Adobe Education

News & Views from the Education team

Adobe Systems Incorporated

Skill-Based Certifications Are The Key to Employment For The Next Generation

There has arguably never been a more interesting time for media. Mobile technology has given a voice to the ‘citizen journalist’, while the rise in digital platforms, social media and micro-blogging sites has given anyone with an opinion and internet access the opportunity to share news, trends and opinions.

Yet despite the vast and expanding media landscape, it is a difficult industry to break into. Research conducted by Adobe[1] into its Adobe Certified Associates (ACA) program reveals that 74 percent of current and aspiring digital media professionals perceive the field of digital media to be more competitive than it was five years ago, and that 56 percent of current and aspiring digital media professionals are concerned about how to differentiate themselves when applying for a job.

So, how can students of media, design, and communications related fields make themselves more marketable?

In short, being proficient at digital storytelling is vital. With the evolving nature of media consumption, communication professionals, media specialists and journalists must learn how to align their skills with their employers’ business models so they can help their organizations achieve their goals. The traditional mediums – print, television and radio – are competing with smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, the internet and podcasts for reader attention and advertising spend, so understanding how to tell a compelling story on these channels is as crucial for media professionals as knowing AP style. 54 percent of survey participants agree that a lack of digital media experience is a barrier to enter digital media professions, and 56 percent feel that a demonstrated ability to work across multiple devices and programs helps their resume stand out.

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism agrees with the 61 percent of respondents that believe being able to demonstrate knowledge of digital design tools will help set them apart from their peers. Two-thirds (62 percent) of current and aspiring digital media employees agreed that certifications help candidates prove their digital media skills to prospective employers, and they view knowledge of design tools as the top way to help their resumes stand out.

ACA holders do not just see a boost in their resumes and tangible skill sets, but also their confidence and self-esteem. In fact, 78 percent of survey respondents said that confidence is the most important quality for securing your first job in the digital media industry, and ACA holders are nearly twice as likely as non-ACA holders to feel ahead of the curve. They are also more likely to be proactive in setting themselves apart by keeping up to date with digital tools compared to non-ACA holders via a variety of activities which include watching online tutorials compared (59 percent vs. 51 percent), being actively engaged in online networks and activities (47 percent vs. 36 percent), and working with a mentor or teacher (45 percent vs. 24 percent).

ACA holders also see the digital certification program as a means of making up for lost time or to fill a void they feel is missing in their education, which is a common issue for mature students who went to high school before the digital media explosion. Of the people surveyed, 67 percent wish their high school had offered courses or programs by reputable organizations to help them learn digital media tools, and 71 percent of aspiring digital media professionals who are not ACA holders feel that they’d be further along in their careers (i.e. employed in a job they want!) if they had learnt digital media skills in a formal education setting. “I could have started a portfolio and developed skills early on. I would have had more confidence entering college,” said a current professional surveyed for this study.

So, to learn more about how to prepare for and earn an Adobe Certified Associate certification, log on to https://edex.adobe.com/aca. If you’re already an ACA holder, check out the Adobe Certified Associate World Championship, explore the Regional competitions, and consider submitting your work.

[1] Survey administered by Edelman Intelligence, 2016. Adobe asked current and aspiring digital media professionals, including 504 Adobe Certified Associates and 562 non-ACA holders, ages 18 to 29 in the United States, Mexico and South Korea about the essentials for launching a successful digital media career.

9:30 AM Permalink

Expand Your Students’ Creativity Through Adobe Apps, Coming to Chromebook

As announced today, Adobe is proud to announce that newly updated Android apps will be optimized for Google Chromebooks, and will be available in the next couple of weeks. According to our Gen Z Study released earlier this year, students and teachers agree that technology provides more digital tools and outlets for creativity. We’re thrilled to be empowering both students and educators through this latest development.

