Results tagged “Creativity”

Hard Work Pays Off

Ceballos_1st post_photoAlvaro Ceballos is an AYV Scholarships recipient from New York City. He participated in AYV at Urban Arts Partnership. Alvaro is currently studying Film at the Pratt Institute.

When I left the Dominican Republic I was a junior in high school, very close to starting college. Moving to the United States without knowing English pushed back all my dreams. I needed to start from zero as a freshman in high school again. At first I thought that I would never make it to college, but after all the sacrifices my family and I made, going to college became my priority. I went to ELLIS Preparatory Academy, a school dedicated to serving the academic and social needs of recently arrived youth like myself. Its mission is to assist its international population of students in developing their linguistic, intellectual, cultural and collaborative abilities, so that they may become part of this new culture.

From my second year until my senior year at ELLIS, I was required to do internships. It was at this point in my life when I discovered my passion for art. I interned at the Bronx Museum of the Arts (teen council), the National Museum of the American Indian, Lehman College Art Gallery, Barbara’s Flowers, and Scratch DJ Academy. My final internship was with the Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy at Urban Arts Partnerships. All of these internships helped me a lot, not only academically and socially, but also artistically. Now I am a full-time student at the Pratt Institute with the dream of becoming a film director.

The Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy helped me decide on my college career. Before going to the Academy in early senior year, I was undecided on my major. After interning at the Academy, I realized that film was something that I want to do for the rest of my life as a professional career.  Peapod Adobe Youth Voices Academy was the only place where I took film classes. I came to the Pratt Institute with knowledge of using Adobe Premiere, and it really helped me for my early assignments in my digital cinema class.

SXSWedu: Top Five Take-Aways for Creative Educators

SXSWeduLast week, over 6,000 educators, entrepreneurs and experts came to Austin, TX for the annual SXSWedu. The Adobe education team was lucky enough to attend and engage around a variety of interesting topics. We were blown away by the support for and interest in creativity in education. Here are our biggest take-aways and “aha” moments from the conference:

5. Creativity is top of mind for innovative educators. From the keynote presentations to the smaller sessions, from the parties to the Twitter back channel, creativity was a hot topic. The LAUNCHedu pitch competition invited entrepreneurs to put their creative solutions to pressing problems to the test. An interactive “playground” space invited participants to build circuits, create analog memes and test drive exciting new creative software and hardware. A session led by Columbia University Teacher’s College focused on unleashing teacher creativity through empowering them as designers. Actor Jeffrey Tambor closed out the conference with a rousing call to attendees to access their own creativity to solve the problems facing education today. A quick scan of the #createedu conversation on Twitter reveals over 603 mentions of the topic that was on the minds of many conference attendees.

4. To foster creativity in education, a transformation is needed. We loved hearing from Dale Dougherty, Erik Natzke and Chad Soleo on how to nurture creativity based on their experience in the workplace and in formal and informal education. Some highlights include:

  • Dedicate a space for students and teachers to play, to explore, to create, and to fail.
  • Teach students they don’t have to solve everything on their own. Practice leaning on community for support and inspiration.
  • Focus more on students and learning processes and less on subjects.
  • Ask students interesting and unsolved questions. Education isn’t just about learning answers but also about learning to explore the unknown.
  • Being held to a specific set of standards doesn’t mean you can’t develop creativity.
  • Support teachers in fostering creativity through professional development and institutional support for innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
  • Showcase student success beyond just test scores with portfolios and exhibitions.

3. Never underestimate the creative power of youth. Jonathan Blake Huer of Ball State University shared his exciting initiative, the Digital Corps, which puts students to work in a hands-on, youth-powered design studio. David Conover of Connally High School proudly presented his innovative game design program for at-risk youth through testimonials of four young men whose lives have been changed by the opportunity to create in the classroom. Chad Soleo of Green Dot Public Schools spoke eloquently about the need for teacher professional development to transform classroom practices that stifle creativity.

2. Roadblocks, challenges and failures are nothing more than creative opportunities. An engaging and interactive session on learning from failure, hosted by the team from Working Examples, got us started thinking about how we handle mistakes. Later, Deborah Morrison from the University of Oregon and Glenn Griffin of the University of Alabama shared their findings from a research study on how creative professionals handle failure. The answer? Creatives don’t give up in the face of staggering personal and professional challenges. Instead, they pivot, change the story and imagine new, better outcomes.

