Teaching with Modern Tools to Prepare the Next Gen Web Designers and Developers

This week at Adobe’s Create the Web event, we unveiled a new set of innovations called Adobe Edge Tools & Services. We think these announcements are really exciting for students who want to learn how to build killer apps and experiences for iOS, Android, Windows, WebOS, Blackberry and for the full range of today’s modern Web browsers. Importantly, Adobe is making this free to students and education institutions around the world.

One of the most important tools is Adobe Edge Animate 1.0, which lets students easily create Web animations and interactive experiences. Built from the ground up using modern Web technologies, we think this is a terrific tool to help students learn the fundamentals of interactive design and animation across devices. It’s easy to use, so students can quickly go from “sketch-to-prototype” using the modern standards and approaches used by commercial design firms. And it allows you to create some really stunning experiences. A great example of this new modern Web is the site for the “Paranorman” movie, which looks awesome across both tablet as well as a browser.

The announcements this week also underscore our commitment to open standards, and the modern Web. We outlined a number of contributions made to the Web platform in cooperation with the standards and open source communities. From layout and foundational graphics to amazing cinematic effects (check out the CSS Custom Filters in Chrome Canary), we are focused on making the Web a more expressive platform overall.

There’s a great deal of excitement in the education community around these announcements:

“Teaching complex subjects such as animation, interactivity, and responsive design has been difficult for a number of reasons; primary among these are the amount of prerequisite knowledge required to even approach these activities, and the sheer amount of unaided time and effort required. What Adobe is now doing with the Edge Tools and Services is astounding because they are introducing tools which address both of these issues. This allows the instructor to teach concepts and techniques using tangible assets and the student to freely express their vision in a much more direct and familiar way. In terms of emerging web technologies: Adobe has thrown open the doors to a renaissance!” Joseph Labrecque, Senior Interactive Software Engineer, Adjunct Professor, University of Denver

“Reflow is going to be a huge teaching tool when it comes to Responsive Web Design. I am also looking forward to playing with the Edge apps and discovering how they integrate with each other and the Creative Cloud apps in the context of workflow. This looks like it is going to be fun to discover…and then teach.” Tom Green, Professor of interactive Multimedia, Humber Institute of Technology

“As HTML5 continues to provide web designers new opportunities to create more complex web projects using animation, responsive layouts, and web fonts, Adobe has created Edge Tools and Services to make some of these complex techniques easier. Both designers, and especially students, can quickly get the opportunity to become familiar with these new tools and find how easily they enhance their web projects, especially with Adobe providing most of these tools for free. These new tools will allow designers the opportunity to become more efficient and effective in producing better quality web work for today’s changing web environment.” Matthew Leach, Director & Author, Adjunct Professor, Colorado Technical University, The Art Institute of Colorado, Westwood College, SUNY, International Academy of Design and Technology, Author for Wynn Press

“Rather than attempting to make one big super tool, Adobe is making smaller focused tools for specific tasks. This will allow folks to use the tooling where they are helpful, but not require a complete rethinking of how you are comfortable working today.” Jason Madsen, Department Chair, Full Sail Univeristy

Again, to make it easier for educators to introduce these modern tools into the classroom, Adobe is offering Edge tools and services for free for students, educators and education institutions. All of the Edge Tools and Services are of course part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. You can learn more about these announcements here. How would you use these tools in the classroom? Drop us a note in the comments section or follow us on Twitter.



  1. Pooja Prasad


    You can create animated web content using Edge Animate without the need to work directly with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript directly; however, a basic understanding of these web technologies is highly recommended. Also, note that you can extend your content further through the use of the Edge Animate JavaScript API, which requires some familiarity with JavaScript and jQuery. Everything that Edge Animate edits is created and stored in external JavaScript and CSS files, which do comply with web standards.

  2. Karen Beggs

    The adobe Edge Animate 1.0 tool looks like a great tool to hlep students learrn fundamentals of design.This tool woulld be great for students interested in Graphic Arts. The examples show work done by Graphic designers and introduces them to that career. I like that it is free for students and educators.

  3. Peter Rispin

    Where do I find more information about how to use Adobe Edge for free in my classroom? I’d like to find details about how to install it on my students’ computers, whether they’ll also need Creative Cloud memberships, what kind of licensing (if any) I’ll need to sign up for, etc. Thanks!

  4. Pooja Prasad

    Hi Peter,

    You can download the free Creative Cloud membership here: http://html.adobe.com/edge/. Each student will have to sign up individually. There is no need for a licensing agreement.

    Also, Adobe Education Exchange (http://edexchange.adobe.com/pages/home), a free hub of information for educators, houses Edge tutorials on the CS6 resources page under HTML5 animation section, towards the bottom of the page: http://www.adobe.com/go/cs6onaee.

    Hope that helps!

  5. kevin

    How would this work in an open lab environment if the instal is tied to an Adobe ID. Is there a downloadable, stand-alone installer or does it need to be installed from the web?

  6. Pooja Prasad

    Hi Kevin,

    You can now order educational licenses of Edge Animate 1.0.1 via you school’s Adobe sales representative. If you don’t have a rep or are not sure who it is, you can also search for a reseller: http://adobedealreg.force.com/PartnerSearch?lang=en

    Just like for end users, Edge Animate 1.0.1 is free for educational institutions. After completing the licensing paperwork, you will be able to log into licensing.adobe.com to download standalone installers for Edge Animate, which you can then deploy to your lab machines.

    Hope that helps!

  7. Toby Yorke

    Most of my graphics guys use Photoshop, but it doesn’t come cheap.
    Would I be right in saying though with a cloud based option upgrades will be more economical?

Jon Perera

As vice president of product management for the Adobe Document Cloud, Jon Perera leads the company's strategy and roadmap for the PDF portfolio of Adobe – this includes Reader, Acrobat DC, and the SaaS offers across both consumer and enterprise segments. He also leads customer success for the enterprise e-sign services. He previously led the Adobe Education business, the company's largest vertical. Across more than twenty years in the software industry, Perera has held a variety of marketing, technical and field positions. He joined Adobe from Microsoft, where he last held the position of general manager of the company’s Academic Programs group. He also served as general manager of business operations for Microsoft’s international headquarters in Paris, France. He was one of the company’s first product managers on Windows NT, which led to innovations including Active Directory, .NET, and more; and he led the go to market for Microsoft’s middleware strategy across SQL Server, .NET, and Visual Studio. Perera has also served on the board of the Technology Access Foundation, which is working to help children of color in public schools become college-ready for the STEM-related fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. He holds a bachelors degree in Literature from Wesleyan University.

Jon Perera