institutions to reduce operating costs and improve faculty and student services.
As Film producer/director/actor Woody Allen is often quoted, “80% of life is simply showing up”. Click the link below and show up by submitting your EDU work with technology to the Awards!
2009 MAX Awards Submission & Rules Web Page:
https://www.adobemaxsubmission.com/submission/