Posts in Category "Events"

September 19, 2010

Adobe MAX Unawards: Featuring a Few AEL Recipients!

For the past two years, Serge Jespers (@sjespers) has developed a widget to draw attention to the upcoming Adobe MAX conference that involves both video and community collaboration. Last year’s widget allowed users to post a short message on why one would want to attend MAX. This year’s widget allows users to record acceptance speeches for MAX Unawards and the whole process behind it is a great read!

So… we have a few Adobe Education Leaders who have received MAX Unawards! These are listed below and I encourage other AELs to submit and be added here…

Tom Green (@TomGreen) won the award for ‘Crustiest Tutorialist Of The Year

Joseph Labrecque (@JosephLabrecque) won the award for ‘Most Frustrated AIR Developer

David Egbert (@DaveEgbert) won the award for ‘Best Un Acceptance Speech

Think you deserve an Adobe MAX Unaward? You probably do – give it a shot!

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September 14, 2010

Education Summit at Adobe MAX

Sunday, October 24 – Education Summit at MAX – Los Angeles Convention Center

If you are involved in education and will be attending Adobe MAX this year, I highly encourage you to check out the full education rundown and especially the preconference Education Summit!

Registration is reduced significantly for students and educators!

As an aside, I’ll be speaking on OSMF! Check out the full agenda!

Open Source Media Framework for Education
Joseph Labrecque, Senior Multimedia Application Developer, University of Denver

Whether your institution provides progressive video streams over simple HTTP or leverages the full streaming power of Adobe Flash Media Server, when deciding how to implement playback, the Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) is clearly one of the best choices available. Join Joseph Labrecque as he provides a brief overview of OSMF and demonstrates a range of customization options for developing media playback clients within the framework for educational needs. This presentation covers both functional concerns and custom skinning mechanisms to implement your institution’s unique branding requirements.

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August 8, 2010

Adobe Education Leader Institute 2010

During the last week of July, ~90 Adobe Education Leaders from around the world came together at Adobe HQ in San Jose, California for a week of networking, sharing, collaboration, and numerous other activities. Since having the opportunity to begin work as an AEL in late 2008, I always look forward to this event. While completely exhausting by week’s end; there is really no other experience that comes close to this!

Monday evening marked a great reception at the Fairmount. Great to catch up with other AELs that were present last year, new AELs or those I hadn’t met previously, and many of the good people at Adobe I’ve worked so closely with over the past year.

Tuesday was full of information and presentations from Adobe product managers, creative directors, and platform managers. This marked some of my personal favorite sessions as we were given the opportunity to learn details on upcoming products, the general roadmap* and outlook for the Flash Platform (impressive!), and even demo sneaks of some KILLER upcoming technology enhancements. We also were treated to an excellent presentation on some items the Adobe XD team is working on.

Wednesday is reserved for AEL sessions; over 80 hours of these presentations were recorded and will be made available on the Adobe Education Leader AdobeTV channel later this year. I gave my talk on Using Collaborative Media Services with Flash in University Applications and it was very well received. Really, all of the talks I attended were quite compelling and covered a wide range of areas – looking forward to catching up on those sessions I missed.

Thursday consisted of some longer sessions on industry and product-specific hands-on trainings. I attended the industry track all day and there was some really compelling stuff presented. Some of the highlights include an update from SoDA and an overview of how the upcoming digital publishing workflow for devices will be done (Yeah, the WIRED iPad stuff!)

On Friday morning we had our quarterly meeting followed by a wrap-up session. Those AELs who were not physically present in San Jose were able to attend through a live Connect session.

This was my second Institute and was the fifth overall. What an absolutely stellar time! Many, many thanks to the Adobe Education Team and all the AELs who helped make this event so memorable. Some of you reading this might think I am being far too positive about such a “corporate relationship” and perhaps some corrupting influence is being spread at events such as this. As fellow AEL, Phil Ice, has written: “I am certain there are some who are reading this blog who believe that the purpose is to turn people in education into marketing machines – nothing could be further from the truth.” It’s a beneficial relationship for everyone involved and Adobe does HIGHLY value the education community. Thank you again, Adobeans, for listening to us and being receptive to even our harshest criticisms! I do hope to see many of you either at Adobe MAX in October, or at some other event very soon.

* Don’t let anyone tell you Adobe is “lazy” when it comes to Flash Player and the overall platform. Things are about to accelerate beyond anything we’ve seen in the past couple of years!

