Adobe Education

News & Views from the Education team

Adobe Systems Incorporated

Archive for January, 2013

Transforming the Classroom for Today’s Changing Students

LenewayblogWe are living in fascinating times. Our current education system is being questioned as never before, and many wonder how institutions will evolve to accommodate the changing world of technology. New tools, data systems and communication vehicles have already converged to change how we play, work, learn and interact with one another. Dr. Clayton Christensen (2010) claims that by 2020, over half of the students in the U.S. will be learning online, and schools will reach a tipping point when tax payers will ask, do we still need classrooms? If schools and classrooms are to survive, then how do they need to be transformed to respond to the rapidly changing needs of today’s students?

To adapt to the overwhelming amounts of information, and continual interaction with visual media and game playing, researchers, Carter, R. (2009), Feinstein, S. (2004), Goldstein, (2007), Kandel, E. (2006), and Small, G., & Vorgon, G. (2008), tell us that the newest generation of K-12 students have neurologically changed their brains to try to keep pace. Kids today literally see and learn differently than their parents and grandparents, in that they see and remember visual images in place of text. The television is being replaced by computer screens, mobile devices and game consoles are primary sources of information and entertainment (Prensky, M, 2006). Today’s paper textbooks are about to be replaced by intelligent, colorful, multimedia response programs that fit on mobile devices such as iPads, Kindles, smart phones and other digital gadgets that students are bringing to school. Meanwhile, our schools, our classrooms and our curriculum have remained relatively the same.

Given real world tools like those found in the Adobe Creative Cloud, students can learn to work together seamlessly with both real and virtual partners to create and share novel digital solutions to complex problems. The combined factors of widespread access to technology, increasingly sophisticated tools, online resources such as Adobe Educational Exchange, and advances in understanding of how individuals learn, provide a stunning opportunity to transform classrooms and education worldwide. As we start 2013, this is a challenging opportunity that I, as a 21st century educator, am looking forward to.

How do you think education should evolve to better prepare students for success? Join the conversation here or let me know what you think via my Twitter account.

11:20 AM Permalink

Is Data Killing Creativity?

Shantanu_NarayeneditededitedAdobe CEO Shantanu Narayen is in Davos, Switzerland this week, chairing the Media, Entertainment and Information Governors Meeting at the World Economic Forum.  This blog is cross-posted from the Forum Blog.

We are living in a world of “big data”; every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data that flows to and from smartphones, PCs, tablets, TVs and innumerable other connected devices. As chair of the Media, Entertainment and Information (MEI) Governors Meeting in Davos this year, I’ve been reflecting on what this may mean for our society in the future.

We know more, we do more, we’re more connected.  We have real-time access to content and information we never could have imagined.   And yet, I’m concerned that lost in this rising tide of data is the essence of what makes us human:  Creativity.  It goes far beyond the traditional world of art and music.  Creativity is the essence of invention and inspiration, and it is what fuels our economy.

Indeed, global research we conducted in 2012 showed that 8 in 10 people feel that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth and nearly two-thirds of respondents feel creativity is valuable to society.  But only 1 in 4 people – a strikingly low percentage – believe they are living up to their own creative potential.   Respondents revealed that productivity, not creativity, is what employers currently demand.

creativity infographic

How did productivity trump creativity?   Macroeconomic conditions have certainly created pressure on companies to produce results.  But has more emphasis on technical skills, operational improvements and hard numbers devalued creativity in the workplace?  Or does it start much earlier, in our schools, where the race to improve science, technology and math (STEM) abilities in students has overtaken time once spent on “softer” subjects?  Are we stifling our children’s imagination?

In a follow-up study we conducted in the United States, nearly three-quarters of respondents said creative thinking should be “taught as a course – like math or science.”  We as business leaders should advocate for this type of thinking both in our schools and our companies as we grow our next generation of employees.

Companies like ours who are in the business of content must also take responsibility for encouraging creativity.  All of us in the MEI community need to encourage creativity among our young people and in our enterprises large and small.   Whether it’s investing in small businesses with big ideas, entrepreneur in residence programs or educational scholarships like the Adobe Youth Voices Creativity Scholarship, we must keep creativity front and center.

We live in an extraordinary time where a treasure trove of content—data, photographs, books, music, video—can be made by and shared with the world.  Today, everyone can be a creator.   Everyone can share their creations and gauge the impact of that creativity whether it’s financial, cultural or societal.  What a gift to us all.

7:57 AM Permalink

Get in the Game

GameAppPhotoThe upcoming BCS National Championship game, Notre Dame vs. Alabama, is expected to be among the most-watched college football games of all-time. Now, sports fans around the world can get the inside track by downloading a free Game Day App powered by Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS). These multimedia-packed apps enable fans to enjoy the latest in second screen experiences as they interact with articles, photos, videos, team roasters, and social media feeds in real time. It simply makes the game come alive. Who do you think will win? Download your favorite team’s app here and get in the game!

All of these great features were made possible with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, a complete solution for creating rich, interactive content across devices. With mobile devices becoming the interface of choice for digital content, educational institutions increasingly rely on DPS as the de facto standard to communicate with students, alumni, and the broader campus community. Students are also using DPS to create and deliver digital content – especially via tablet devices – while honing skills that give them an edge in today’s highly competitive job market. The good news is, with DPS, students and institutions alike can create digital campus newspapers, brochures and apps without writing a single line of code!

If you’re interested in seeing how it all works, check out a couple of recent tutorials that we posted to the Adobe & You students channel on Adobe TV. The first shows you how to optimize your InDesign portfolio for the iPad and the second walks you through how to publish an iPad application.

10:38 AM Permalink