Interested in resources to assist you in including these apps in your curriculum? Look no further than Adobe Education Exchange. Below, we’ve listed some key resources to help you get a head start:

Photoshop Mix: 

Lightroom Mobile: 

Illustrator Draw: 

Comp CC:  

Resources that combine mobile apps: 

 

 

9:17 AM Permalink

3% Conference with Laura Marie Mariel

Going to an all girls school for 13 years of my life, instilled in me that women can challenge, shape and change the world. It wasn’t until college when I was faced with what I thought was ignorance. However, I was the ignorant one. I didn’t realize how many men and women did not think women were good enough, or capable enough.

Then I went into the workforce, and naively thought that surely the people who work here are more mature than those I went to university with. Wrong again. Of course, the sexism wasn’t “celebrated” openly, but in advertising, there’s definitely a boy’s club.

“Shoulders of Giants” by Carolina Trevino

At that point I was torn; do I act like one of the boys or do I just act like me? Apparently, my supervisor noticed this internal struggle as acting like one of the guys wasn’t working out so well for me. She pulled me to the side one day and told me to sugar coat my emails a little, that I was being too direct, and though that may work for the male account managers, it wouldn’t be received well from a woman. She continued to tell me that in her last 360 review, she was called abrasive and because of that was denied a promotion, and she didn’t want to see the same for me.

Nilofer Merchant, the author of “Onlyness” and speaker at the 3% Conference, shared with us that “69% of people cover a part of who they are to fit in.” That is exactly what my previous supervisor had asked me to do despite her good intentions. With the staggering reality that only 3% of creative directors are women, I find it hard to believe that trying to fit in has worked for us.

“Silence The Sorry” by Lucy Dabney and Jenna Jones

The 2016 3% Conference was the first time since primary school that I had felt surrounded by a community of women that believe in women. We cannot be the victims of our own lives and I was happy to be in the company of such strong women who had overcome obstacles that I am only beginning to encounter in the early stages of my career.

I have had the fortune of being surrounded by powerful women: Karen Kaplan, CEO of Hill Holliday; Pippa Seichrist, co-founder of Miami Ad School; and Kat Gordon, founder of the 3% Movement.

Now, that I am about to reenter the workforce as a creative women, I am hoping not only to be one of the women in that small percentage, I want to change the statistic entirely. I want to be among the first female, Puerto Rican chief creative officers.

See the authors Laura Marie Mariel and submission here.

Learn more about the 3% Conference Student Challenge.

For more info on featured artwork, see here and here.

11:56 AM Permalink

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Hosts Fourth Annual Hackathon

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology hosted their fourth annual Hackathon and we’re honored to have been a key partner. Hacking Arts ignites entrepreneurship and innovation within the creative arts. Bringing together creative technologists, artists, innovators ,and hackers at MIT to explore the future of the arts at our annual Conference, Tech Expo and Hackathon.

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Adobe Challenge: ” Adobe XD for a better tomorrow “

Our challenge was to use Adobe XD to create a unique app or website to make the world a better place. The winning team of hackers received $1000, 12 Month Creative Cloud Membership, and social feature on Adobe Students channel.

Students were judged on:

  • Use of Adobe applications
  • Innovation, creativity, and originality
  • Excellence in user experience design principles
  • Potential impact on audience

Team Art1st, comprised of Jenna Tishler, Jenny Liu, David Schurman, Ellen Jiang, and Gloria Feng, came out on top as winners of the highly competitive challenge with their prototype (viewable here). Art1st’s goal was to make art accessible to a wider audience. Each day in the app, users would be presented with three famous artworks, each with a concise, simple description. They put an emphasis on no jargon, no academic language, and wanted to focus on a fresh perspective to inspire users to think and explore.

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As to what pushed them over the edge? Jonathan Pimento, XD Product Manager stated that, “It was great to see them design, prototype and actually land up building it as well. They were the only team that used several key features to their benefit like repeat grids and art board scrolling. It was great to see them master the app so quickly after attending a short demo workshop!”