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July 21, 2010

Conference Wrap Up-ISTE 2010 by Sara Martin, Adobe Education Leader

The premiere educational technology conference, ISTE 2010 (formerly called NECC) took place In Denver Colorado this summer from June 27 – 30. The conference was THE place to be for anyone who is serious about improving teaching and learning to meet the needs of our students in this 21st century. Over 18,000 people participated in the conference. As common with large trade shows, the event was filled with workshops, speakers, virtual events utilizing things like webcasts and social media sites and of course, the exhibit hall with vendors galore.

My role at the conference was two-fold. First, I presented a 3 hour workshop on Video Production using my favorite editing software, Premiere Elements. Second, I hung out in the Adobe booth in my capacity of Adobe Education Leader, meeting and greeting educators from all over the world. Sharing our experiences is always enriching and leaves me energized and eager to get back to the classroom and try out the new ideas!

If you were unable to attend the conference in person, you can still experience some of the conference, as your own time schedule permits, in these ways:
Virtual webcasts from Denver, Colorado including other videos from other events such as last February’s HP Innovations in Education Worldwide Summit can be found here:
Online Community:
ISTE has created a NING community online for the conference. Just go to to read what’s being shared – or join and participate. It’s free and an easy way to connect with other educators who share common interests.
Tweets from the conference will include the “hasthtag” #ISTE10 (note: some people are also using the unofficial hasthtag #ISTE2010). Then point your browser to either You can also use a website that refreshes itself like or
Next year’s ISTE Conference “Unlocking Potential” will be held in Philadelphia from June 26 – 29 at the Pennsyvania Convention Center. More information about participation and everything else concerning the conference can be found at: If you have never attended this major conference, or if you have been thinking about presenting, now is the time to start planning!

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April 16, 2010

Digital Learning Event, Washington, D.C.

A feeling of anticipation was in the air on the morning of April 14, 2010 in Northern Virginia as participants at the HP/Intel Digital Learning Environments conference ate their breakfast and sipped their coffee. They listened to how HP and Intel have invested millions of dollars into education all over the world, as have their partnered-sponsors including Adobe, Microsoft and Vernier. Participants were just a keynote address away from seeing how these investments could affect them, their schools and, most importantly, their students.
The keynote was given by Dr. Elizabeth Hoover, the Executive Director of Technology Services for the Alexandria Schools System. Ms. Hoover has had classroom (K12 and higher ed) and technology-administration experience, a desirable combination! She focused her presentation, entitled Journey to 1:1, on the story of how the Alexandria Cite Public Schools developed and implemented a 1 computer to 1 student initiative. The initiative had its challenges but has since grown into a successful program, which can serve as a model for others.
There are 12,000 students in the high-needs Alexandria school system. Due to the large number of international families in the D.C. area, there is a large percentage of English Language Learners (22%). Many students (54%) are on a free or reduced lunch program and they have their fair share (15%) of special needs students. Despite these challenges, they, over a 7-year period, have had experienced a lot of success. The schools have secured a filtered student network, new infrastructure, online testing, student help desks at EVERY school…etc.
These successes, however, did not come without trials and tribulations. Of course there were financial difficulties – building a new school that was “smart” was costly. Financial burdens were to be expected, but other issues were overlooked in the beginning. Early on in the initiative, in 2003, students frequently brought their laptops to lunch in order to download music (Napster, anyone?). Students would use laptops in class, but rather than taking notes or staying on task, they would covertly be playing games. Students often forget their laptops, and of course, battery life was an issue. A lack of projectors was a sore spot for teachers, as was the lack of in-class, laptop management. Moreover, community neighbors would “borrow” the unsecured wireless network, thereby significantly diminishing the available bandwidth.
Changes were needed, and eventually made, but simply instituting new rules would not be the answer. A change in culture would be critical for success. Otherwise, existing problems would continue and, eventually, the novelty of having the technology would wear off.
To ensure the laptops and other hardware was not simply acting as a dust collector, instructional technologists were brought in to help the teachers use the technology in effective ways. Later, they developed a high school technology integration project, and subsequent to that, they bolstered their strategic plan for ACPS. In my opinion, this is a point that should be stressed. They did not rest on their piles of technology laurels; instead, they strived to continue to look forward, develop and implement new ideas via input from teacher-based and student-based focus groups. Perhaps most importantly was the decision to provide ample opportunities for professional development.
The professional development for teachers sounded like it ought to – it was job-embedded, needs-driven, differentiated, was comprised of year-long-strands, it was instructionally focused, and was rooted in literacy and technology. Professional development, in their eyes, was critical; if the teachers were unable to model the technology, student impact would fall short.
One of the most exciting things, in my opinion, is that, due to a continuous lack of communication between the Information Technology and Instructional Technology divisions, ACPS decided to merge the two. Are you envious yet? This merging has resulted in a much smoother operation and teachers appreciate it, as you can most certainly imagine.
Success stories that have arisen from the program are plentiful: 84% pass rate on the state reading test; 77% for Algebra 1 and 2, & Geometry tests; and 84% of ACPS’ 2009 graduates went to college. Their success has been somewhat attributed to the technology, but it’s truly the planning and dedication of the teachers and administration. They kept their collective eye on the prize; they fought through the mishaps and hardships, resisted contentment, continuously sought improvement, and provided opportunities for teachers and students to be successful!
Adobe Training Sessions
It’s difficult to label the 4 50-minute sessions I gave as “training” considering I presented both Photoshop Elements AND Premiere Elements in that short time period. I find that I can barely teach Photoshop Elements, alone, in a 3-hour session!
Therefore, given the time constraints, I was only able to give an overview of each program, showing the some 120 participants several low-threshold, high-impact ways in which each program could be used in the classroom. The majority of participants, comprised mainly of teachers and technology specialists, were excited to see how easily effective products could be created.
A few noteworthy things I noticed during my sessions were:

