How are people spreading joy at home? Our #AdobeLife at Home series is all about highlighting how our community of passionate employees are doing just that. Through this series, we’ll be featuring Adobe employees who want to teach our readers new skills—from emotional wellbeing tips to creative online classes. Here’s how they’re spreading joy.
As someone who claims to “eat, sleep, and dream about education,” Tanya Avrith is through and through a teacher. As an Education Evangelist on the Adobe for Education team, Tanya has been leading an online class all about teaching kids digital and creative literacy. Currently only open for the children of Adobe employees, the Adobe Creative Classroom webinar is hosted twice a week and is designed to help kids use technology in creative and compelling ways.
We chatted with Tanya to learn a little more about her class, her passion for education, and her advice for teaching kids. Plus, she’s made her digital literacy curriculum open for readers who want to take advantage of it!
Thanks for taking the time to chat, Tanya. First off, what is an Education Evangelist?
I’m part of the Adobe for Education team, which is all about looking at ways Adobe services and tools play in the future of communication and storytelling for children and schools. The Creative Classroom is actually just a small and new part of my job. Usually I’m helping districts plan and execute large scale deployments and professional development plans around ways schools can use technology as a tool for learning
What initially sparked your passion for education?
I’m a very passionate teacher and educator. It’s not a job, it’s a calling! It’s true when I say I eat, sleep and dream about education! At the heart of it all, I’m an advocate for students and I want to do what’s best for kids. I grew up with an aunt who had special needs, and I think since then I’ve always wanted to advocate for children and for those who don’t always have the ability to speak for themselves.
Can you tell me about the Adobe Creative Classroom? What is digital literacy and why is it important?
Digital Literacy is the ability to find, use, evaluate and create with a variety of digital tools to express ideas responsibly and ethically. Our Adobe Creative Classroom aims to teach kids that creativity is a skill that they can develop by learning to create with purpose, use methods and processes to generate new ideas, create with a variety of media and reflect and understand creative work.
It’s a live online webinar that we’re hosting internally for the children of our Adobe employees. We’re treating it like a beta test and eventually lessons can be shared with a wider audience of Adobe Creative Educators, students and families. For now, you can access the curriculum here for your own use!
It’s a group effort that’s all led by the Adobe for Education team. Although I’m hosting the sessions, we have a group of moderators that are interacting with the kids, and we also have people who are taking feedback from kids using Adobe Spark, and sending it to the product team. It’s been serving so many purposes—it gives us an opportunity to serve our community in a time where we don’t have too many options for kids.
What advice do you have for parents who have to juggle other priorities and finding time to homeschool their kids?
My opinion has evolved while I’ve had my kids home. As an educator, when my kids started to stay home, I thought I was going to be a super woman—I was going to put together an amazing program and everything! Three days later, after all the screaming in my house ended, I realized that these were my kids, not my students. I realized that their wellbeing is more valuable than learning multiplication.
And that’s my best piece of advice right now. Realize that your kids’ wellbeing is a priority, not their schoolwork—and this is coming from an educator! They may not have the most rigorous curriculum right now, but they have a chance to learn new skills they’ve always been curious about. We’ve been utilizing YouTube, games like Minecraft, and of course Adobe Spark!
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