By Lee Keller
A few weeks ago one of our teachers I had trained came up to me at a science curriculum meeting and asked if there was any training planned for Adobe Connect Pro. She had been in one of my training courses over a year ago and quickly became one of our most avid users. Her IB class met for reviews before tests during after school hours and often collaborated with teachers and classes at other schools around the country. She had colleagues at Suncoast High School (one of the top public high schools in the country) that were interested in learning how to do the great things she did with her classes.
I told her I would create one and invite other schools and departments that had expressed interest. Within a couple weeks I had a class of 17 coming from diverse backgrounds and needs. My class is run online through our Moodle installation, but the actually training is done completely through Adobe Connect Pro. Participants log into the system and I use the desktop share to immerse them in the program as they learn about it. It increases their comfort level immediately when they see how easy it is to get started.
Before our third class an IB Economics teacher in the course called me with some questions about Connect. As we talked, she expressed that she wasn’t sure how she might use it in her class. I told her about my favorite use, bringing guest speakers into the class via Connect. We talked about contacts she had and found that a friend of hers works in the Federal Reserve. Suddenly, the lights went on in her head and the excitement in her voice told me that her class would be doing many field trips through Adobe Connect Pro. Recording a session like that can make the experience available for other classes and schools any where in the world.
A little over a week ago I was doing a short presentation about Adobe Connect Pro at another local high school. I mentioned the free app for Connect and within minutes several teachers were raising their IOS and Android phones in the air showing the online meeting. They were amazed that students that were out of school for extended illness or attending events could still participate in class with nothing more than a smartphone.
While Adobe has so many great products, I really feel that Connect Pro is the best educational tool in their arsenal. With it you can demonstrate any program as we often do with our AEL meetings. You can bring in guests to speak from any where in the world and excite students about topics with collaborative projects. Adobe has also made some very great pricing structures for K-12, making it a bargain in tough economic times.