  • See here for more information on Adobe XD.
  • See here for more information on the MIT Hackathon.

 

9:55 AM Permalink

Creating digital learning content to create more successful students

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It happens at every school, every day. Whether their attention wanders or they just don’t understand a particular concept or lesson, students often miss out on learning key information during class. The consequences can build quickly, as the failure to learn one concept impedes learning the next, academic progress begins to slip, and the students become anxious and frustrated.

So how can educators make sure that students stay on track with their learning at all times?

Renaldo Lawrence may very well have the answer. An Adobe Education Leader and Lynda.com Author, Renaldo is also an Advanced Skills teacher responsible for creating eLearning content for Chiswick School of London. He works in partnership with Chiswick’s teachers to digitize parts of their curriculums using Adobe Creative Cloud software. As a result, Chiswick students can easily access syllabi, lesson plans, books, multimedia lessons, teacher videos, presentation slides, and more from their home computers, tablets, and mobile phones.

“Not every student understands a lesson the first time it’s presented,” says Renaldo. “But with these materials supplementing their classroom learning, students can always go back and revisit whatever they’ve missed.”

For projects like Chiswick’s , Renaldo uses Adobe Premiere Pro CC and Audition CC to edit videos, After Effects CC to create animations, Adobe Muse CC or Dreamweaver CC to design and develop websites, and Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and Fireworks CC to create graphics.

“What I love about Adobe products is the consistency — they all look similar, so you can learn one if you’ve learned another,” he says. “And Adobe keeps adding features that make them easier to use.”

He also appreciates the integration between the products. “The roundtripping is incredible,” he says. “I can edit a video in Premiere Pro, send it into After Effects to work on the imagery, and then quickly bring it back to Premiere Pro. And I can create storyboards in Adobe Experience Design CC right on my iPad to show teachers what their learning materials will look like, save the storyboards to Creative Cloud, and then open them on my desktop later to refine them.”

Renaldo and Chiswick School are getting students involved in media-making, too. They’ve created Chelsea Digital Camp — a day of fun and learning in which students tour Chelsea Football Club’s Stamford Bridge stadium, meet some of the team’s players, play soccer, and create their own videos of the experience using the Adobe Premiere Clip mobile app.

“The students gain so many benefits from learning to create digital media,” says Renaldo. “It prepares them for careers, develops their communication skills, builds their confidence, and helps them find their unique voices.” He is now planning a similar camp to teach Chiswick’s teachers how to create their own digital learning content.

“By supplementing classroom learning with digital learning, we help our students succeed,” says Renaldo. “They no longer go home and tell their parents, ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to do,’ because it’s all available to them. And parents can access all of the materials, too, to support their children’s learning.”

 

Teacher resources from Renaldo Lawrence

Webinar: In My Creative Classroom with Renaldo Lawrence

Adobe Education Exchange learning content for teachers

Lynda.com learning content

Blog post: Top 10 tips for turning curriculums into interactive learning experiences

Chiswick School Interactive Media Design coursework and mobile learning samples

 

 

10:05 AM Permalink

Certiport Announces 2016 Adobe Certified Associate World Champions

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For the fourth year running, it has been amazing to see student artists across the globe compete in the annual Adobe Certified Associate World Championship. Of the over 230,000 total entries submitted into this competition, 33 students were selected to compete in Orlando, FL for the ACA World Championship title. This year, Lourdes Gimena Anquiano Bermúdez from Mexico beat out the other 32 finalists in this incredibly talented, creative pool of Adobe Certified Associates to take first place. Take a peek at the top three finalists and their submissions:

First place, Lourdes Gimena Anquiano Bermúdez, Mexico

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Second place, Ng Hwa Ee Nicholas, Malaysia

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Third place, Cheung Kuok Pan, Macau

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All other final flyer entries can be viewed here.

