Macquarie Uni – Adobe Creative Cloud Open Day


About 75 lecturers and administration staff from throughout Macquarie University in Sydney gathered together today for and Adobe Creative Cloud Open Day.

Macquarie Uni has entered into an enterprise agreement with Adobe providing all their staff and university owned computers with the Adobe Creative Cloud. The aim of this event was to show key staff what they have access to and how it can be used to enhance teaching and learning.

Daniel Dos Santos (Director, Client Services at Macquarie) gave the welcome to country and set the scene for the day. Then he introduced the first speaker Michael Stoddart – Director, Digital Media Enterprise at Adobe.


Michael shared the value of video as a communication tool, then provided an overview of the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Then it was my turn to do the keynote.

My brief was to talk about the importance of digital literacy, education initiatives and share key Adobe resources that help educators and students. Click here to get access the resources I shared via the Adobe Education Exchange.


After my keynote, Adobe Solution Consultants Jane Chen and Jason Grant ran a series of app demo session covering software such as Adobe Spark, Photoshop, Project Gemini, Adobe Capture, XD, Dimension and others.

We then broke into a set of breakout workshop options including:

  • Video For Everyone (Premiere Rush)
  • Photography Bootcamp (Photoshop & Lightroom)
  • Design Thinking with XD
  • Animation Made Easy (Character Animator)

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Special thank you to the following Adobe staff who put this event together for Macquarie University – Jane Chen, Michael Stoddart, Sasha McQuaid, Chris Hansen, Jason Grant, Marty Outram, Emma Li & Ritwik Sing.


Monash Uni Educational Designers & Adobe


On Thursday April 11, I worked with about 20 Educational Designers from a wide range of Monash University faculties to help them enhance heir skills the range of Adobe products.

Educational Designers work with a team to provide educational innovation support and advice to academic and professional staff across the faculty.

According to the official Monash University position description, an educational designer contributes to the design, development, implementation and evaluation of new educational design projects across the faculty with a focus on initiatives relating to blended and online learning, educational technologies, active in-class learning, authentic and professional assessment, continuing professional development and effective use of learning spaces.

To help them with this role, we looked at the following Adobe apps:

  • Spark Post
  • Spark Page
  • Spark Video
  • Premiere Rush
  • Photoshop &
  • Character Animator


Digital Creativity in Wagga Wagga Schools


While I was in Wagga Wagga this week, I was invited to work with students from Wagga Wagga High School and Kildare Catholic College.

The morning of Thursday April 4 was spent with a group of Year  11 and a group of Year 12 media students from Wagga Wagga High to help them enhance their skills with Adobe Photoshop. A number  of these students I had met in previous visits over the years and it was delightful to see the progress they  had made with a range of Adobe tools. Special thank you to Josh McKenzie (Industrial Multimedia Teacher) for helping to organise this day in collaboration with the Australian Computer Society Foundation.

The afternoon was spent with a group of media and drama students from Kildare Catholic College which is located directly opposite the High School.


Kildare students works extensively with Google Chromebooks so are limited in their access to the full Adobe Creative Cloud options. It was delightful to introduce them to the Adobe Spark tools that work very well on chrome books. They produced some very creative posters, videos and even some Spark webpages based on their passions.

Special thank you to Garry Steman, VET Information Technology Trainer & TAS Teacher at Kildare Catholic College for organising this event.


InteractED – Wagga Wagga


The Wagga Wagga campus of Charles Sturt University was the location for about 250 NSW Department of Education teachers from southern NSW who took part in the first InteractED event for 2019.


Apple, Google, Microsoft and (of course) Adobe were all represented at this event running a mix of workshops and keynote presentations. It is not often that these vendors are all together in one place, and especially rare for us all to be together outside a major city. So this was a great opportunity for these riverina educators to hear about the latest digital initiatives from the world’s best digital creativity companies.

The CIO of the NSW Department of Education, Stephen Loquet welcomed everyone and shared some of the amazing projects that are happening to help NSW teachers and students enhance their digital capabilities.


My keynote session was titled Creativity is not an option, it’s an absolute necessity and part of it involved looking at the new research coming out of the World Economic Forum and LinkedIN


This highlights how important is it to be encouraging creativity in our classrooms to best prepare young people for the future.

