Adobe Education

News & Views from the Education team

Adobe Systems Incorporated

Powering Creativity, Confidence, and Potential

“Do you want to buy us new drums?” That’s what the very clever musicians and video storytellers at Lawrence County High School (LCHS) recently asked in the Zildjian “My Pit’s the Pits” video contest.

IMG_0228[5]LCHS, a school of 640 students in Moulton, Alabama, was one the first Title I schools to receive free creativity software from Adobe as part of President Obama’s ConnectED initiative. Shortly after receiving their software, LCHS students went to work using Adobe Premiere Elements to tell the story of a talented drum line in need of new instruments.

Students in Gina McCarley’s Multimedia Design class worked collaboratively with the band members on their digital storytelling project. They set a compilation of individual student assignments to music and other audio created by LCHS musicians. The result was a sophisticated video that wowed Zildjian and won the grand prize — $10,000 in new percussion equipment.

That wasn’t the only big win for the students, according to McCarley. “As a teacher in a Title I school, I can’t overstate how important it is to give students creative outlets,” she said. “With the software from Adobe and ConnectED, my students are discovering talents, learning new tools, enjoying class, and getting access to software we otherwise couldn’t afford. Gaining skills using Adobe software opens students’ eyes to new career possibilities and—even more important—gives them hope.”

Red DevilLooking to the future, McCarley plans to expand beyond video and introduce her students to the other tools LCHS received through the Adobe and ConnectED donation, including Adobe Photoshop ElementsAdobe CaptivateAdobe Presenter, and Adobe EchoSign. Next up is photo editing and stop-motion animation—topics of keen interest to McCarley’s students.

We can’t wait to see what the talented students at LCHS produce next!  Read more about Lawrence County High School.

 As part of President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative, Adobe is donating over $300 million in software and professional development services to schools across the United States. 

11:35 AM Comments (0) Permalink

What’s On Your Mind?

By Renee Lance, Solution Consultant, ANZ

Sydney locals paint with their minds using Adobe Software.

Late in 2014, Masters students at The University of Sydney – in partnership with Adobe and acclaimed international lighting designer Bruce Ramus – produced Mind Paintings, an interactive digital art installation that lets people paint with their minds by interpreting brain waves. The project was launched in November at Sydney’s Central Park, and is the first digital art project of its kind in Australia.

Mind Paintings was conceived a year ago with inspiration from The Souls’ Journey, a book that looked at the idea of the mind being able to control things beyond the body. When visiting the University of Sydney’s Design Lab early this year, the wheels started turning and the students thought it would be a good time to kick-start the project.

The students’ reaction to the idea of tapping into people’s thoughts to create art was interesting: They were excited, but they also had that ‘how on earth are we going to do this?’ feeling. However, they were keen on the challenge.

The project is a way to expand the creative opportunities for students by offering them a completely different sort of canvas. It’s really about building a partnership and engaging more intimately with the people that use our tools.

The installation was designed around Mindwave wireless devices provided by Adobe, with the wearable headset measuring the electroencephalogram (EEG) electrical signals in the user’s brain. The readings show the attention and meditation levels of a person and are translated into abstract digital paintings using algorithms and Adobe tools including Photoshop, Flash, After Effects, Premiere, Audition and Dreamweaver.

Bruce Ramus felt that that collaboration had given the students a different perspective on design and what can influence it. “Using sophisticated technology, as well as a lot of hard work and self-examination, the students created a beautiful suite of works that not only enhanced the public space at Central, but will encourage people to express themselves creatively.” He added “With this project, Adobe has shown a new way forward for large creative companies to forge meaningful collaborative relationships with artists and students. It’s an encouraging model that points towards a future where corporations and individuals can coexist to creatively serve our communities,”.

During the course of the project we developed a close relationship with Dr Caitlin de Bérigny, lecturer at the Design Lab, and with the students in the Master of Interaction Design and Electronic Art. The students also had exposure to Adobe‘s specialists, including Computer Scientist Dmitry Baranovskiy, who conducted a workshop on Javascript and SVG, and Solution Consultant Richard Turner-Jones, who showed students how to get the most out of Flash and After Effects.

Creating concepts and stories around the artworks was one of the project’s early challenges and the students looked at their own stories for inspiration.

What do you think about the project?