Not only did these students showcase their superior Adobe® Photoshop® CC, Adobe® InDesign® CC, and Adobe® Illustrator® CC skills, knowledge, and abilities, but they applied them to support a great cause. Certiport and Adobe partnered with the International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) for this year’s challenge to raise awareness and support for children’s art and creativity around the world. Students were asked to create a digital flyer for ICAF to help market its 6th Arts Olympiad. The students’ projects were judged on their creative and technical skills, as well as how well their flyer matched the client’s (ICAF) needs. In this competition, students gained the valuable experience of designing for a client’s needs while developing work for their professional portfolio.

Next year’s competition will be held in Anaheim, California. To stay connected on social, be sure to follow the competition gallery on Behance and the hashtag for the event: #ACAWC.

About the Adobe Certified Associate Program

The Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification allows learners to demonstrate proficiency in Adobe digital communications tools. Becoming a Certified Associate can help candidates stand apart from their peers, boost their confidence, and expand their career opportunities. Additionally, Adobe provides educational resources and curriculum on the Adobe Education Exchange to support educators and students preparing to earn their ACA certifications. Visit the ACA page on the Education Exchange to learn more about the details and benefits of this program.

 

12:47 PM Permalink

Closing the skills gap: Why creativity is essential to students’ workplace success

 

Young Handsome Graphic designer using graphics tablet to do his work at desk

The compensation data provider PayScale recently published its 2016 Workforce-Skills Preparedness Report, and the findings were eye-opening for schools and educators.

The report details the responses of almost 64,000 hiring managers across a wide range of industries who were asked about the “skills gap”—the disconnect between the skills students have when they graduate from college and the skills companies need. Here are a few of the stats that stood out for us:

  • 60% of managers said new graduates do not have the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for the job
  • 46% said new graduates lack the necessary communication skills
  • 36% reported new graduates have inadequate interpersonal and teamwork skills

Similar findings are appearing everywhere. Here’s just a sample:

  • The World Economic Forum reports that students with social and emotional learning (SEL) skills like critical thinking and problem-solving, creativity, communication, and collaboration are better equipped to succeed in the evolving digital economy.
  • Bloomberg analyzed the skills gap among MBAs and found that the skills managers want most but have the most trouble finding include strategic thinking, leadership skills, communication skills, creative problem-solving, and working collaboratively.
  • Fast Company describes 2016 as the year of the hybrid job, in which employers want multifaceted employees who have both hard skills like database technology and soft skills like communication and collaboration.

Dan Schwabel of Millennial Branding, which partnered with PayScale on their survey, summed things up this way: “Graduates need strong communication and problem-solving skills if they want to interview well and succeed in the workplace.”

Closing the gap with creativity

So how can educational institutions help students close the skills gap? It’s clear to us that they need to go beyond teaching traditional skills and make fostering creativity and developing digital skills a priority in the classroom.

Many of the skills current grads lack are associated with creativity, from critical thinking to communication to collaboration. But when schools teach students how to create digital content, they help them develop these in-demand skills.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Through digital storytelling with video and illustration, students learn how to communicate ideas clearly and effectively.
  • Through data visualization with animation and digital imaging, students become better at understanding, simplifying, and explaining information.
  • When students work on complex creative projects like designing apps and websites in partnership with other students, they develop critical collaboration and interpersonal communication skills.
  • And as they work on creative projects of all types, students develop the creative mindset employers crave.

In an education documentary, Tony Wagner of Harvard’s Innovation Lab was quoted as saying: “Employers say over and over ‘I will teach them (graduates) the content. What I can’t teach is how to think, how to communicate, how to collaborate, how to initiate.’”

But our schools and educators can certainly teach these things. And Adobe can help.

For an in-depth look at what forward-thinking educators are doing to close the skills gap, visit the Adobe Education Exchange.