All my resources for this event are available via –

Adobe 1 Minute Video Challenge at The Kings School, Sydney


On Tuesday April 2, about 150 Year 4 to 9 students from four different independent schools in Sydney took part in the first ever Adobe 1 Minute Video Challenge.


The aim of this all-day challenge is to have the students works in teams to create a 1- minute video in a day with the use of Adobe software such as Spark Video, Premiere Rush, Premiere Pro, Premiere Elements, Premiere Clip, After Effects and/or Photoshop.

This event was very kindly hosted by The Kings School in Parramatta and it involved students from the following schools:

  • The Kings School (a number of Year 4 teams and some Year 8 teams)
  • Shore School (Year 9s)
  • Knox Grammar School (Year 6 team & Year 8 team)
  • St. Catherine’s Waverley (Year 5 team & a Year 6 team)

The day began with everyone together hearing from Michael Stoddart (Director, Digital Media Enterprise at Adobe) who outlined the growing importance of learning video literacy skills.


Then I went through a range of tips & tricks to help the students make the best possible video stories.

After explaining what was expected of the students, we relieved the secret ingredients that needed to be features in each story.


Every film needed to be  based on the theme of creativity. The phrase Thank goodness we have Photoshop needed to be featured and a drink bottle needed to be included in about 30% of the scenes.

When the students has this information, they went into their Pre-Production (planning phase).

After careful planning and scripting, they went into production mode and captured all the footage, still images, audio files and other resources they needed to tell their story.

Then it was editing time. Some chose to use Spark Video, some Premiere Rush and some even used Premiere Pro, After Effects and Photoshop.

The end products were amazing, especially considering may of the teams had never made a video before. Congratulations to the winning teams from St Catherine’s, Knox Grammar and The Kings School. But most importantly, congratulations to all involved  for displayed great teamwork, collaboration, problem solving, leadership and creativity throughout the day.

Stay tuned for a video about this event coming soon to CreateEdu TV.

Introducing Adobe apps to teachers of Japanese


On Friday March 29, I had the privilege of introducing the world of Adobe in Education when I keynoted the topic Creativity in Education to the Japanese Language Teachers Association of Victoria conference at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre.

This was the main professional learning event for about 400 teachers of Japanese in Victoria and this year, a large number of educators from other states also attended.


I found it interesting that when I asked how many had heard of Adobe Spark, less than a handful put up their hands. It confirmed to me that most the events where I speak or run workshops involve either fans of Adobe or teachers who are already aware of what Adobe has to offer. So, it was a pleasure to introduce the world of Adobe apps to a whole new set of educators.


During the keynote, I asked for a volunteer to help animate a digital puppet in Adobe Character Animator.


I also asked a volunteer to work with Adobe Sketch, Spark Post and Spark Video to make a short video that helps teach number scripting and speaking in Japanese.


I talked about some of the technological advances that have happened during my 98 year old Grandmother’s life. Such as …

  • Global literacy – 25% to >80%
  • For the first time, the majority of the world’s population will not be impoverished
  • Average human lifespan increased 2x
  • Average per capita income increased 3x
  • Child mortality decreased 10x
  • Cost of food decreased 10x
  • Cost of electricity decreased 20x
  • Cost of transport decreased 100x
  • Cost of communication decreased 1000x


And I posed the following question …

Will future technologies replace the need to learn a foreign language?

Then I helped answered the question with the idea that teaching a foreign language has a number of advantages for students such as ..

  • Better job prospects
  • Brain health
  • Travel opportunities
  • Improves first language
  • Improves understanding of the world


I’d like to thank Nathan Lane, the President of JLTAV for inviting me to speak.


All the slides I shared during this keynote are available via –

Big Day In – Sunshine Coast


Venue 114 on the Sunshine Coast was the venue for this year first Big day In event in Queensland for 2019. It was held on Wed March 27 and involved about 350 students.


Following an inspiring welcome to country by Lyndon Davis (Kabi Kabi Traditional Owner), the students listened to a range of speakers from various IT related industry areas.

One of the highlights was listening to Greg Booker from RACQ who provided a great summary of the influence of technology in the past 100 years and its expected dramatic exponential growth in the future.


It was my pleasure to share some of the research into skills required to thrive in the future.

At the Adobe stand I enjoyed sharing the value of products such as Adobe Character Animator to help enhance digital creativity skills.

It was lovely to have a group of enthusiastic Year 6 students from a nearby primary school join the event.