Guest blogger: Andrew Field, Neale Wade Community College

The @AdobeUK Team

March 22, 2012

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I have always been a firm believer that students should be encouraged to be as creative as possible and know that using digital tools in the classroom is a sure fire way to stimulate this in a fun and engaging way.  At Neale-Wade Community College we teach digital creativity skills from animation, to image manipulation to web and games design and the results have been truly stunning.

 A product which I am hugely passionate about teaching is industry-standard animation software Adobe Flash.  Not just because it enables students to create some great animation, but also because of how engaged they are in it and the creative potential it allows them to explore. I have seen students become enthusiastic and excited about ICT who previously didn’t give it a second thought and the great news for us as a school is that our ICT grades have really improved as a result!

 One way I encourage creativity in my classes is to set a brief which is open-ended, so students can experiment with the tools and techniques and take it in any direction they want.  For example one project I have set at GCSE level is to design a 30 second pizza advert using animation, sound and graphics. The brief was deliberately vague, which really paid off as the adverts produced were all individual in style and incredibly creative – I may be biased, but I honestly believe they could easily be the product of a world class advertising agency!

 I would urge any teacher keen to explore iOS, Android and desktop app and computing development to focus time and energy on Adobe Flash... To hear more about how you can use Flash to enliven the school curriculum and see some practical examples of what we’ve done at my school watch this short presentation: http://eseminars.emea.acrobat.com/p88305918/

School ICT to be replaced by Computer Science programme

The @AdobeUK Team

January 11, 2012

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Adobe welcomes today’s announcement from Michael Gove, the education secretary that traditional ICT lessons will be replaced by lessons in computer science and programming. It is a positive move that will not only increase student engagement but also support the development of creative skills required by today’s employers.

Technological change continues at an exponential rate and every school pupil today has grown up with PCs and technology around them, unaware that a world before the internet ever existed. Traditional ICT classes, often run in isolation to the rest of the syllabus, no longer meet the needs of our young people, having stifled creativity and held back pupil progress.

We welcome the fresh approach to ICT. To have a real impact, schools must make technology integral to each and every part of the curriculum, incorporating it across the syllabus rather than treating it as a discrete subject. With the right framework and support from teachers, this approach has the potential to transform lessons by encouraging creativity and a deeper level of pupil engagement. Students will benefit from developing industry standard skills in preparation for University and the world of work.

And this is already happening. Through my role as education marketing manager at Adobe, I have seen many of the schools I work with succeed in increasing student engagement, attainment and employability, for example creating 2D animations in art, interactive web content in History classes, or using video editing and production software to create films in Media Studies.

To deliver this in the classroom, teachers need training and support. To help with this, we recently launched the Adobe Education Exchange, an online community which hosts a range of free, teacher-generated teaching and learning resources, developed by educators from around the world who are already integrating technology in the classroom with great success.

This proposed change to the curriculum is essential  if we are to prepare our young people for the world of work by taking a more creative approach to learning and teaching, making full use of today’s wealth of available technologies.

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