Spending Review: Where did the Axe fall?

Where did the spending review Axe fall as far as Education is concerned? All the spending review details published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies can be found at:


For Education specifically, here are the details:

Graduates and Universities:

Under proposals released today by the Browne Review of higher education funding and student finance, graduates would expect to pay on average at least £5,300 more for their degree, according to analysis by IFS researchers. However, the lowest-earning graduates would be protected from the burden of increased debt and would actually pay less than under the current system.

Despite the proposed increase in tuition fees to £6,000 or above, universities would not be likely to see any benefit: they would need to charge fees of £7,000 or more in order to recoup their losses from proposed cuts in public funding. The real winner of the proposed reforms is the Exchequer, which would save up to £6,000 on the cost of a degree for each student. 

Download full version (PDF 428 KB)

A Progressive Graduate Tax?

Lord Browne’s recommendations for higher education funding have provoked controversy. The potential sharp increase in tuition fees has grabbed the headlines, but another proposed measure has also received considerable attention: increasing the interest rate on student loans to 2.2% above RPI inflation. There have also been criticisms of the review’s alleged lack of focus on the potential for a graduate tax. In this Observation, we explore both issues in some detail.

Full article at: http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/5307

Pupil Premium:

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg confirmed that the Government will introduce a ‘pupil premium’ in England. This will provide extra money to state schools for each pupil from a disadvantaged background.The Department for Education is currently consulting on the design of this pupil premium, and today IFS researchers publish their response to the consultation. Its two key conclusions are that:

  • Overall, it would be broadly ‘progressive’ in the sense that the average percentage increase in funding would be greater for schools that are more deprived;
  • But schools in more deprived areas would, under the proposed model, receive a smaller pupil premium than similarly-deprived schools in more affluent areas.

Luke Sibieta, a co-author of the report and a senior research economist at IFS, said:”The pupil premium proposed by the Government would be broadly progressive since more deprived schools have many more pupils who would attract additional funding. That the pupil premium should be higher in less deprived areas is hard to justify: it would widen inequalities in funding for deprived pupils, rather than reduce them. Attaching the same pupil premium to all disadvantaged pupils regardless of where they live would not only be simpler, it would also be more consistent with the Government’s stated objectives.”Download full version (PDF 824 KB)

Creativity in the Classroom

On Friday 15th October Adobe released a new research report which reveals the high value placed on creativity skills – such as creative thinking or the ability to present information in a creative and compelling way* – in school leavers by UK employers and University lecturers. Three quarters (77%) of those surveyed cite creativity as an essential or important skill, in addition to core skills such as numeracy and literacy.

Despite this, the research shows there is little evidence of it in students applying for jobs or University placements. 52% of University lecturers claim the majority of prospective undergraduates they interview do not demonstrate strong creativity skills, with one in five (20%) claiming just a few students can demonstrate this skill. This trend is even more pronounced in the workplace where the majority (74%) of employers say that ‘less than half’ the people they interview display these skills. Alarmingly, only 4% of employers and 10% of lecturers feel they see strong creativity displayed in all candidates.

Call to Action

Download the “Creativity in the Classroom” report from: www.adobe.com/go/creativity

Liz Wilkins, Senior Leader, Adobe Education UK comments: “Wedneday’s Spending Review revealed that whilst direct funding to schools will be protected, there will be a knock-on effect from the loss of key educational initiatives, such as Creative Partnerships which fosters long-term partnerships between schools and creative professionals. Initiatives such has this are likely to impact on creativity in learning. This is worrying when recent research from Adobe shows 77% of UK employers and University lecturers place high value on creativity in school leavers.

“Technology, when used effectively, will need to play an increasingly central role in helping schools to drive creativity, whilst also saving costs. For example, we work with schools who use online collaboration tools to bring experts such as painters or photographers into the classroom virtually, thereby removing the need to pay for travel costs or time. This same technology was used earlier this year to hold virtual lessons for children when the schools were closed due to the snow and other schools are using technology to host virtual assemblies.
Now is the time for schools to review their ICT provision to ensure they’re making the most effective use of it, to avoid being left behind in years to come.”