1. We all have a role to play in ensuring creativity is the future. Throughout our time at SXSWedu, we were impressed by the broad array of stakeholders who believe that creativity is a vital skill to be fostered in education. At our meet-up on Tuesday night over 100 attendees pledged to support this movement. Their commitments ranged from personal to professional and to the political. Explore the gallery here.

As SXSWedu comes to an end, we know we can’t let the conversation about creativity in education fade away. It will take more than one person, one school, or one organization to make this transformation—we need a global movement.

We ask you today to pledge your support for creativity in education by visiting http://edex.adobe.com/pledge. Together we’ll shape the future of education and unleash a new generation of creators and innovators.

Creativity in Education: A Call for Transformation

SXSWedu imageTo address tomorrow’s complex challenges, we must prepare today’s students to be creators and innovators. They must learn to take risks, to iterate, to problem-solve, and to see and explore new possibilities. Creativity isn’t just the domain for artists but is required to solve scientific problems and to fuel the economies of the future.

Schools must provide all students with opportunities to develop these abilities. This requires examining curriculum, supporting teachers, and measuring student success beyond just high stakes testing. We love to see examples of amazing teachers and schools such as the Baltimore Design School, but know there is much more to be done to prepare this generation of students.

In collaboration with education and industry partners, Adobe is working to drive awareness and to call for providing opportunities for students to develop their creative muscles. At SXSW Education next week in Austin, Texas, we will host a panel called, “Creativity in Education: A Call for Transformation.” I am excited to speak with panelists such as Dale Dougherty (Maker Media), Cristina de Jesus (Green Dot Schools), and Erik Natzke (Adobe) to discuss how to foster and inspire creativity with this generation. We hope to see you there:

  1. Join us at SXSWedu. If you are attending this year’s SXSWedu conference, please join us for a conversation with a fantastic panel of experts on Tuesday, March 4 at 3 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center Ballroom G. We’re also hosting an informal Creativity Meet Up on Tuesday, March 4th from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Hilton Austin Downtown in Room 410.
  2. Join the conversation. Attend the SXSWedu panel or Creativity Meet Up and share your thoughts and comments using the hashtag #CreateEdu.

What Poverty Teaches Us About Creativity

Photo by Sam Mohan from his "Autochthons of 16.233305/74.599995" project: http://adobe.ly/1clkgQJ.

Photo by Sam Mohan from his “Autochthons of 16.233305/74.599995″ project: http://adobe.ly/1clkgQJ.

It was a beautiful day as I slowly meandered through the alleys in one of Bangalore’s slums.  A mechanic was putting together an old motorcycle engine while the owner intently stood watch over him.  An old man was wearing a look of extreme boredom as he sat next to a mat with some refurbished toys he hoped to sell.  A small group of children were chasing each other around in bare feet as women in saris busily went this way and that carrying pales to fill with water, bags overflowing with grain and baskets containing fruit to sell.

In a strange way that moment felt almost idyllic.  I knew that virtually everyone I saw lived in abject poverty, yet they filled me with hope.  They did not seem beaten down by their circumstance, but rather appeared to have carved out a sustainable life despite it.  I felt like I was witnessing a parallel existence – one I was aware of as a young boy living in India thirty years ago and had rediscovered after reading “Creating a World Without Poverty” by Muhammad Yunus.  I already knew the next few hours would evolve my understanding of social responsibility, but I had no idea how a chance encounter with a mother and her son – who had nothing but a TV and a VCR – would change my understanding of creativity.

Read the full post on Medium here.

Is Engineering Interesting?

Randhir Singh is an AYV Scholarship recipient from Noida, India. He participated in AYV at Noida Public School. Randhir is currently studying Civil Engineering at National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra in Kurukshetra, India.

