Adobe Education

News & Views from the Education team

Adobe Systems Incorporated

Archive for November, 2012

Improved Student Performance in Career and Professional Education

Like many states, Florida has taken action over the past decade to transform industrial-era “vocational education” into more robust Career and Technical Education (CTE), which integrates academic rigor, employability, and technical skills that are in demand in today’s global marketplace. As more and more schools adopt these technology-based instructions, CTE programs have been increasingly recognized as a valuable teaching method that not only engage students but better prepare them for college and career success. Based on data provided by the Florida Department of Education, a new report from Grunwald Associates LLC, takes a closer look at students who are enrolled in CTE courses involving technology. The research highlights the following positive results:

  • Students who completed at least one technology course, and took at least one industry certification exam, had significantly higher GPAs than comparable students. Florida high school students who took at least one technology course had an average GPA  of 2.92, compared to an average GPA of 2.55 for students of similar demographics who took no technology classes.
  • Students who completed at least one technology course, and took at least one industry certification exam, had significantly higher attendance rates than comparable students. On average, CTE Florida students attended 165.2 days in the 180-day school year while students who took no technology courses or exams attended 148.5 days of school. That amounts to an average of almost 17 more days—or more than three weeks!

Attendance is one way that schools gauge student engagement in learning—and increased attendance can be viewed as a necessary condition for improved GPA. For years, anecdotal evidence has been pointing to positive results when academic programs are matched with engaging career and project-based learning environments. Improved grades and daily attendance are also the key benefits of students who attend Southwest Career and Technical Academy (SWCTA) in Clark County, Nevada. No matter how you look at it, it is clear that Career and Technical Education programs are appearing to help students succeed in school and beyond. For more information and insight, check out the full Grunwald report here.

9:23 AM Permalink

Better Learning Through Game Design

Improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills for students is no longer confined to pencils, paper and flash cards. Educators today must embrace the latest technology to equip students with the skills to succeed. The World Wide Workshop’s Globaloria program takes a proactive approach to break out of the traditional education mold and help educators and students meet challenges with an innovative curriculum and social learning platform. With Globaloria, students in grades 6 through 12 learn STEM and computing knowledge through hands-on game design and programming with Adobe Creative Suite – providing students with a chance to build critical skills for college and career success with industry standard software.

“Students on the downside of the digital divide benefit greatly from the blended learning approach that this innovative initiative delivers,” says Dr. Joe Gonzales, school superintendent of East Austin College Prep Academy in Texas. “Globaloria transforms the way they engage with core curriculum, bringing STEM topics to life through game design.”

Students learn to design and program games using Adobe Flash Professional, chosen by Globaloria developers to expose participants to an industry-leading tool that is popular in the job market. At higher levels, students integrate assets created using Adobe Creative Suite, including characters designed in Adobe Photoshop, game elements created in Adobe Illustrator and effects created using Adobe Fireworks. These games are not only fun to play, but are also based on STEM-related or social issue topics. Check out a couple of these games such as House Fixers 2, where players must reduce fractions correctly before time runs out and an animated house collapses, and Tiger Savior, a safari-themed game designed to educate players about environmental threats facing tigers around the world.

“Many students who never learned to code before and who never thought of themselves as programmers are delving into coding through their use of Flash in the course of their Globaloria experience,” said Dr. Idit Harel Caperton, president and founder of the World Wide Workshop. “We have built a highly structured, yet user-friendly and playful environment for youth to take their first steps into computer science and software engineering.”

Research shows that students who participate in the Globaloria game design program gain measurable benefits in the classroom and beyond. They achieve higher test scores in core academic subjects, develop critical digital literacy skills that prepare them for success at higher levels of education and are more likely to gravitate toward STEM topics and IT as areas of educational and professional interest. To learn more about how Globaloria helps students achieve success, read the full story here. Also visit to see what else can be accomplished using Adobe Gaming technology.

10:01 AM Permalink

Announcing the Winners of the Adobe Education Exchange 2012 Educators’ Choice Awards

Congratulations to the winners of the second annual 2012 Educators’ Choice Awards! This award honors Adobe Education Exchange members who submit the most innovative teaching and learning materials. Winning entries, judged by experts in education, technology and design, were based on the learning effectiveness, innovation, creativity and the use of Adobe products. After much deliberation, the winners of the Adobe Education Exchange 2012 Educators’ Choice Awards are:

  • Primary/Secondary Education – Randy Scherer, Tagature, or Literary Graffiti. To make reviewing literary texts in preparation for standardized tests more creative, Scherer, a humanities teacher at High Tech High in San Diego, California, had his students create digital graffiti tags taken from quotes in the texts they were studying. Students used Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, and InDesign to create the tags and combine them into a coffee table – style book that the class sold through their own publishing company.

The grand prize winners received Apple MacBook Pro, one year Adobe Creative Cloud Student and Teacher Edition subscription and classroom set (30 licenses) of Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection. Runner-up winners had a choice of a Canon EOS Rebel or Apple iPad and a one year Adobe Creative Cloud Student and Teacher Edition subscription. Make sure to check out all the winning, runner-up and honorable mention entries from 2012 here.