  1. The participants were happy to receive the Digital School Collection trials
  2. The participants’ interest in the various cloud computing tools that Adobe offers, especially Lots of note-taking during this part in the session.
  3. The genuine excitement about the Guided Edit component within PS Elements.
  4. Many of the participants had used either Movie Maker or iMovie and they all nodded in agreement when I said “if you know either of those programs, you can surely transfer your knowledge if you move to Premiere Elements and, what’s more, gain much more power in doing so.”

All in all, a great event! I look forward to my next DLE event in Minneapolis!

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March 3, 2010

Summer Workshops for School TV Production

Back by popular demand–School TV Summer Workshops for teachers will take place June 28-30th and July 14-16 2010.

Learn how to use Adobe software products to create affordable green-screened school TV newscasts, classroom video projects and more!



Participants will learn how to begin or improve school TV newscasts on any size budget, and create student video productions that have the professional look of network TV. Any classroom can now be used as a professional ‘green screen’ recording studio, thanks to the Adobe Digital School Collection and Adobe Visual Communicator software. Join Adobe Education Leader Rob Zdrojewski for an inside look at the Amherst Tech TV Studios, serving as a showcase model school TV program exclusively using Adobe software products!

Visit for complete details:


9:55 AM Permalink
February 28, 2010

Digital Learning Environments Events Series Update-Las Vegas

The second DLE was held February 25 at beautiful Lake Las Vegas, 7 miles off the famous Las Vegas strip. The keynote speaker for the event was Leslie Wilson, President and founding member of the non profit One-to-One Institute.
The mission of the One-to-One Institute is to “increase student achievement through the development of learner-centered 1:1 programs that to serve as an international information clearinghouse for those interested or engaged in technology rich education programs. engage personal, portable technology. Our goals are to facilitate the personalization of learned and
Leslie began her message by stressing that 1:1 programs are NOT just laptops for kids but are about teaching and learning-transforming the learning environment from teacher centered to student centered. She shared pictures from classrooms that covered the decades of the 50s until the present that showed how teaching and learning have changed little over that time. Much of the instructional time in classrooms in spent like the decades of the past in what she terms, “Instructional approach 1” where the teacher is the master and students are organized, usually in rows, to perform tasks assigned and directed by the teacher.
In “Instructional Approach 2” a more personalized and student-centered educational experience is offered to students. Teachers facilitate and provide “just in time” instruction that support the standards and objectives of the lessons. Technology tools are used when appropriate and are also used for feedback and assessment. Class environments are flexible and can appear chaotic to outsiders as students collaborate and are engaged in a variety of tasks.
The ultimate goal to provide students the ideal environment for developing 21st century skills is “Instructional Approach 3”-an approach that finds student in complete control of their learning. In this environment individualized long term projects are the norm. Students find themselves immersed in virtual realities such as Second Life and other augmented realities. Teachers act as advisors and provide personalized direction. This is a true mobile environment that projects outside the 4 walls of the classroom via the power of technological connections and environments.
Instructional Approach 2 and 3 are major paradigm shifts that empower students to take responsibility for their own learning. They are encouraged to take risks. Practioners of this method note that students are motivated learners when they have choices in HOW they learn.
Leslie concluded her address by outlining the keys to successful 1:1 teaching and learning programs including a reference to “Project Red” a national research and advocacy plan that promotes the need to “revolutionize the way the U.S. looks at technology as part of teaching and learning. We believe that technology can help us re-engineer our educational system. Through the efforts of Project Red and our partners we believe that technology will transform learning, just as it has transformed homes and offices in almost every other segment of our society.”
Following Leslie’s keynote the participants broke into groups and cycled through classrooms. One group was treated to presentations in several disciplines that highlighted how technology can be integrated into the curriculum in powerful ways that propel students toward learning 21st century skills with Instructional 2 and 3 techniques and another group of IT decision makers looked at solutions and ideas for cloud computing, wired and wireless networking, as well as network security.
I’m looking forward to my next Digital Learning Environment adventure in San Diego on March 11, 2010. If you are in that area, or if you live near Atlanta, Boston, Washington DC, Indianapolis, Denver, Minneapolis, or Raleigh, please think about joining us at the DLE event in your city. These are amazing, FREE event. Find out more and to register for the events, visit:

