By Linda Dickeson
Setting the stage for a great experience at FETC (Florida Educational Technology Conference) 2009 in Orlando, the Adobe events continue to be well-attended and “where the action is” for attendees. On this second official day of FETC, the Adobe Education Leaders (AELs) have already led many workshops (including pre-conference). On Friday alone, the AELs are conducting nearly half of the hands-on workshops.
The Adobe booth is always busy and buzzing with people clamoring for more information on the creative products they are using with their students. The theater sessions in the booth are presented by Adobe experts while AELs spend their time visiting with educators and answering questions. Attendance is still very good this year, even in bleak economic times.
The Adobe Customer Appreciation Breakfast (organized by Lisa Deakes and held this morning at the Rosen Center Hotel) had few empty seats. The agenda for the breakfast presentations emphasized engaged learning and how Adobe supports 21st century skills.
The first speaker was Pete Episcapo from Brevard County Schools, presenting success stories from the Academy of Digital Arts and Media. Their technology academies use Adobe software to prepare students for post-secondary education or employment after graduation and allow them to become Adobe Certified Associates. Pete showed many amazing examples of creative digital art projects by students and had a line-up of participants wanting to talk to him after the breakfast to know more about the school and the Adobe Certifications.
Bob Regan, Adobe’s Director of K-12 Worldwide Education, delivered the main message for the breakfast, emphasizing Adobe’s role in delivering 21st century education for students.
Since the jobs that young students in our classroom will have after graduation don’t yet exist, how can teachers give students the skills they will need for those jobs? Studies show that in the future employers will emphasize critical thinking skills, IT application proficiency, Collaboration and Creativity when hiring the workers of the future.
Some of the defined 21st Century Skills include:
1. Technology Literacy—Being able to retrieve information and then know how to use it.
2. Creativity—Inventiveness and putting things together in a new way.
3. Effective Communication—Communicating in a way that compels others to take action.
4. Critical Thinking—Includes dealing with massive amounts of information.
5. Collaboration—Working together and developing effective work flows.
Making sure students have these skills will make all the difference in a competitive global market.
What is Adobe focusing on?
Adobe believes that education will:
1. Become more personalized.
2. Be more distributed (learning outside the classroom or school day)
3. Be more collaborative.
4. Be more creative.
Adobe will meet these changes with:
1. Innovative products
2. Curriculum content and certifications
3. Professional development
4. Pricing programs
5. Community programs
Bob concluded the message with examples of engaged student learning and a new video from Palm Beach County (with AEL Kim Cavanaugh) and testimonials of success with Adobe solutions for teaching, learning and communication.