Announcing: Project ROME for Education

Note: This is a US Trial only at the present time

Introducing the Public Preview of Project ROME, a Content Creation and Publishing Tool for Virtually Anyone

Posted by John Loiacono, SVP and GM, Digital Media Solutions Business Unit on October 23, 2010 9:01 PM in Creative Professionals

More of you want to use the power of digital media to express your ideas. You might want to create an interactive report complete with video and music, spice up presentations with animation and interactivity, craft a visual email with self-created graphics, or design and publish your first website for the world to see. But, you don’t know where to start.

Today, we’re excited to offer a first look into Project ROME, an all-in-one content creation and publishing application for use at home, work or school*. It is intended for virtually anyone who wants to add the power of video, audio, photos, graphics, text or animation into everyday projects — from printed materials and presentations to digital documents and websites. You can go from start-to-finish all in one simple, creative environment. And you can work on your files from virtually anywhere because Project ROME works as a desktop application or browser-based service.

Our goal is to make Project ROME so intuitive and fluid, that the technology doesn’t get in your way of expressing ideas with video, audio, photos, graphics, text and animation. The interface is clean and simple, yet powerful. Underneath is Adobe’s industry-standard technology at work but engineered in a way so that you can quickly and easily begin to use it. Project ROME is for those of us who aren’t professional designers, but want to express our ideas in a more powerful way using digital content.

For work, try creating a multimedia report or presentation to deliver your message with impact. How about creating your first family website with graphics, photos, sound, video and animation? Then, collaborate and share your projects with colleagues, clients, friends and family with Adobe® Acrobat.com or Google® Apps, or via social engines such as Twitter® and Facebook®.

Adobe is offering Project ROME as a free preview – a public beta. We invite you to check it out at http://rome.adobe.com.  We’re excited to get your input, so please tell us what you think.

For teachers, we made a special version for you to try – Project ROME for Education. It’s meant to help you enhance the learning experience and teach students how to communicate and express ideas and information in far more engaging ways.

You and your students can use Project ROME for Education individually or in a collaborative environment, sharing files through integrated services like Google® Apps or Moodle®, a learning management system – inside or outside the classroom. Project ROME for Education supports safe, secure use of content, which is particularly important in K12 student environments.

Please sign up to participate in a pilot of Project ROME for Education at http://rome.adobe.com/education.  We are excited to partner with large schools, districts and institutions to help your students realize critical 21st century skills.

Let’s remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Help us make Project ROME work for you. Show us what you can do.

* For K-12 student or classroom use, please use ‘Project ROME for Education’ – a separate offering designed for schools.

This is a U.S., English limited trial at the present time. 

Project ROME – http://rome.adobe.com

Project ROME for Education – http://rome.adobe.com/education

Also, follow @AdobeEdu and @ProjectROME for more updates (if you are not already), ‘Like’ the Project ROME’s Facebook page, and check out the YouTube Channel.



Introducing #ProjectROME for #Education http://bit.ly/ProjectROMEEdu. Check out what you can do on YouTube http://youtu.be/I76Lfe5KkM0 #edtech #K12

New Digital Publishing Suite

New Viewer Technologies and Hosted Services Revolutionize the Creation and Deployment of Publications Across Desktops, Tablet Devices and Mobile Marketplaces

Oct. 25, 2010 At MAX, Adobe’s annual worldwide conference, Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the Adobe® Digital Publishing Suite, providing publishers a set of turnkey hosted services and viewer technology to create, publish, optimize and sell digital content direct to consumers, through content retailers or leading mobile marketplaces.  Built on the foundation of Adobe Creative Suite® and Adobe InDesign® CS5 software, the Digital Publishing Suite enables the design and delivery of innovative publisher-branded reading experiences, paired with flexible commerce models and support for deep analytics reporting.

Using InDesign CS5, PDF, HTML5 and the Digital Publishing Suite, publishers will be able to efficiently author both fixed and adaptive layouts, natively build new levels of interactivity directly in InDesign, distribute and monetize their digital editions, and optimize their editorial and advertising content for a complete end-to-end digital publishing workflow.