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February 19, 2010

Adobe Photoshop turns 20!

Time flies when you are having fun. Who knows what the next 20 years will bring and what students and teachers will be able to do 20 years from now.
See the full time line of Adobe Photoshop’s 20 year history.

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January 25, 2010

Education and New Media Collaborative Conference Application

The University of Denver Center for Teaching and Learning is holding a conference this Friday the 29th on “Education and New Media“. We are going to be streaming two keynotes by Michael Wesch live via Flash Media Server and invite you all to attend the discussion through a special app built for the conference that incorporates the live FMS stream, conference Twitter feed, and Google Analytics.
Remote participants can log in and post to the feed via the app – built entirely in Flash:
The idea behind this app is that conference participants (and those from afar who have interest in the keynotes) will be able to participate in a collaborative conversation through the Twitter feed while watching the keynote all through a single interface.
To accomplish this, I’ve employed Sandro Ducceschi’s very cool Tweetr AS3 Library for interfacing with the Twitter API. This is employed for both pulling all tweets marked with “#CTL2010” and allowing users to authenticate into Twitter and post directly from the app. The feed is refreshed every 60 seconds.
On the video side of things, we have employed the university’s Flash Media Servers and are tracking stats via Google Analytics Event Tracking API (which I have previously presented about for FITC). This results in a really nice (and functional!) showcase piece for using new media through the integration of a variety of systems and services.
To tie it all together, we’re using the open source Flex 4 framework and have made heavy use of the new Spark component set. The open source Text Layout Framework is used to render tweets along with my TwitterString class to interpret links, hashtags, and usernames.
I invite everyone to please spread the word about the conference stream. We’d like to have as many people participate in the discussion as possible!
Information about the conference follows:

The University of Denver is hosting an Education and New Media conference on Friday, January 29, 2010. We are very excited to have Michael Wesch as our keynote speaker. You are invited to join us for his keynote sessions via a live video stream. Virtual participants will have the ability to ask questions and share their comments via Twitter.
Michael’s morning keynote begins at approximately 8:30 and is titled, “How can we create students who can create meaningfully connections?” The afternoon keynote will begin around 12:15 pm and is titled, “Making connections: Experiments in Learning with New Media.”
Visit the conference webpage for more information and please feel free to share this invitation with your colleagues.
Information about how to the access the video stream will be posted here soon.

Please spread the word!

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October 10, 2009

DU Video Delivery Systems Featured at Adobe MAX

During the opening day of Adobe MAX 2009 in Los Angeles, two separate sessions featured DU video systems.
Firstly, Joseph Labrecque, Senior Multimedia Application Developer for the University of Denver and Adobe Higher Education Leader included mention of the ALORA Embed Generator video player and its ability to tap into Google Analytics during his session for the FITC Unconference:

Custom Event Reporting from Flash to Google Analytics
With the ability to define and report custom events from within your Flash application, you retain control over how specific events are reported and the information contained in these reports. This presentation will cover the implementation of the Google Analytics Tracking For Adobe Flash ActionScript 3 API for generating custom events and the generation of unorthodox event logging from within Flash.

This presentation was streamed live by FITC and Influxis.
Another strong mention was made by John Schuman, Education Solutions Architect for Adobe Systems during his session on video delivery systems in education during which he focused on the CourseMedia™ application:

Customizing the University Experience with a Rich Media Delivery System
Explore the potential of developing a customized, security-focused, RSS-driven delivery solution. This session shows how you can use Adobe Flash Media Rights Management Server, Flash Media Server 3, and Adobe Media Player

While there were some inaccuracies presented during the session, the spirit of our system was well-represented and we thank John for his coverage of CourseMedia™ and other DU video delivery mechanisms.

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