The George Washington University adopts remote access model with Adobe Anywhere
University provides media students with Adobe Creative Cloud for creativity, Adobe Anywhere for collaboration and remote access
It’s an exciting time to be a media student at the George Washington University (GW), particularly for those who enjoy working in their pajamas. In 2014, GW became the first university to deploy Adobe Anywhere in the classroom. Adobe Anywhere is a workflow platform that offers remote streaming video capability, collaborative editing functionality, and version control. The university also acquired Creative Cloud for enterprise to provide individual subscriptions for students at the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS), along with GW faculty and staff. CCAS information system analyst Randy Shore has taken a leading role in the project, and is working with Adobe to bring these powerful tools to the world of higher education.
If you are attending NAB 2015, Randy Shore will be giving a presentation entitled “George Washington University: Creative Cloud and Adobe Anywhere for Next Generation Filmmakers” in the Adobe theater on Wednesday, April 15th at 4:30 pm and Thursday, April 16th at 12:30 pm.
Adobe: Tell us about your background and what brought you to GW.
Shore: I got my BBA and M.S. from GW’s School of Business, concentrating in information systems. After I got my bachelor’s degree, I was looking in the field for IT positions. I found a position at GW that offered tuition for grad school, which was very interesting to me! I started working in the CCAS IT department in 2011. GW’s IT system uses a decentralized model; there’s a central division of IT, and each school has its own IT group. CCAS accounts for 70% of the university, and includes the School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA).
Adobe: What was the IT environment when you started?
Shore: Before I started, the CCAS IT department had just switched to an Apple Xsan and Final Cut Server, a product Apple discontinued three months later. By 2014, we were no longer using the server and were thinking about replacing the Xsan with something similar. We’d also grown our IT office and infrastructure. We’d invested in an enterprise SAN, and moved into the university’s enterprise class data center.
Adobe: What drove the move to Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Anywhere?
Shore: Last summer, we hit the three-year mark for replacing and updating our systems. Finding the right storage system was very important. For a long time, CCAS used a hard drive storage model, which is physically cumbersome and prone to issues like dead or improperly formatted drives.
Other changes were happening, too. We switched to Adobe Creative Suite in 2013. Students and faculty started asking for the new features in Premiere Pro and After Effects, so that upgrade was a no-brainer. As we talked with Adobe about Creative Cloud for enterprise for faculty, staff and students’ personal machines, I stumbled across the promo video for Adobe Anywhere.
Adobe: What benefits does Adobe Anywhere offer?
Shore: Adobe Anywhere meets and exceeds our initial need for safe storage and runs on the enterprise-grade hardware and storage we invested in. Its remote capability is moving students away from the standard lab classroom into more collaborative environments, allowing them to work whenever and wherever they like. The other success story is how Adobe has worked with GW to form the product into something that would help not just us, but all higher education institutions.
Adobe: How did you roll out the Anywhere platform?
Shore: We started with two of our Advanced courses, and have since added four more. Some courses require students to use Anywhere for all of their projects while others let students use whatever Adobe tools they want. From what we’ve seen, students choose Anywhere due to the remote functionality.
Students typically come into the lab to do their initial ingesting because of the faster internet connection. They don’t come back again until their assignment is due, just to make sure the production looks the same here at GW as it did when they were in Starbucks. I’m excited about Adobe’s work on Anywhere 3.0, which will roll out to our Intro students.
Adobe: Are media students learning and working with Creative Cloud apps while using the Anywhere server?
Shore: Students in broadcast journalism edit in Premiere Pro and prepare the piece for output, whether for GW TV or a professor. Our Intro to Digital Media class is being reorganized as separate web and video courses, which will utilize Dreamweaver and Premiere Pro, respectively. A new hybrid class of creatives is using all Creative Cloud apps, including Muse for web and tablet design.
Adobe: Are students taking advantage of the collaborative capabilities of Anywhere?
Shore: For most students, collaboration means that a production is shared between a student and a faculty member, not working in the project together. As we start introducing Anywhere into more Intro classes to get students comfortable with it, the Advanced classes will be able to start exploring the collaborative capabilities that allow two people to be in a Premiere Pro timeline simultaneously.
Adobe: What kind of feedback have you gotten about Creative Cloud and Anywhere?
Shore: Students and faculty are very happy with Creative Cloud and like having the latest and greatest updates. Many students had Creative Suite 5 or older versions on their laptops, so they now are all on the same product version and have project compatibility when sending out their work.
Some faculty worried that Anywhere might get in the way of learning and that students would be spending a lot of time understanding it. But students who know Premiere Pro don’t have to learn anything new to use Anywhere. Anywhere doesn’t get in the way of what instructors are teaching in their classes, which is huge for higher education instructors.
Workshop Adobe Anywhere video
Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise
Learn more about Adobe Anywhere