More details on this project:

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Adobe Issues Call for Entries to 2015 Adobe Design Achievement Awards

Students, get your creative juices flowing because today Adobe announced the call-for-entries for the annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards (ADAA). This prestigious competition honors the most promising student graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, digital filmmakers, developers and computer artists from around the world.

For the past fifteen years, Adobe has showcased top new talent and launched careers with this event. Students can submit individual and group projects produced with Adobe’s world-class creative tools and apps in thirteen different categories. And what’s more exciting is that this year we have two new categories — Advertising Photography and Social Impact Design, to round out an already robust list.

A panel of design experts will judge each category and Grand Prize winners will be announced in conjunction with the Adobe MAX creativity conference held in Los Angeles, October 2015. Winners will receive a 12-month Adobe Creative Cloud membership, travel and accommodations to MAX in Los Angeles as well as access to the event, and creative mentorship. Three Grand Prize winners will receive $1,000USD.

Deadline for entry is June 19, 2015 at 5pm PST. For submission guidelines, categories, prize information, amazing student work and more, visit Also, check out our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter (@AdobeEDU and @AdobeAwards) for the latest news and updates.

9:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink

The White Houses ConnectED Initiative: How to Make Free Technology Work for Title I Schools

ConnectED-twitter_imgsaThis weekend at the National Title I Conference in Salt Lake City, we’ve assembled a panel of leaders from business and education to explore how private-sector companies can help schools make the most of free technology programs like the White House‘s ConnectED initiative. Given the quantity and quality of the technology and training being offered, ConnectED has the potential to have a tremendous impact in schools throughout the country. However, experience has taught us that free technology still has a cost for schools.

If you are attending the conference, please join us on Saturday, February 7 at 9:30 AM in Room 155. If you can’t be with us in person participate by tweeting your questions and comments using #CreateEDU. 

The panel includes: 

  • Kim Cavanaugh from the School District of Palm Beach County in Florida, a leading advocate for the use of creative software in the classroom and the champion of the district’s ConnectED-related work.
  • Justina Nixon-Saintil from the Verizon Foundation whose area of emphasis is on implementing Verizon’s shared success strategy within underserved areas in order to improve student academic achievement in STEM.
  • Colin Rogister from the US Department of Educationpanel moderator. Colin works on the ConnectED initiative and is on assignment on the White Houses National Economic Council.
  • Emily Simas from Adobe, leads the company’s $300 million commitment to the ConnectED initiative and works with the Adobe Education Team to inspire youth to express their creativity and build their skills for future success.
  • Ashley Whitlatch from Prezi, is a leader of successful global programs and partnerships, including the company’s $100 million investment in public education through ConnectED.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Make it Girl – What Happened

This fall, five talented students came together to help Girl Skateboards create a special, limited-edition line of boards, with a little help from Adobe Creative Cloud. It was a unique opportunity and everyone is thrilled with how it all turned out.

Watch more of the story here:

To hear more about Caleb Morris’ experience:

And Scott Biersack’s story:

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Get Crafty For The Holidays: 5 Holiday Gifts You Never Thought You Could Make Yourself

We love to share ways that students can take their creativity to the next level, and so do our friends over at Shapeways. That’s why we have partnered with them to help make 3D printing even easier.

Now, for the holidays, we have a special way to help students make unique, personal gifts for friends and family members. We’ve got a set of pre-made Photoshop templates to help you get started, plus a $15 discount to make your model even sweeter.

Our very own Adobe evangelist, Paul Trani, has created 5 easy-to-use templates for you to download**: Just Click Here.

All you need to do is download the files and follow the instructions in the videos beow. Then head right from Photoshop to Shapeways to print. Make sure to use the special code AdobeMakeThis14 at checkout for $15 off the first 3D print of your own design**.

And if you find that 3D printing is something you want to do regularly in 2015, you should also take a look at the Shapeways Education program, which offers discounts and help for students year-round.

Bottle Opener: Great for college grads.
How to Create and 3D Print a Bottle Opener in Photoshop

Candle Votive: A perfect house warmer, and a no-brainer gift for Mom.
How to Create and 3D Print a Candle Holder in Photoshop

Ring: Make the holidays sparkle with something special.
How to Create and 3D Print a Ring in Photoshop

iPhone Case: For the tech-lover on your list.
How to Create and 3D Print an iPhone Case in Photoshop

Cufflinks: Think outside the tie box with this one-of-a-kind idea for Dad.
How to Create and 3D Print Cufflinks in Photoshop

Happy building and happy gifting!