I know the Theory of Relativity and Einstein’s equations boggles even those who have chosen engineering as their career, but I made a bet that when it comes to the practical sessions and workshops, engineering would become really interesting. And this is what I found out. Want to see how? Come…

randhir singh

AYV Scholar, Randhir Singh, at work

Workshops generally give us a gist of practical information and exposure to every part of a job we do in Engineering. Here “job” is not the usual term we use in our day to day lives but refers to anything we create in workshops and during practical sessions. In my case too I got this exposure and tried my hand on various tools like the lathe machine, bench vice, and welding set to create jobs related to machine, fitting, welding, foundry etc.

Let me explain to you how interesting these shops were and what I learned from them, how I tackle my problem and the overall workshop experience and problems.

 

Welding Shoprandhir singh at work

Many of us have never even held a welder in our hands and this too was my case. I had no past experience of welding. But our instructor made it really easy for us. The main problem was that you are not supposed to look at the light coming out of it. Thank God we had our goggles and masks. But it was not enough, the Iron sheet attracted the welder many times. This was the most irritating part, but after three classes I finally got it.

 

randhir singh at work2Fitting Shop

This was probably the toughest and most laborious workshop for me. Transforming a circular hole created in a thick iron piece by using triangular files, round files, flat files etc. Rubbing, rubbing and rubbing until I got the perfect shape. No matter how much I perspired, it was still the most interesting job for me.

 

Foundry Shop

randhir singh at work3This was the easiest and dirtiest job we did and it reminded me of my childhood when I used to play with dirt. Wow… in this job we were taught to make a molding of a pattern using rectangular frame and foundry tools.

I still am learning techniques to improve my expertise in each job, the only bad thing is that this class is only once in a week.

But, guys, engineering is really interesting, and if you are keen to find logic behind every day to day happening, then you should surely adopt it as your future. Last but not the least, thanks to Adobe Youth Voices for this scholarship, which made it possible for me to start my college degree in engineering this year and learn such amazing and creative things here.

Thanks a lot!!!

 

Fractals: An Infinite Fascination

Student author: Karishma Changlani

Karishma Changlani is an AYV Scholarships recipient from Mumbai, India. She participated in Adobe Youth Voices at CLT India Bangalore. Karishma is studying Computer Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she is part of the Honors Program.

 

In March 2013, I stumbled upon a beautiful artwork: Joy by Eli Vokounova.

 photo 1

I couldn’t quite describe what I felt. It was amazement filled with “Joy.” I wanted to learn to make others feel this way with my work. So I started following this amazing artist on deviant art and came across the world of “Fractal Art”.

This medium of art helped me realize how imagination and a few techniques make someone create something completely out of this world. And how much technology can help us achieve this.

Being a Computer Science major this astounded me. I felt more in love with the human mind and its inventions.

Now, you must be wondering what is Fractal Art?

First you need to understand what fractal geometry is:

Fractal Geometry: “The geometric characterization of the simplest fractals is self-similarity: the shape is made of smaller copies of itself. The copies are similar to the whole: same shape but different size.”

Basically a fractal geometric figure is one that repeats in itself indefinitely. This video by Tara Roys gives a simple explanation of the same:

Moreover, you can see in the following images the shape (not color) repeats itself indefinitely in itself:

 

Alive by Johanna

 

Friday Night by Tatyana Zabanova

In turn, fractal art is art created using this type of geometry.  There are many types of fractal art including the famous Mandelbrot Set.

But what are the things that makes fractal art so unique is:

  1. The elegant algorithm that goes into making one.
  2. Digital medium making fractal art so fascinating.
  3. The unlimited possibilities
  4. Etc.

What I love the most is how all one needs is a computer with appropriate fractal interpreter and imagination.  In fact one could possibly create a fractal in Adobe Photoshop using Fractus and Buddhabrot.

I have made fractal art a very important part of my creative life. I intend to work on a creative project that would not only educate people about the fractal geometry but also help me express myself and my opinions in a more artistic way.

Some of my own fractal works are:

 photo4

Frozen Vines

 

Autumn Sky

 

Moonlit Nature

To check out more of me go to: http://doodler0305.deviantart.com/

Creativity In and Out of the Classroom with Adobe Youth Voices

We believe that everyone has the power to create change – including (and especially) our youth. What everyone does not have, however, are the resources they need to bring their ideas to life.