“The publishing industry is reinventing itself and a new era of editorial and advertising innovation is upon us as publishers target new mobile hardware platforms,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager for Creative and Interactive Solutions, Adobe. “By leveraging the InDesign CS5 workflow and the services of the Digital Publishing Suite, professional publishers can design and commercialize a new class of innovative digital magazines to create a richer and more dynamic reading experience that will attract high-value subscribers and advertisers.”

Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch will officially unveil the Digital Publishing Suite during his Adobe MAX 2010 keynote today at 9:30 a.m. PT. Sign up for live streaming of the keynotes on the MAX 2010 website at http://www.max.adobe.com/online.

The Digital Publishing Suite includes enterprise-level services and viewer technology:

  • The Digital Publishing Suite will support the Adobe Content Viewer for Adobe AIR® and iOS that can be fully publisher-branded to support immersive reading experiences on tablet devices, such as the Blackberry PlayBook, Samsung Galaxy, Apple iPad and the many Android-based devices expected to come to market soon. Minimal chrome, innovative navigation features such as the zoomed out “browse mode” and dual-axis navigation allow readers to engage with content in new and exciting ways.
  • Production Service: Upload articles directly from InDesign CS5 into an intuitive hosted service in which publishers can collaborate on design, assemble final content in the correct order, add issue and article metadata and preview the complete issue as it will appear in final published form on the desktop and tablet devices. The Production Service will support a range of file formats, including PDF and HTML5.     
  • Distribution Service: Securely store, host and distribute digital content across leading tablet devices and desktops for broad reach and audience access. Publishers can manage content available for fulfillment from within a library content dashboard, including publication metadata and archival as well as seamlessly notify readers within the Content Viewer when a new magazine issue is available for purchase or download.
  • E-commerce Service: Leverage flexible payment and merchandising models with the ability to monetize content directly, through retailer platforms or leading mobile marketplaces such as the Blackberry App World, Android Market, Google Apps Marketplace or Apple App Store. Publishers can create high-value merchandising programs such as print and digital content bundles and enable readers to seamlessly purchase content directly from within the magazine application on their device. Direct publisher e-commerce support for interoperability will allow readers to purchase content once and read it on their desktop or tablet devices.
  • Analytics Service: Gain valuable customer insights to better optimize editorial content and drive higher advertising monetization using best‐of‐class online analytics from Adobe SiteCatalyst®, powered by Omniture. Publishers can access prebuilt dashboards directly from within the hosted publishing workflow to view key advertising and subscriber data including total ad views, issue download and purchase metrics and engagement with interactive content such as video. Valuable viewer-profile analytics can supplement traditional offline point-of‐sale (POS) data to build a more comprehensive understanding of an individual subscriber. Drill-down reporting and analytics are available through a separate Adobe SiteCatalyst subscription. Additional dashboard and reports can be custom tailored to meet a publisher’s unique business goals.

Additional information about the Digital Publishing Suite is available at http://adobe.com/digitalpublishing and on the Digital Publishing blog at http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalpublishing. Follow the team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/adobedigitalpub.

Pricing and Availability
The Digital Publishing Suite is expected to be available in Q2 2011 and offers both a Professional and Enterprise Edition. Pricing for the Professional Edition is expected to be US$699 per month plus a per-issue fee, which scales with publisher volume. The Professional Edition price allows publishers to access the Digital Publishing Suite and create applications for all of their titles and publications. The Enterprise Edition is a custom, multi-year platform agreement that includes access to APIs for integration of back-end publishing services such as subscription management, print fulfillment and e-commerce. Adobe also offers professional services to support enterprise level custom engagements.

Professional publishers that would like to deploy and sell commercial applications prior to general availability of the Digital Publishing Suite are invited to join the Adobe Digital Magazine Publishing Prerelease Program at http://www.adobe.com/beta.

A preview release of the add-on digital publishing technologies for InDesign CS5 is available on Adobe Labs at http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/digitalpublishing.