 

3:17 PM Permalink

Students at Mapúa Institute of Technology Learn Innovation, Creativity, and Collaboration with Creative Cloud

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Mapúa Institute of Technology wants to empower students to compete for jobs globally. That’s why it’s building its global center of excellence for art and design with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise. Mapúa is already one of the top universities in the Philippines and is making significant investments in its School of Multimedia and Visual Arts (SMVA), which offers bachelor’s degree programs in Multimedia Arts and Sciences and Fine Arts in Digital Cinema.

The latest enhancements in Adobe Creative Cloud, such as CreativeSync, help SMVA students create and collaborate, and their work is beginning to earn international acclaim. Students have earned awards in competitions including the Power Mac Center’s Pixelworx “Dare to Defy” multimedia competition, the Amazing Thailand Film Challenge, and the 27th Gawad CCP Independent Film and Video Festival.

“Integrating Adobe Creative Cloud into Mapúa’s curriculum has strengthened our students’ skills and given them the confidence to represent the school in global competitions and beyond. We are extremely proud to be on the world map for design excellence and are grateful for the Adobe partnership, which has empowered our students with world-class tools to further nurture their creative and design skills,” says Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco, Chairman, Mapúa Institute of Technology.

Read the full story here, and access more success stories on Adobe SEA Customer Showcase.

8:55 AM Permalink

UNSW Built Environment MOOC on Enchantment and City-Making

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Re-Enchanting the City: Designing the Human Habitat is the first free online course offered by UNSW Built Environment. The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) aims at introducing aspiring professionals in the built environment to the environmental, social, cultural and political aspects of urban development. It uses a case study of Central Park Sydney, which includes a high-rise residential tower designed by Parisian architect Jean Nouvel, awarded the World’s Best Tall Building in 2014 and a five star green rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.

The course explores the evolution of the development and has a range of video interviews with stakeholders, including the famous French botanist, Patrick Blanc, who designed One Central Park’s 1,120 sqm vertical gardens. Other notable interviews include the former Dean of UNSW Built Environment, Emeritus Professor Alec Tzannes, Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of City of Sydney Council, Ross Palmer, Partner at Foster + Partners, Dr Stanley Quek, former Chairman of Frasers Property Australia, Chris Johnson, former NSW Government Architect and former Executive Director, NSW Department of Planning.

The course was made possible through Adobe Creative Cloud software. Forty-five videos were created, spread out over a six week course schedule. Interview and educator videos were edited with Adobe Premiere Pro, with motion graphics produced in AfterEffects together with Photoshop and Illustrator. Video filming and production work was primarily done by The Creative Foundry who also created a teaser for the MOOC used for marketing.

The large amount of video material was structured into three key perspectives – stakeholders and professionals involved with Central Park Sydney, academic discussions from staff of UNSW Built Environment, and a narrative delivered by Elizabeth Farrelly, Associate Professor of Practice and Sydney Morning Herald columnist. Each perspective received its own colour scheme and motion graphics video driver, with purple for the narrative, green for professions and yellow for academic.

UNSW Built Environment academic educators include Associate Professor Oya Demirbilek, Associate Dean (Education), Professor Susan Thompson, Director of City Well-being, City Futures Research Centre, Dr Paola Favaro, Associate Professor Linda Corkery, Dr Miles Park, and Bruce Watson, Discipline Director of Interior Architecture.

In addition to video content, learners are provided with a number of infographic PDFs, produced with Photoshop and Illustrator. These infographics cover the timeline of the development, provide location referencing to the site, annotate the buildings, park and public art, visualize density and scale, and explain the development’s energy production system.

Since the course was designed to be introductory, suitable for school students, the learning activity is primarily through discussions and promotes a social engagement amongst participants. The discussions relate to the professions of architecture, urban design, city planning, construction management and property, sustainable development, landscape architecture, industrial design, and interior architecture.

Re-Enchanting the City: Designing the Human Habitat ran for the first time in May to June 2016 through the FutureLearn Platform. It was well received by participants who praised the quality of the material, shared their satisfaction of the social learning structure, and commended the diversity of contributions.