**The Fine Print
Print at your own risk. This promotion is non-transferable and valid once per customer, for new customers only. It may not be combined with other discounts in one order. Discount applies only to 3D prints of your own models. The $15 value cannot be applied to Shapeways Gift Cards or past orders and does not apply to cost of tax or shipping. If you order a model during the promotion period that cannot be printed, we cannot apply discounts to future orders (even if these models are repaired). No cash value. Limited redemption quantity. Expires December 31, 2014 at 11:59pm PDT.

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Voice Your Thanks for a Chance to Give Back to Your School

Voice_VYTSince Voice launched in May, the entire team has been thrilled to see educators embracing the app in and out of the classroom. We love that Voice helps you and your students tell impactful stories easily – and we’re always looking for more ways to support education – so we designed our new sweepstakes with you in mind.

Starting today, if you create a Voice video about what you’re thankful for, share it on Twitter with #Voiceyourthanks and follow @adobevoice, you will be entered for a chance to win $5,000 for yourself, and $5,000 for your favorite cause – including any educational institution or non-profit you’d like to support*. For complete details on the sweepstakes, please visit our Voice Your Thanks website.

We encourage you to enter, and to pass the information along to your students and their parents. We can’t wait to see what deserving cause the winner selects – it could be your school or university!

* Charity must be approved by Sponsor in its sole discretion.

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GUEST POST: The 3% Conference: Redefining Feminism; And Doing It Right

NOTE: This guest post is by Leslie Peterson, one of Adobe’s Student Scholarship winners for the 2014 3% Conference

Guest blogger Leslie Peterson presents her portfolio at the 3% Conference Student portfolio review

Guest blogger Leslie Peterson (left) presents her portfolio at the 3% Conference Student portfolio review

I was walking down 34th street, looking to catch a train back to Jersey when the e-mail arrived saying we’d won. A month earlier, a friend and I entered a poster contest, hoping to win a scholarship and tickets to the 3% Conference in San Francisco, courtesy of Adobe.

The conference is about women championing causes, speaking out, and making strides in advertising, a traditionally male-centric industry. In short, it’s a distinctly feminist affair. When I stood back and realized this, I groaned inwardly a little bit.

I don’t think of myself as a feminist. Most “feminism” I see these days comes from a small, but vocal, subset of writers claiming to be the “true” 3rd Wave feminists. They huddle in the warm, life-giving glow of their computer screens, fingers eagerly clicking away writing post after post for their terribly designed blogs about how men oppress them daily in the most trivial of ways. They make mountains out of molehills, and complain of all the issues women face while expecting the problem to fix itself because it’s been “called out.”

A man smiles at you? Oppression. A man holds the door for you? Oppression. A man spreads his legs when he sits on the subway? Go ahead, take a guess.

I like to call this subset Tumblr Feminism, and it has all but turned me off from championing female rights completely. Why should I be a feminist if it means affiliating with people who enjoy “bathing in male tears,” and believe misandry should be the way of the future? That men are brutish dolts who serve no other purpose but to breed? But hey, with the way cloning technology is coming along, we might not even need them for that anymore, am I right ladies?

It hurts, because in my mind, that’s not what the idea of feminism is. Equality entails that men and women are on the same footing, not that it’s time for women to rise and crush their male counterparts under pink stilettos. I sometimes weep for what feminism has become, because too often it comes across as vapid, facetious, and asinine.

This was the mentality I took with me to the conference; a very skeptical, yet open-minded interest into women’s issues.

What I found at the conference was something different and refreshing. The speakers were not only all well informed and realistic about their expectations of men, but they were keen to discuss the responsibilities women need to take on if real change is to happen. Kat Gordon, CEO and founder of the 3% Conference, mentioned in her opening statement that, “everything begins as an invention, therefore everything can be reinvented.” How true those words rang, as it felt like the way we handle women’s issues was being reinvented before my very eyes.

Perhaps the most poignant part of the conference for me happened at the very beginning with filmmaker Dyllan McGee’s passion project, MAKERS. With over 2500 interviews of prominent women in various fields, every story I saw was a story of change. The interviews proved what I had always known to be true: change doesn’t happen by complaining, it happens through action.

