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.
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.
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!”
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.”
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
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.
by Tacy Trowbridge, Education Programs Lead, Adobe
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.
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.
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.
It’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.
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.
Aaron Roberts, Visual Art Chair at Mason High School in Ohio, sat down with us to discuss how core subject classes, as well as traditional art classes at his school, benefit from the use of Adobe Creative Cloud.
Aaron’s specific focus at Mason High is teaching visual arts courses such as Digital Image Design, Animation, Communication Graphics, and Photography. While the use of and connection to Creative Cloud products within these disciplines is obvious, Aaron highlights the innovative ways Mason High is making creativity a top priority in their Humanities and Science courses as well. He is adamant that “Creativity is not an elective, it’s an imperative”.
For example, an English course at Mason High School contains a unit around studying propaganda, so educators assigned a project for students to create their own propaganda poster in Photoshop and InDesign. In biology, students are encouraged to create engaging presentations with the inclusion of video and animation. One student created a clever animation in After Effects for a presentation on the biology of sea stars. Additionally, Mason High School also has several online and print publications run and created by students using Adobe Creative Cloud.
High schools across the country often require some level of proficiency in commonly used programs, such as Microsoft Word, but Aaron maintains that Mason High School is forward thinking in that they also require learning in Creative Cloud. He explains, “After continuing to see the value of creativity across all curriculum, we have more students and more teachers trained in Creative Cloud products”.
For more insight into using Creative Cloud software in your K-12 classroom, click here to watch a recording of the full webinar.
By Matt Niemitz, Product Lead, Adobe Education Exchange
Today we rolled out a new experience designed to help you quickly find relevant content and highlight your creative teaching. We hope this personalization makes the Adobe Education Exchange easier to use and more valuable to you. Keep reading to learn what’s new then dive right in and explore the new and improved Adobe Education Exchange.
Recommended for you
The first or next time you sign in, you’ll be guided through a process to provide your interests and experience. We’ll use this information to personalize the Adobe Education Exchange and recommend the most relevant content for you.
Your new dashboard
Your new homepage is a dashboard where you can pick up where you left off on your activity. Plus, discover recommended learning opportunities, teaching materials, discussions, and connections.
Express your creative teaching identity
Your new profile includes a refreshed design focused on highlighting your creative teaching identity. Add multiple teaching positions, showcase your activity and leadership within the AEE, and highlight your expertise.
Learn. Teach. Discuss. Connect
Make the most of the Adobe Education Exchange and get started on the pathway to a creative classroom.
Up your digital skills
Sharpen your skills or learn something new from free courses, workshops, and live events.
ETSU is the first academic institution in the nation to work with Adobe to implement Adobe Marketing Cloud into their curriculum. As part of this alliance, ETSU faculty will integrate tools from Adobe Marketing Cloud into the curriculum of several academic programs, giving students the opportunity to learn on an industry-leading platform, giving them a substantial head-start upon graduation.
Dr. Stephen Marshall, chair of the ETSU Department of Mass Communication, shares that “[ETSU] is excited to pioneer this first-ever program with Adobe to teach Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions in our courses. We are giving students the digital tools they need to enter the workforce. The job market for digital marketers is hot and Adobe has been an amazing educational partner. There is no program in the country like ours. It is a great time to study at ETSU.”
To learn more about how ETSU is implementing Adobe Marketing Cloud into its curriculum, please see here.