At Adobe Youth Voices (AYV), we want to change that. We want to ignite creative confidence in youth by giving them the tools they need to create compelling visual stories that move people to take action in their communities. In our evolving world of media, the use of graphics, photographs and films is pervasive. AYV youth are learning the skills they need to solve for the issues they face in their communities today and eventually in the workplace as well.

2013 AYV Awards winning graphics

2013 AYV Awards winning graphics

Helping these students and seeing them grow is what inspires me to come to work every day. Amanda Tomchick fromSeattle, WA believes that the program changed her life. Alumni Zach James is now an intern with Butchershop Pro in San Francisco after working with their team at AYV Summit last year. And Kasiem Aboti Walters says that he now has the confidence he needs to perform his art in front of others.

This is exactly the type of news I love to hear, but they represent just 3 of the 33,500 students that participated in 2013. And it doesn’t stop there – more youth are submitting photo essays, music videos, and other forms of visual storytelling this year as part of the AYV Awards. Their work is amazing – take a look at some of it here and learn how to get involved.

AYV educator Claire Beach says it best in the video below: “These projects change the way [students] think about media and empower them to be better global citizens. I’m able to help youth tell visual stories about how they would solve real-world issues and prepare them for their creative future.”

We’re so inspired by what these students have already accomplished and can’t wait to see what they come up with this year. To the Amandas, Zachs, and Kasiems of the world – keep at it. We’re behind you all the way.

Adobe Education Exchange – 2013 in Review

AEE in Review2013 was an exciting year on the Adobe Education Exchange. The highlight was watching you engage with each other, share mind-blowing content, and exhibit your power as a creative force within Education. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than to share top trends, themes, and highlights from the past year. As we reflect on a wonderful 2013, let’s make 2014 even better!

Creativity

Like no other theme, creativity captivated AEE members this year. Sparked by the need for creative ideas to solve global challenges, you showed you’re up to the task of preparing students to meet these challenges. You flocked to our Creativity in Today’s Classroom workshop series and digital creativity courses. You discussed how to promote creativity in classrooms and how to teach creative thinking. Thank you for all the creative teaching ideas and we look forward to more on this topic in 2014.

Professional Development Launch

In February, we launched a new Professional Development portal with twenty self-paced workshops, three MOOCs, and a wide variety of online and in-person events. More than 19,000 of you completed a training activity including the 350 of you who finished the Train the Trainer course to become credentialed Adobe Education Trainers. The momentum is building so expect expanded opportunities in 2014.

Technology Integration

You continued to share ideas for integrating technology into the curriculum in 2013. Just a few of our many favorites include creating Instagram profiles for historical figures, a collaborative spoken word animation project, and combining math and 32 pictures to create an average visual of an interest. We’re excited to see the ideas you have up your sleeves in 2014. 

Gamification

From gamifying the classroom to earning points and badges on the AEE, gamification was a winning theme in 2013. You explored ways to incorporate gamification into the classroom and a group of you is collaborating on a gamified curriculum delivery system. Gamification on the AEE allowed you to showcase an impressive amount of activity. You earned more than 150,000 badges and over 1 million points in 2013!

Tablets and Smartphones

With the exponential growth of mobile devices, it’s no wonder you were interested in how they affect both the way you teach and the need-to-know design skills to respond to this trend. You discussed the best use cases for integrating devices in the classroom and wondered what Adobe software on a tablet would be like. There was also a growing interest in the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite and web tools like Muse, Edge Animate, Edge Reflow, and PhoneGap for creating device friendly content.

As we begin 2014, thanks for joining us in the mission to change the world through creativity. With each resource you find, question you ask, connection you make, or new skill you learn on the Adobe Education Exchange, you can spark ideas and creativity in others. We promise to continue to support you as you ignite creativity at your institution, colleague, or in your students.

Congratulations to the Winner of the Adobe Creativity in Education Pin to Win Sweepstakes!

EDUsweepsI am pleased to announce the winner of our creativity sweepstakes that called on educators and parents to showcase creativity in education through a Pinterest board. Megan Bonner, an educator from Downingtown, PA is the lucky winner. Her amazing board included 127 pins ranging from student’s work to inspirational imagery and quotes. You can check it out for yourself here.

To better understand her inspiration and creative process, we sat down with Megan (virtually) and asked her a few questions. Check out the interview and let us know what inspires you.