In fact, actionable change was a prevalent theme throughout the conference, whether it was a panel on gaining respect from male coworkers, or a discussion on what agencies can do about Super bowl commercials still catering mostly to men, even though more women than ever are tuning in. We were discussing practical solutions to practical problems in ways I never imagined.

By Leslie Anne Peterson and Malika Reid

Poster created by Leslie Anne Peterson and Malika Reid

Every day women make strides toward closing the gap between them and their male counterparts, and not because they whined on their blogs about how the world constantly victimizes them, but because they work hard and treat the other side with understanding and respect. The American workforce has become significantly less oppressive toward women. In fact, John Gerzema, coauthor of the Athena Doctrine contends that the essence of a leader is more female-like, and that “we’re on the cusp of a feminine age”. Be that as it may, one must cultivate both masculine and feminine traits in order to be an effective leader.

The second day of the conference focused on self-improvement, because, believe it or not, most women don’t always want to be defined by how oppressed they are. Todd Henry, founder of Accidental Creative and author of Die Empty suggests that structuring one’s time by design is the only way to combat oppressive force. It’s important to allocate our time into projects that will both pay off immediately, as well as in the long term. Investing time in a passion or hobby, even if it doesn’t seem like we’re really doing anything, can have unexpected far-reaching benefits.

Coming away from it all, I couldn’t help but be impressed with both the 3% Conference and Adobe. They were nothing but wonderful, considerate sponsors to me and all the other student scholars. The experience definitely gave me a new perspective on what it means to be feminist. The world is a different place than what Tumblr feminists make it out to be in their “safe spaces” of the blogosphere. It’s not just women who are ostracized for not following an expected gender norm, and in fact, the gender gap has narrowed and even switched in the last few years. Women have a responsibility to take action for their causes, and not just think men will magically fix the broken system because women complained enough. It’s said that the hardest rules to break are the unwritten ones, but these rules on what women should be are going out of style fast.

I still wouldn’t say I’m a feminist, but if this is what being pro-women is about, I guess I can live with that.

6:00 AM Permalink

Students at The 3 Percent Conference help to #ChangeTheRatio

In a time where women influence 80% or more of consumer spending, advertising agencies are lagging in diversity — only 3% of all Creative Directors are women. The mission of The 3% Conference is to help change that ratio, and the 3% number was recently updated to 11%.

Adobe is proud have had a hand in that growth. We’ve been a sponsor of The 3% Conference since its inception. The 2014 conference will take place in San Francisco on November 3 and 4, and we’re excited to participate.

One of the ways we support the event is by sponsoring the Student Scholarship Program for The 3% Conference. This year, student teams were challenged with creating a poster to highlight the fact that the number of female Creative Directors has increased 300%. All 20 members of the 10 winning teams will attend the conference and receive a personal portfolio review from a team of professionals, including freelancers, agency and client-side creatives.

We were blow away by the caliber of the work our winning students produced. The winning entries are highlighted in the gallery below, with thoughts from the student creators. Please check them all out!

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The University of Texas at Austin Develops its First Course App

E101College students utilize mobile devices to consume all their digital content and they prefer apps to websites to access information, engage with their social networks and share their opinions.

The New York Times reports that The University of Texas (UT) at Austin is addressing this mobile reality when it comes to delivering course content and curriculum with the introduction of their first course app.

The Energy 101 course app from UT Austin is developed with Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite, which provides student assessment capabilities through the built in analytics.  With a course app, professors can now follow student progress, understand content usage, and easily deliver new content directly to students’ mobile devices.

New course apps built using Adobe Digital Publishing suite enables professors to utilize video, interactive content, embed quizzes and more, delivering an engaging interactive course.  Students can download the course and access it on the mobile device of their choice. They will always have the most up to date content due to the push notification feature within DPS.  For a student audience that has grown up with digital technology, this is a welcome change for how course content is delivered and consumed.

The course app is significantly less expensive for the student than a printed textbook.  It is available to anyone interested in learning more about Energy and professors from other institutions are using it to supplement their own curriculum or even require it as a prerequisite.

A course app has the potential to contribute to the growing trend toward adaptive learning technologies by providing a platform for potential tailoring of the content to each student’s progress.  And with mixed results on the effectiveness of MOOCs, the new course app may just be the solution to curriculum design and distribution that higher education institutions have been waiting for.



The course app is just in it’s infancy as a new curriculum delivery method but we’ll be seeing more and more institutions take advantage of course apps in the future. Stay tuned for more updates on this emerging trend.

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