Author Archive

February 11, 2014

Stylus versus Finger : Adobe Ideas : Finger Wins!



My son is eleven years old.  I have had this outdated Wacom Tablet for years.  I was very excited to give him this cutting edge technology to my son.  I have been teaching him Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator for the past couple of years.  The thought of teaching him the “Pen Tool” in Illustrator with a Wacom Tablet to an eleven year old was like having someone take an AP Computer Graphic Design Class.  I sat him down one evening with true excitement, putting the stylus in his small hand, opening Adobe Illustrator with a blank document.  Then, my son speaks, “Dad, I would rather use your IPad.  I like using my finger with Adobe Ideas.”  I think kids remind us of what the world means to them.  My son would rather draw a dragon with his finger, then use a fancy stylus and tablet.  I think Adobe is on the right path when it comes to creating simple applications that use the human finger to create art.  My son now reminds me of this everyday as he creates his own worlds of wonder with his finger and imagination.

Dave Forrester

Adobe Education Leader

3:35 AM Permalink
January 8, 2013

Hey Dad, What is a JPEG?


In the process of parenting two kids and growing as an Adobe Education Leader each new year, I realize I have a responsibility as a dad to help my own kids grow into the 21st century.   It has been comforting for me and for them to come home after school, telling me with excitement about what they have been learning in their internet safety program at school.  I bring up with them about naming files and organizing their assets with computer folders.  They tell me about learning about this already.  I have moments of feeling humbled and surprised by how much they are learning at school.  I decided as a dad to get involved from the beginning, teaching them computer literacy skills.  The idea is for my kids not to notice that dad has now just shown up in their  technology world.  I don’t want them to have this experience of a sudden jolt of dad looking over their shoulder.  I have decided to sit down with my kids once a week, becoming a guide and coach for them, having them identify with me as a helper.  I have introduced and working with both of my kids on these programs and skills:


Photography: (Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop, Bridge) – Downloading Pictures, Scale and File Type and Naming, Organizing Their Assets, Importance of Metadata, Photo Safety and Appropriateness).

Video: (Adobe Premier Elements) – Downloading Video, File Size, Video Output, Formats for Publishing, Video Safety and Appropriateness, Editing).

Email and File Storage: (Google Applications, Creative Cloud) – Filtering, Folders, Naming, and Search.

Presentations: (Microsoft Powerpoint, Adobe Presenter 8, Adobe Connect) – Lighting, Webcam, Recordings, Slide Creating, Importance of Audio Setup, Audio and Video Integration.

Website: (Google Sites): URL’s, Tables, Photo Scaling, Uploading, Organizing Assets, Color.

Social Networking: They are not old enough to have their own Facebook Account

Mobile: (Adobe Collage, Adobe Connect Mobile, Adobe Photoshop Touch, Adobe Ideas).

My vision and hope is by teaching them basic and more advanced skills of Digital Photography, Video, Asset Management, Emailing and Texting, Online Presentation and Website Development is that when it is age appropriate for them to have their own mobile devices and have access to social networks that they will be leaders amongst their peers, helping educate others what is safe and appropriate, and becoming very skilled for their own future.



Dave Forrester

Connect Shaman


8:37 PM Permalink
March 13, 2012

Adobe Photoshop Touch and Adobe Connect Pro

Adobe Connect is still a solution in a major snow storm.  Rio and Judy can still collaborative even in a major snow event.  Safety, saving fuel, and the ability to re-watch a lesson are real advantages to Adobe Connect.  The ability to make some hot coco, put another log on the fire, and watch my son learn graphic arts while the snow falls out of a gray sky is a real blessing.  The next magical application is Adobe Photoshop Touch.  We are planning to download it this coming weekend for the iPad 2.  Rio is extremely excited to practice lessons on the go from Judy via Adobe Connect using this new kinetic application.  The next blog entry will be about Rio discovering Adobe Photoshop Touch.