Adobe: Why is creativity important in your classroom?

Bonner: In a lot of classes, there are only right and wrong answers, leaving little room for creativity. Kids are so creative if they are given room to explore their ideas. In my computer art and ceramics classrooms, my students can be creative, think outside the box, and test out their ideas while developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. I want to see what my students are capable of and want them to develop their own viewpoints and styles.

Adobe: Where do you look for creative inspiration?

Bonner: Pinterest! It should really be called “Pinspiration” (at least for me). Pinterest is a great place to find ideas from other art teachers, see finished work, and go from there. Innovation comes from necessity. So if I see something I don’t like, an outdated or ineffective logo for example, I will turn that into a lesson where my students create a new and improved version.

Adobe: How do you inspire your students?

Bonner: I tell my graphic design students that I taught myself all of the Adobe programs that I teach (except for Flash and Dreamweaver) and didn’t have any sort of instruction. When I was in college, computer art was just starting to become popular, and I focused on more traditional art. I learned how to use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign by using books, magazines and online tutorials. I encourage my students to look for online tutorials and read magazines to find out how to do what they want to do, look for inspiration, and learn new techniques.

I also look for contests for my students. I enter my students in as many as possible to get their artwork out in the community. And even if a contest has passed, they are often a great way to find new ideas for projects.

Adobe: What advice would you give to other educator’s looking to foster creativity in their classrooms?

Talk to your students. Tailor your lessons and projects so they incorporate things that your students enjoy. Always try to find a way to bring a student’s idea to fruition.

Adobe: Any last thoughts—comments from students, tips and tricks, what’s next?

Bonner: I cannot wait to use my new laptop and Adobe Creative Cloud! I am always looking for ways to expand and build upon our graphic design course offerings, so I’m hoping that exposure to some new software can help with that. I’m very excited to use Muse! Also, I will continue to add to my Creativity in Education board on Pinterest by adding new resources and student work, so stay tuned!

Visiting 21st Century Classrooms: Lessons Learned

2 boys looking at photoI joined Adobe four months ago as an Education Advocate. My job is to focus on supporting creative teaching and learning in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Since I started, I visited 26 teachers in 25 schools and saw nearly 800 students engage with Adobe’s creative software across California and the Province of Alberta. In this blog, I want to share the top three lessons I learned from these educators and students.

1. Students are creating incredibly high-quality digital art and media

During my seven weeks on the road, I was constantly impressed by the work students were producing, their creativity and knowledge of Adobe products. For example:

  • Students at Palo Alto High School (California) design professional-quality spreads using InDesign, mirroring the style of famous artists like Ellen Lupton, Peter Max, and Saul Bass.
  • A 3rd grade teacher at Cranston Elementary School (Alberta) teaches his students Photoshop Elements and Photoshop Touch to produce a music video.
  • Edmonton Catholic School District (Alberta) holds an annual Film Festival. This year’s Best Film was so impressive, most people don’t realize that the student who made it was only 15 years old!

2. Students are passionate about creativity

We talk a lot about creativity at Adobe, but students don’t need any convincing—they already know how essential self-expression and creativity are. I met a student at New Tech High School (California) who spends all of his free time (and much of his time in school) making movies and creating digital art. At 14, he has a Flickr account with more work than many artists! Another student at Valhalla High School (El Cajon, California) works 40 hours a week during the summer creating a gamified classroom system for his teacher so that every media arts student can have a personalized, creative experience in class.

3. Students quickly learn tools that allow them to be creative

Students are passionate about creativity and they love using industry-standard tools that help them express themselves fully. In just one semester, a student can go from being a Photoshop novice to designing the school newspaper in InDesign or even getting a summer internship with a local design firm. One student from Old Scona High School (Edmonton, Alberta) told me how she learned to code when she was just 9 years old when her father got a book on coding. Nearly ten years later, she’s using Dreamweaver to build a custom website for her dad’s company and she secretly let me know that her web design skills far surpass those of her dad’s!

And this is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more stories about inspiring students and educators who are redefining creativity and ensuring that classrooms are powerful sites for creating and learning. If you have a great story to share, don’t be shy, let us know!

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