Adobe UK’s response to new national curriculum

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September 18, 2013

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Mark A’Bear, UK Education Manager, Adobe UK responds to the publication of the new national curriculum for computing which aims to teach children between the age of five and 16 to code

“Adobe welcomes the government’s publication of the new national curriculum for computing, which aims to teach children between the age of five and 16 how to code.  This is a positive move that will not only help to increase student engagement, but also provide young people with the digital creativity skills needed in today’s workplace.

Our own research tells us 67%* of educators across the UK believe that creativity in education is vital to fuel the economies of the future, yet despite this 65% of teachers believe they can be doing more to teach this affectively, with 61% saying they feel the current education system is stifling them. Furthermore, 69% of teachers pinpoint having access to more tools and techniques as being the number one way they can teach creativity more effectively, further highlighting the need for schools to invest in the latest technologies to help support their staff.

We work with schools, such as Chalfonts Community College in which technology and digital skills such as coding plays a central role in helping to drive creativity in its students. For example, they rewrote the traditional art specification to include digital media – from animation, digital imaging, film game making – to help students learn creative skills which influence their approach across the curriculum. Through learning complex digital skills such as coding, they not only saw an increase of attainment increase, but an increase of student engagement too, in particular with previously disengaged boys.

The government review of the computing curriculum is certainly a step in the right direction towards creating a more creative learning environment, but the next step will be ensuring students are given the right industry standard tools to work with.  It’s therefore up to institutions to increase student access to technology, which will in turn give them a freer rein to express their creative talents.”

*Taken from Adobe’s ‘State of Creativity in Education’ report

State of Creativity in Education: Teachers Call for an Overhaul of Creative Education Across The Curriculum

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September 12, 2013

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Hot off the press! We’ve just released our State of Creativity report, which reveals that 67% of teachers and lecturers in the UK believe that creativity in education is vital to fuel the economies of the future, yet believe the current curriculum is hindering them from fostering creativity in education.

It shows that 68% believe in order to teach creativity well, there needs to be a transformation in the way institutions across the country work, with 61% stating that creativity is ‘stifled’ by the current education system. When asked to name the most important step to addressing this 69% of educators said they need more tools and techniques to teach creativity.

As a result, we are calling on decision makers within schools and universities to invest in the latest technologies to help support their staff and meet the growing expectations of parents.  Click on the infographic below to view all the key findings in detail:

Infographic

A-Level results; the National Student Survey; what does it mean for higher education?

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August 15, 2013

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Mark A’Bear, UK Education Manager discusses the need for institutions to provide good value for money on the back of this week’s A-Level results and National Student Survey

Today thousands of students across the UK receive their A- Level results, with a record numbers going through the clearing process to get their place at university.

However, while Universities may have filled places for the next academic year, the hard work has only just begun. With students now paying up to £9,000 a year in tuition fees, their expectations are understandably higher, so retaining students is now just as important as attracting them in the first place.

Interestingly, the National Student Survey results were also out this week, which showed that whilst universities are moving in the right direction, more needs to be done to ensure that students are getting value for money.  Our own Digital Campus 2013 data echoed this sentiment, as it revealed that for 55% of the 2012/13 student intake, university didn’t live up to their expectations, with a lack of suitable libraries and technology named the main reasons why. It also showed a worrying gap between the ICT provision students expected to have before they started their course, and what they actually got. 82% expected their university to go above and beyond a basic technology provision (internet, email and basic programmes) – but only half actually got that.

Students also had concerns over how employable they will be when they graduate, with a  third (33%) admitting they don’t feel their university is equipped to help them get a job and almost a half (49%) saying they didn’t think their chosen institution had good enough links with business. This comes at a time when 96% of students identified ‘increasing their chances of employment’ as the number one reason behind their decision to go to university in the first place.

It’s worrying that there are still many students who only have access to basic tools and technology and aren’t confident that the money they are spending on their education will result in a job. I’m therefore calling on institutions currently going through the clearing process to use this as a wake-up call and provide students with the digital tools needed to help them succeed in today’s tech-driven workplace – or risk leaving them sorely disappointed.

At Adobe we are supporting institutions in providing their students with the latest industry standard technology to help meet their increasing digital demands. We now provide nearly 50% of all Universities and FE Colleges with site-wide access to the latest industry standard creative tools that help students increase their employability. The three year Eduserv Adobe ELA Framework Agreement extends student access to Adobe technology across the entire campus, as well as on staff computers and we estimate that 1.5 million UK students, will have access to Adobe’s industry standard creative tools from September.

Your chance to earn an Adobe Education Trainer credential this summer

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July 18, 2013

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If you’ve got experience teaching digital media to your students using Adobe tools such as Photoshop, and you’re keen to impart your knowledge and train your colleagues to do the same, then listen up. Because we’re giving you the opportunity to participate in our free Train the Trainer online course and to earn an Adobe Education Trainer credential this summer.

This free online course launches on 21st July 2013 on the Adobe Education Exchange and runs over ten weeks until 15 September 2013 – at the end of which you’ll be qualified to train your fellow teachers or lecturers on the best way to use Adobe’s creative tools in their own lessons.

Anyone who successfully completes the course requirements will not only earn a digital Adobe Education Trainer credential, you’ll also get to enjoy a tonne of other benefits;

  •  Access to an exclusive Adobe Professional Development Toolkit that can be used to design and deliver customised training to schools, colleges and universities around the world
  • An invitation to join an exclusive professional learning community of Adobe Education Trainers worldwide
  • Inclusion of your name and contact information in an online global database of Adobe Education Trainers
  • An invitation to participate in further training-for-trainers and professional learning activities designed specifically for Adobe Education Trainers
  • Use of an “Adobe Education Trainer” digital credential to market your services

The Adobe Train the Trainer course takes place from July 21st – 15th September 2013. To get started, click here to register and enroll.

Adobe’s response to new vocational courses

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July 05, 2013

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Mark A’Bear, UK Education Manager, Adobe UK responds to the news that the Government plans to introduce a raft of new vocational courses from 2016:

“Yesterday’s announcement by the education secretary is a positive step forward that will support young people in developing real-world skills they will later need in the workplace. The question I would raise, is whether these mooted vocational courses extend to design and creative subjects, such as gaming and web development.

Education changes lives, and providing students with vocational skills that are valued by those in industry enables both businesses and young people to fulfil their potential. Historically, education has been far too focussed on raw academic qualifications. Education shouldn’t be about being able to tick a certain box – it should instead be about the underlying skills that having a certain qualification demonstrates.

Should today’s proposals omit design and the wider creative arts, it would be an opportunity missed and could threaten the future success of the UK’s creative industries, which currently constitute one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country. The UK is renowned for its creativity thanks to its successes in fashion, art, design, film, food and music, and as such, it is imperative that we ensure creativity and design are an integral part of these planned vocational qualifications.”

At Adobe, we’ve been doing our bit to support vocational learning, most recently by offering young people the opportunity to gain practical technology and creativity skills, as well as learn about the world of gaming and design, through our Adobe Generation online courses. In addition, we have been extending student access to Adobe technology and helping institutions meet students’ increasing demand for access to the latest technology, through the Eduserv Adobe ELA Framework Agreement. This three year license agreement will enable Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) institutions to deploy the latest version of Adobe’s Creative Suite across the entire campus, as well as on staff computers, for the first time.

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