Dave Forrester

1:45 AM Permalink
January 9, 2012

Swarm of Jellyfish – Procreate

Rio has been working on making jellyfish for the past couple of months.  He is beginning to master creating layers in Photoshop.  His latest creation, he calls, “Swarm of Jellyfish” was created with a new art tool,  Procreate for the iPad 2.  The program only cost 4.99, just as much as a jellyfish sticker book, but a lot more robust.   Rio works really fast.  This is what I really like about Procreate.  Procreate can keep up with Rio.  He uses a Bamboo Stylus at  blazing speeds.  He can modify the brush sizes, opacity, and type of brush in a matter of seconds.  All of his digital art lesson have been thanks to the use of Adobe Connect.  Judy Durkin continues to teach him via Adobe Connect through the internet.  Rio has been transferring what he is learning in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and now is applying his art skills to new programs like Procreate.  I like that Procreate can load new artwork in HD (1920 X 1408) format, send out through email in PNG file format, and be Gmailed out to a whole group.  I have setup a family email group for Rio, so each time he finishes a project he can email the artwork to the whole family in a few minutes.  We are going to explore how to use the PNG file format out of Procreate and play with filters in Photoshop next.

Dave Forrester

3:57 AM Permalink
December 5, 2011

Learning Graphic Art Using Adobe Connect

I wanted to give everyone an update on how learning Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are going using Adobe Connect.  I am so excited now!  Judy Durkin and Rio are spending twenty minutes a week together learning about gradients, layers, grouping, and scale using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.  The magic of this arrangement is how I created an Adobe Connect Meeting Room called, “Judy and Rio’s Art Room” opened it up and started the recording for them both.  Rio and Judy have learned how to share their screen, request control of the working space together.  I just start the recording and walk away as Judy teaches Rio thirty miles away.  Rio has gone back to the recording several times during the week to go back over what he learned from Judy.  Rio has been working on gradients, creating Jelly Fish with a blend of red and orange.  He has learned the different between rasterizing and grouping.   I can’t believe how a fourth grader can pick up on Photoshop and Illustrator so quickly.  We may have to start a self portrait of Rio soon, another great idea from Adobe Education Leader Mike Skocko.  I would challenge any parent out there who wants to help their son or daughter learn graphic art from home, webbing in some great art teacher.  Maybe you can have your own web fairy art mother or father for your son or daughter?   Adobe Connect is the tool of the future for education!

Dave Forrester

Adobe Education Leader, Connect Shaman

3:36 AM Permalink
October 17, 2011

Parenting in the 21st Century

Two kids, two jobs, home, cat, soccer practice, piano, and everything in between.  I was sitting around in the living room with my kids one night.  I was trying to figure out how I was going to pack in another activity for my son.  My daughter is a singer, my son an artist.  We started singing lessons for my daughter and my wife and I wanted to keep activities somewhat balanced between the kids.  I could not figure out how I was going to fit in art lessons for my son.  Every night of the week was already packed with family commitments, then lighting struck me, well not really, but a bright light came on in my head.  One word echoed in my brain, “Connect!, Connect!, Connect!”  Yes, Adobe Connect Profession came through again because  I did not have another hour to drive around, gas tank to fill,  snack bag to pack, but I had my Connect Pro Account, Phone Conference Bridge, Computer, Wacom Tablet, and the CS5 Creative Suite.  I called my friend Judy Durkin who lives thirty miles from me and I asked her to be Rio’s fairy art-mother.  She agreed to work with Rio twenty minutes a week.  Yes, you are starting to clue in on what I figured out with Judy, no driving, no gas bills with my large truck, no meeting place, no cleaning the house before Judy arrives, well I did have to clean up behind the webcam. Yes!,  art lessons from the comfort of Judy and Rio’s home each week.  I setup the webcam, Judy and Rio arrived in the Connect Pro Meeting Room, we shared our screen and Judy asked for control of the space with Rio.  I started the recording so Rio could re- watch the lesson several times before the next session with Judy.  Adobe Connect Profession was my new parenting tool for the 21st Century.  I will update everyone on how the new adventure is progressing with my next blog.



Dave Forrester, Connect Shaman

12:56 AM Permalink
February 14, 2011

Why does K-12 Education and Higher Education need Adobe Systems Incorporated?

