During the last week of July, ~90 Adobe Education Leaders from around the world came together at Adobe HQ in San Jose, California for a week of networking, sharing, collaboration, and numerous other activities. Since having the opportunity to begin work as an AEL in late 2008, I always look forward to this event. While completely exhausting by week’s end; there is really no other experience that comes close to this!
Monday evening marked a great reception at the Fairmount. Great to catch up with other AELs that were present last year, new AELs or those I hadn’t met previously, and many of the good people at Adobe I’ve worked so closely with over the past year.
Tuesday was full of information and presentations from Adobe product managers, creative directors, and platform managers. This marked some of my personal favorite sessions as we were given the opportunity to learn details on upcoming products, the general roadmap* and outlook for the Flash Platform (impressive!), and even demo sneaks of some KILLER upcoming technology enhancements. We also were treated to an excellent presentation on some items the Adobe XD team is working on.
Wednesday is reserved for AEL sessions; over 80 hours of these presentations were recorded and will be made available on the Adobe Education Leader AdobeTV channel later this year. I gave my talk on Using Collaborative Media Services with Flash in University Applications and it was very well received. Really, all of the talks I attended were quite compelling and covered a wide range of areas – looking forward to catching up on those sessions I missed.
Thursday consisted of some longer sessions on industry and product-specific hands-on trainings. I attended the industry track all day and there was some really compelling stuff presented. Some of the highlights include an update from SoDA and an overview of how the upcoming digital publishing workflow for devices will be done (Yeah, the WIRED iPad stuff!)
On Friday morning we had our quarterly meeting followed by a wrap-up session. Those AELs who were not physically present in San Jose were able to attend through a live Connect session.
This was my second Institute and was the fifth overall. What an absolutely stellar time! Many, many thanks to the Adobe Education Team and all the AELs who helped make this event so memorable. Some of you reading this might think I am being far too positive about such a “corporate relationship” and perhaps some corrupting influence is being spread at events such as this. As fellow AEL, Phil Ice, has written: “I am certain there are some who are reading this blog who believe that the purpose is to turn people in education into marketing machines – nothing could be further from the truth.” It’s a beneficial relationship for everyone involved and Adobe does HIGHLY value the education community. Thank you again, Adobeans, for listening to us and being receptive to even our harshest criticisms! I do hope to see many of you either at Adobe MAX in October, or at some other event very soon.
* Don’t let anyone tell you Adobe is “lazy” when it comes to Flash Player and the overall platform. Things are about to accelerate beyond anything we’ve seen in the past couple of years!