12:10 PM Permalink

Adobe Design Achievement Awards Celebrates Student and Faculty Achievements

Please join me in congratulating this year’s Adobe Design Achievement Awards (ADAA) winners, whose talent and hard work is undeniable. I have been attending ADAA awards ceremony for the past 12 years and each time, I come back inspired and humbled by the dedication, hard work and creativity displayed by the next generation of designers. And this year was no different.

At the ceremony, design industry celebrities, such as Noreen Morioka and Mickael Kanfi of Twist Image,  and Stefan Sagmeister of Sagmeister & Walsh to name a few, presented the awards to 13 student and three faculty winners. During the festivities finalists and honorable mention recipients also had a chance to meet each other, network with industry experts, and explore the limitless possibilities of the world of design. And, as Mitchell Brien, Game Design and Development winner summed up: “The volume and range of creativity at the event was mind blowing.”  

This is a proud moment for the talented students and educators whose work was chosen from nearly 5000 entries by an international judging panel. Dan Jones, winner of the Installation Design category, remarked: “Being nominated as a finalist for ADAA 2012 filled me with great pride as it was an opportunity to have my work compared on an international level.” Another winner, Pablo Jimenez, shared his perspective that “the moment you have Stefan Sagmeister handing you a trophy, you realize it is not just an award, it is a life experience!”

On behalf of Adobe, I would like to thank our partner Icograda (International Council of Communication Design) for collaborating and co-hosting this event with us.  I’d also like to express our appreciation for the dedicated work of our judges and the support of Sean Adams and Noreen Morioka who served as the masters of ceremonies.

More information on the ADAA ceremony can be found here. All winning, finalist and honorable mention entries from 2012 can be viewed at ADAA Gallery, along with entries from prior years. There’s also a digital program guide that I hope you’ll check out.  It was created using Adobe Digital Publishing Single Edition (which is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud) and can be downloaded by iPad users.  Search for the application on the Apple App Store with the keyword: ADAA12. Enjoy!


8:55 AM Permalink

Creativity Should Be Taught Like Math or Science

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Around the world, educators are fostering creative thinking with their students. We see this every day across both K-12 and higher education in compelling, engaging ways. I remember a 4th grade reading class that I attended where the teacher read aloud to students while sitting around a “virtual campfire” she’d created with iMovie – the students loved it. At the same time, we hear a lot about a growing emphasis on, “teaching to the test” that can sometimes result in a decreased focus on creativity – we think this is a huge problem for our students and for the global economy. College-educated professionals agree. I wanted to share newly-released results of what more than 1000 college graduates say about the importance of creativity in education.

According to Creativity and Education: Why it Matters, a study* produced by research firm Edelman Berland, 88% of the U.S. professionals surveyed believe that creativity should be built into standard curricula. While 78% say it is important in their career, 32% don’t feel comfortable thinking creatively in their work, and a large majority (78%) wishes they had more creative ability.

Furthermore, 85% percent of respondents agree creative thinking is critical for problem solving in their career, and 68% of respondents believe creativity is a skill that can be learned. Nearly three-quarters (71%) say creative thinking should be “taught as a course – like math or science.”  

What this study is telling us is that we need to empower educators and raise the importance of teaching creativity as a critical competency across all disciplines. This will drive the global economy and the career success of the next generation. Now is the time to embrace creativity as a critical skill as opposed to a “nice to have.”

Please take a look at the survey data and share your thoughts with us. Additional information available through:


*About the “Creativity and Education: Why it Matters” Study: The data points referenced above come from a study commissioned by Adobe, produced by research firm Edelman Berland and conducted as an online survey among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Americans, ages 25+ who are college-educated and full-time salaried employees. Interviewing took place from October 17 – 19, 2012. The margin of error is +/-3.1%.


9:11 PM Permalink

A Busy Week Ahead: Adobe Education Heads to EDUCAUSE 2012 and Adobe Design Achievement Awards

Are you one of the 4000+ education professionals headed to Denver for EDUCAUSE 2012? If you are, I hope you’ll stop by Adobe’s booth — #701 – to join our presentations on IT deployment tools for Adobe Creative Suite 6, cross campus use cases, web analytics, digital publishing ideas for your campus, and much more. By visiting our booth Nov. 5-9, you’ll also have a chance to enter the Adobe Twitter challenge. All you have to do is watch a presentation, shoot a photo, tweet the photo, and you will be entered to win an Apple iPad (please see sweepstakes rules). And that’s not all: for every tweet, Adobe will donate $100 to the Kuali Foundation*, a non-profit organization that provides software for higher education institutions.

From Denver, the Adobe Education team will journey to Toronto, Canada, where we’ll announce the winners of our 12th annual Adobe Design Achievement Awards (ADAA). We’ll be  holding a special ceremony on November 9 at 5:00 p.m. ET as part of the DesignThinkers 2012 conference, with distinguished designers Sean Adams and Noreen Morioka serving as the Masters of Ceremonies. A total of 41 student and teacher finalists from all over the world are coming together to be recognized for their originality, educational innovation and skill in applying Adobe products. For those of you who can’t attend in person, the ceremony will be streamed live. Register to attend here.

We are so proud of the student and faculty achievements and feel privileged to be able to honor them through ADAAs. We are also looking forward to EDUCAUSE and a chance to talk and collaborate with all of you in an effort to create the next-generation educational environment. I hope to see and hear from you all!


*Adobe will donate a maximum of $10,000 USD

12:57 PM Permalink