The course will run again from 4 September 2016 and is open to all, whether high school students interested in fields of the built environment, current students, professionals interested in a career change, or anyone looking to expand their knowledge about city-making.

To enroll, visit here.

Guest Post By: Dean Utian, The University of New South Wales (UNSW)

 

11:20 AM Permalink

Recent Syracuse University Grad Talks Inspiration for Viral Short Film “Player Two”

headshot2It’s safe to say that video games have been a major inspiration for recent Syracuse University grad, Zachary Antell. If you managed to catch his award winning short “Player Two” on the front page of Reddit (featured on “R/Gaming”) about a month ago, this won’t surprise you. Zachary recently chatted with us about what inspired him to pursue a career in motion graphics and animation, and how Adobe Creative Cloud helps him create some truly interesting work.

What have been your major sources of inspiration when if comes to animation and film production?

In terms of films that have inspired me, I got into doing VFX when I was younger thanks to Star Wars. When it comes to my interest in animation, I attribute that to watching every single Knox Claymation by Robert Benfer, and of course following the Pixar classics like my personal favorite, The Incredibles.

Once I finally decided to take a shot at creating my own work, I found a lot of inspiration and guidance from film makers on the web, such as Andrew Kramer of Video Copilot and Nick Campbell of Greyscalegorilla. Particularly, I remember seeing someplace that Nick once said that he never was great at drawing. This is something I always remind myself of when I’m struggling a bit, that if Nick didn’t let that get in the way, I shouldn’t either.

Aside from more traditional film and animation, you mentioned that video games have been a source of inspiration, especially for your project “Player Two”. How have video games affected your creative process?

At least for me, after playing a game for the 15th time, you try to beat them or play them in the coolest way possible. When the player is given access to the camera, it’s easy to compose and block the animation in dynamic ways. Zelda, GTA, and Uncharted are especially great examples of this. Zelda in particular never features any protagonist dialogue so the emotion of the moment is completely in the player’s head. When I picked up 3D animation the idea of a free camera came naturally to me.

Because I grew up playing video games, and they had a part in growing my love for animation, I wanted to make a short about video games from the perspective of the little brother. People debate whether video games are an art form, garbage for the brain, etc. However, I think the context in which we were playing these games is definitely an important part of a child’s life, when imagination and memories are so strong. So the look I went for in “Player Two” was sort of like a hyper stylized memory, where the camera is flowing in and out between detailed moments.

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What made you decide to use Adobe Creative Cloud to help bring those stylized memories to life, and what was your workflow like?

I started watching After Effects tutorials when I was 13 or 14, mostly as a hobby. I was using FxHome’s Effectslab and Visionlab at the time, which has now evolved into “Hitfilm.” In college I started doing all of my editorial in Premiere Pro and haven’t really looked back. Photoshop was something I was taught in high school, so that’s been part of my workflow ever since.

From the beginning of working on “Player Two” I knew whatever I animated had to be very economic and feasible. The workflow I followed was to roto frame by frame in Photoshop, and export video from there, giving me a little room to touch up in After Effects. Once I started principal animation, I found some scripts that would allow me to bring the majority of my Photoshop data in After Effects, which let me loop frames of animation, change colors, shading, and non-roto elements. Non roto elements were things like the posters or walls in the final shot. I could do a 3D solve of the live action footage and add in basic shapes in After Effects.

Do you have any advice for students who are starting out their film careers?

Keep putting out content, and don’t stop. Making one awesome video can blow up the internet, even if it’s a three second animated gif. I’m starting my first full-time job tomorrow, so maybe I’m not the best person to ask for career advice, but I will say I’ve managed to get myself a job in a field I love, that started as a hobby when I was nine years old. Doing what you love is possible if you work hard enough.

Player Two from Zachary Antell on Vimeo.

1:02 PM Permalink