We have been living with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind Act) since May 23, 2001 and now the Obama Administration is supporting Race to the Top to bring about education reform and improvement to our overall education system.  I believe the Department of Education needs to reach out to more companies like Adobe Systems Incorporated to find innovative, creative and sustainable solutions to help all students to become successful.  I think many of these educational reform policies have been focusing on only half the child, their left brains.  I am tired of watching our education system repackage interventions through an academic scope.  I hear we need great teachers by developing growth models and stronger evaluation systems, increase our academic standards, strengthen our math and science programs, develop better ways to test kids, and develop longitudinal data systems.  I have been in education for about fifteen years now.  I have worked in both a Career and Technical Center and a Comprehensive High School.  There are millions of kids out there that don’t respond to their education system by only using half their brain.  Adobe has created a toolset for teachers  and students to help kids who like learning with the other half of their brain, the creative and intuitive side.   I want to thank Adobe Systems Incorporated by developing tools, building professional learning communities, creating educational programs, and taking leadership by supporting all educators.  I believe we need more electives for students in music, art, media productions, computer science, and photography.  We should not be taking these away for more math and science.  I think we need more Career and Technical Programs and CTE Teachers for kids.  The Adobe Education Leadership Program has many of the best in the country and around the world.  I believe we need to develop funding sources and education policies which build Career and Technical Education across the country.  I think developing Media Productions, Commercial Graphic Design, and Web Development Programs as equal to developing STEM programs in middle and high school.  I believe we should be working together (education and industry)  to help support the whole child.  Adobe Systems Incorporated and a group of CTE teachers and students can provide more solutions to close the achievement gap, curb the dropout problem and reduce emotional/mental health issues with students who are forced to use their left brain most of their time at school.

Dave Forrester

3:53 AM Permalink
January 6, 2011

Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional Bookmark

One of my friends at Adobe showed me this cool idea on how you can create an Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional bookmark.  The bookmark can be used in your Connect Pro Meeting Room.  It is very simple to create by using Microsoft Powerpoint.  Basically, you create a set of Powerpoint slides with a set of embedded links to different resources you want available on the bookmark.  The trick is to create a thin slide layout, maybe 200 pixels wide to create the illusion of a bookmark once it is loaded from the Content Library.  Once you have created the thin Powerpoint slides, then you basically load the bookmark from your Content Library into your Connect Pro Meeting Room.  Have fun!

Bookmark Example: URL for Viewing:

Dave Forrester, Adobe Education Leader

3:20 AM Permalink
November 24, 2010

Adobe Connect 8 – Turn The 8 On It’s Side And Experience Infinite Possibilities

I have heard of the term Adobe Software Evangelist in the past.  I would not consider myself an Adobe Connect Evangelist, but a Connect Shaman.  I am currently a School Counselor at the high school level. I am always intrigue and drawn to Adobe Connect because this tool is centered around communication.  I believe if anyone wants to boost their ability to communicate with others in the 21st century then Adobe Connect is the tool of choice.  There are so many different dimensions to this application around connecting with others.  I enjoy the fact you can communicate and collaborate with your neighbor down the street or someone across the world.  The ability to do live, synchronous communication, or make a recording so others can connect with you at their own timing is truly powerful.  Adobe Connect 8 is the new version which was released this fall, 2010.  I have begun to play and experience this new version and I am excited and impressed.  The new version has a simplified interface, the pods have been enhanced, the audio and video performance has been improved, there is an greater ability to connect to Adobe Connect by using the Desktop Adobe AIR technology, plus there has been an increase in security and enterprise support options for the end-user.  Lately, I have been uploading short video clips of my kids up into the ‘Content Library’ of Adobe Connect.  The videos have been streaming smoothly back to me.  I would recommend you signing up for the free thirty day trial and experience your own infinite possibilities to connect with others…

Pricing Options

Connect Pro Review

Dave Forrester

Adobe Education Leader, Connect Shaman

1:35 AM Permalink
November 6, 2010

A New Revolutionary Tool for Content Creation and Publishing – Project ROME

Adobe has a new all-in-one content creation and publishing tool parked in a cloud.  Project ROME is revolutionary and a true paradigm shift for content creation and publishing applications.   ROME can be run as an Adobe Air application or accessed directly from a light-weight internet cloud (browser-based web application).  The application is light-weight, but incredibility rich and diverse as a creation tool.  Adobe has extracted some of the best tools from various Adobe applications like Flash, Premiere, InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator and suspended them into a one-stop creative experience for the end-user.  Join the new and growing cultural revolution for creative educators!   Project ROME can be run from a simple Netbook laptop to a high performance desktop computer, the choice is yours.  Project ROME is available through Adobe Labs probably for a limited time.  I would encourage all educators to sign-in and reach for the stars, pushing the boundaries of the creative process.

Project ROME for Education - (For educator evaluation only)

Project Rome For Education Pilot Program – Institutions interested in a pilot, apply today

Project ROME -

Dave Forrester

Adobe Education Leader

3:48 AM Permalink