I was recently asked why Adobe tools should be used in education and if they have any real benefit in the learning and teaching process. These are fundamental questions to the work that I do each day and to the people I work with in schools and universities across Australia and South East Asia. So I have decided to consolidate my answers to these questions through a series of short online posts.
What is Adobe?
Firstly, I’d like to establish what Adobe actually is as a company and what they offer education.
Adobe Systems is a multinational software company with about 50 offices around the world that provides close to 100 software applications and services for desktop, laptops, smart phones and tablet devices.
Adobe is well recognised as the world’s leading maker of digital creativity software with applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Dreamweaver, Muse, Flash (now called Adobe Animate) and Acrobat Pro. It would be difficult to find a magazine, newspaper, TV show, movie, advertising poster, website, tablet app or animation that didn’t use at least one Adobe product.
Adobe is known as the software company for creatives, with a special focus on their Creative Cloud applications. What isn’t as well known is that Adobe is also a world leader four other areas:
- Mobile applications
- eLearning solutions
- Document management
- Data analytics & marketing solutions
Adobe mobile apps
Adobe have a wide range of mobile applications, usually available for free, that link nicely with their Creative Cloud software but also allow students and teachers to quickly make a poster, website, video, drawing without needing to spend a lot of time on design factors or editing. The most popular of these for education at the moment is Adobe Spark which is also available as web apps via a browser.
Click here to see the full list of Adobe’s mobile applications.
eLearning with Adobe
Adobe’s eLearning solutions are focused around Adobe Captivate, Adobe Presenter , Adobe Presenter Video Express and Adobe Connect. These are the tools of choice for educators who use a flipped learning approach, a blended learning approach and teachers who want to extend learning beyond the boundaries of the traditional four walls of the classroom.
Captivate can turn PowerPoint decks into interactive eLearning activities with an HTML focus. Presenter is similar, with a video focus. Presenter Video Express captures a screen, the presenter via a webcam, the audio via a microphone and converts speech to closed captions text. Adobe Connect is one of the world’s leading webinar and web conferencing systems.
Document management is how Adobe as a company got started back 1982 with the development of PostScript, the back-end of what became the PDF. These days, Adobe’s Document Cloud (which features Acrobat DC, Adobe Sign and mobile apps) is a solution for those who want to avoid working with paper, preferring to create a digital document workflow.
Data analytics & marketing solutions
Adobe also has a range of marketing solutions such as Adobe Analytics, Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Campaign, Adobe Experience Manager that help provide companies with everything they need to get insight into their customers, build personalized marketing campaigns, and manage their online content and assets.
Universities are working with Adobe’s marketing tools to manage the analyitics they gain from their websites, communicate with potential & current students and manage their alumni.
Connecting with education
Communication is a key aspect of education. Teachers need to be able to communicate in creative ways to engage their students. Students need to be able to share their knowledge and construct their learning in creative ways to their teachers and peers. Education administrators need to be able to communicate with staff, students, parents and the wider community. Adobe has a wide range of tools to make all of this happen.
As the industry leader in digital communication tools, students who work with Adobe tools are also preparing themselves with skills that are fundamental for when they leave school.
Stay tuned for Part 2 which links Adobe tools with modern learning theories.