Posts tagged "Edge"

September 30, 2012

Changing Digital Tool Sets and Education

CHANGING DIGITAL TOOL SETS AND EDUCATION


Tools. Craftsmen love their tools. Without a proper set of tools, their jobs would take much longer, and probably would not be done as well. If you were to speak to someone who works with tools, they would tell you that they have favorite tools among their collection. You will hear a story about how they will use these favorite tools constantly, and utilize the rest only when necessary. The craftsman will covet and care for these tools, as old favorites just cannot be replaced with new ones and have the same feel in their hands.

When better tools do come about, the craftsman may give them a try. It may take a while, but the new tool probably will work just as well, and probably better than the old favorite. Suddenly, the craftsman has a new favorite tool, and has found that it saves time and produces solid work.

I spent many years working with hand tools as a jeweler. I have a set of favorite tools that are on the front of my bench. I have new ones that I bought along the way to replace the favorites, but they remain in the cupboard waiting for me to pick them up. One pair of pliers had been in my hands for over 30 years, the “needle nose” is long gone, ground down so many times to keep them sharp. One day I just could not get the tip into the spot I needed to get the work done. Out came the new ones and the job got done, quickly and cleanly. Out went the old ones.

My full time days as a jeweler have been replaced with digital media production and teaching the techniques. I have been having fun producing and teaching the skills to build websites, videos, digital graphics, etc. for over 12 years now. I have favorite tools and technologies for doing my work here as well (Ok, mostly Adobe’s toolset!). I have seen tools and technologies come and go during this time. Some of them I was very happy to watch disappear (Director), some I miss.

This industry is always changing. Learning never stops. There is always a new technology or “digital trinket” coming out that needs special treatment from us to work. Right now, our industry has been turned on its ear with so many new and evolving technologies that are coming out much faster than ever before. Technologies are here and in the hands of consumers that our current tool sets do not provide what we need to get our work done in a timely fashion. All of a sudden, I don’t have a tool (let alone a favorite tool) for some of the jobs I need to get done.

I am always studying to keep abreast of what set of tools are available so I can work efficiently and keep my students on the cutting edge. Adobe is providing its users with toolsets that are moving forward at almost as fast a pace as the technologies. The new set of Edge tools and services are indicative of the company’s hard work to provide the cutting edge tools necessary for today’s HTML 5, CSS3, and JavaScript environments.

I teach in a community college’s Computer Information Systems department. Besides Microsoft Office, our classes include web design/development and the study of computer applications. The Adobe applications our department focuses on are Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, and Flash (gone are Flex and Flash Catalyst). Right now, we are in a broil over how to proceed with our department and college web developer/designer certificates. It may take a student 3 (now with budget cuts maybe 4) years to get through the certificate program. Technologies are changing too fast to keep the certificates stable for that amount of time. If we do not change them, we risk becoming stale and out of date, providing an education that will not be what employers are looking for when the students graduate.

Our certificates dictate certain Adobe application classes are required be taken, with others as electives. When the landscape of application/technology choices change so fast, the certificates become out dated in months, not years. With the “death” of Flash as a web technology, Flex and Flash Catalyst were “killed” too. Flash I is still a requirement for our certificates, Flash II is an elective. Flex and Flash Catalyst are also electives. Our certificates are becoming “littered” with technologies that are not pertinent, and missing the ones that have become so.

The Flash platform technologies will not provide the job skills necessary for our students studying web technologies when they graduate. It is very difficult to ever know, in our field, what will be the job skills in 4 or 5 years, but we have to try to provide what we know right now to the best of our abilities. As of today, this is HTML 5, CSS3, and JavaScript. The release of Adobe Edge Animate this past week, with the offer of using Animate free for one year, should help to make the transition from Flash animation to HTML 5 animation a bit easier. The willingness of the instructors and curriculum committees to let go of their favorite old technologies and learn the new ones fast enough to keep moving forward is a key factor.

Schools and technology departments must make an effort to plan the new methodology for teaching the new workflows at a speed equaling the various technologies release, a plan to embrace the tools that will provide the modern skillsets for our students. The college’s ability to provide pertinent certificates will require some study and discussion to come up with an answer that will allow the fast pace of change.

Loving our tools means we love to work. Sometimes, even when it is so difficult, we must leave the tools we love and embrace the new ones. A modern web requires modern tools.

12:48 AM Permalink
July 20, 2012

Adobe Education Leader Institute and Adobe Edge


This coming week, from July 23rd through July 26th, myself and a whole bunch of other Adobe Education Leaders [K12] [HED] will gather at Adobe headquarters in San Jose for our annual institute.

During the gathering this year, there is sure to be a lot of discussion in regard to to both older and newer technologies and toolsets. I’m presenting a couple of sessions which revolve around the Adobe Flash Platform and gaming, there will be discussions around Creative Cloud, Touch Apps, et cetera. There will surely be sessions on Adobe Edge as well – roadmap discussions, workshops, and other activities will abound. In the afternoon on Thursday, AEL Tom Green will be presenting a 90-minute session on Edge which is sure to gather a large audience among attendees.

Over the past few days, I’ve been working on a giveaway with my publisher to coincide with the institute:

For those in the wider community that will not be at the institute, I’m going to provide a way to get familiar with Edge for the price of a mere tweet! I’m giving away three ebook copies of my Adobe Edge Quickstart Guide published by Packt. All you need to do is tweet your favorite feature of Adobe Edge with both the hashtags #AEL12 and #EdgeGuide – pretty simple, no? We’ll close the giveaway on Friday the 27th and choose 3 random tweets from the pool! Winners will be contacted through Twitter.

Here is the Adobe Edge Quickstart Guide:

“As a visual designer who loves to make things move and not spend my time coding, I found this book provided what I needed to get up and running in Adobe Edge. I even enjoyed building out some interactivity, discovering it isn’t all that difficult when taken one step at a time!” – K. St Amant

Also be sure and check out the FREE video2brain feature tour from Tom Green:

“Adobe Edge is a robust motion graphics and interactivity tool designed for the web universe, and in this workshop author and expert Tom Green shows you what it can do. You’ll learn how to create animations, add moving elements to a static HTML page, and create and use symbols. You’ll also see how Edge integrates with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks and how to use to use the Edge Code panel to add interactivity, looping, and code. A tutorial on using web fonts to apply typographic techniques to your work rounds out this quick but rich course.”

2:53 PM Permalink
January 21, 2012

Adobe Edge Preview 4: Short Videos

Adobe® Edge is a new web motion and interaction design tool that allows designers to bring animated content to websites, using web standards like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3.

In preparation for the release of Adobe Edge Preview 4 [download!] – I’ve created some videos demonstrating a few of the new features available in this build. A number of AELs are creating videos, articles, and books around this exciting new product and I imagine more will be posted here as time goes on…

Using Web Fonts

Using Symbols

Playback Actions

Embedding a Composition


You can also view these directly off of my Adobe Edge YouTube playlist, if desired.

2:51 AM Permalink