ACCE 2016

The ACCE (Australian Council for Computers in Education) Conference commenced on Thursday 29th September at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

The ACCE Conference is a biannual event for the peek body that represents the ICT in Education teacher professional associations for each Australian state & territory. It is hosted every two years by a different state, this year QSITE (Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education) have the honour.

Adobe is proud to be a sponsor again this year. I had the pleasure of running a half-day Adobe masterclass as part of the pre-conference program.

The opening reception event was a great opportunity to catch up with a number of key players in the works of ICT in Education.





2016 APAC Adobe Edu Leadership Community Summit – live to air

It is my pleasure to promote a series of presentations at the APAC Adobe Education Leadership Community Summit on the 4th & 5th October in Sydney to be streamed live.

Click here for the live feed & recordings site

Click here for the related EdEx site

Highlights to watch …


Be part of the twitter feed via #CreateEdu

Innovation at Haileybury

When I was judging the Victorian chapter of the Young ICT Explorers Competition, I came across a unique project from a group of four very creative Year 9 girls at Haileybury in Melbourne. To help encourage young readers, the girls used a wide range of modern technologies to enhance a story book into a Book Portal. The following video explains all …

I was particularly impressed with the Adobe tools they worked with to make this project including Adobe Fuse (3D character development) which I had yet to see being used in a school. I was also impressed with their use of the 3D capacities within Adobe Photoshop CC and the amazing hologram they created with Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Special thanks to Haileybury teachers Damian Del Vecchio and Gerard O’Dwyer for supporting, teaching and encouraging these students with their endeavors and of course congratulations to Year 9 students Milly, Katya, Florence and Esther.

Check other video like this on CreateEdu TV

Nathan Jones – a tribute


Nathan Jones was one of the most courageous men I have had the pleasure of knowing. Sadly, Nathan lost his 4 year battle with cancer last Friday.

I first met Nathan when he was a primary teacher at Carey Baptist Grammar School and I was teaching at Strathcona. We were both Apple Distinguished Educators and enjoyed regularly sharing ideas on how to use technology to enhance creativity in each others classrooms and schools.

I had the great pleasure of leading the sub-committee that awarded Nathan the 2013 VITTA (Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association) Outstanding Achievement Award. It was doing the research for this award that I got know more about Nathan’s skills as a passionate educator and came to really appreciate him as a colleague.

More recently, in Nathan’s new role as Professional Learning and Development Manager at Comp Now, I have been connecting with him at various education events around Australia.

The way he fought his illness was an inspiration to many, none the least his beautiful three daughters and loving wife Lisa. He will be greatly missed by many.

The following video provides a lovely insight into who Nathan was and what he meant to so many …

Adobe @ Merrimac SHS – Gold Coast

Merrimac State High School on the Gold Coast,  was where Richard Turner-Jones (Adobe Solution Consultant) and I had the pleasure of running an Adobe Day on Thursday 14th September.


A select group of Year 7 & 8 students, along with some Year 12 media students, were given the challenge to produce a a short film about something that is important to them.

They began this challenge by getting into productions groups to plan what their story was going to be about and who was going to play what roles in the production.

Once the students had established a basic plan, I provides them with a range of production techniques to help film their video stories.


One of the groups interviewed some of the teachers and students to put together a documentary about the Adobe Day. Above you can see Adobe Education Leader, and Merrimac teacher, Mrs Rose Duggan being interviewed.


Rose was the main instigator of this event. She is very passionate about creativity in education and providing the best opportunities for her students to express themselves.

Richard and I took a group each to show them how to edit their stories with Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Premiere Pro is considered the industry standard editing software for TV & video production. Being a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, it is readily available for Australian students to work with and learn.

Video literacy – an importnat 21st century skill

One of the messages I regularly share with students is that video literacy is a 21st century skill that is considered by many to be as important as  traditional literacy. It’s almost as vital these days to lean how to make a quality video as it is to write a quality essay.

With limited time available, I was impressed with the quality of what the students produced. The winning film, Unite to Fight, was produced by a group of girls who were keen to share the importance of uniting together to flight discrimination and racism.


Teacher event

Later in the afternoon, about 30 teachers from Merrimac and around the Gold Coast came to see Richard and I demonstrate the value of working with a wide range of Adobe software to enhance creativity in their classrooms.


Merrimac SHS Principal, Chris Tobin welcomed all of us and shared some of the innovative programs that are happening at his school.

Richard, shared the value of a wide range of Adobe’s free mobile applications.


Rose, Richard and I ran workshops to help the teachers further develop their skills in, and knowledge of, a range of Adobe applications such Premiere Clip, Spark Post, Spark Video, Spark Page, InDesign and Photoshop.

Teacher feedback

Getting to try out Adobe Spark and Premier Clip (with a little help from Tim) opened my eyes to the ease, and therefore possibilities in and out of the classroom. Many thanks!

I am wanting to move forward with Adobe apps … Feeling more confident now.

It was surprising how many free apps were available from Adobe. It’s something worth bearing in mind.

A highlight was learning about all of the new mobile apps, and the upcoming apps. Awesome! Thank you.

Special thanks to Rose Duggan, Chris Tobin and the staff and Merrimac State High School for helping to make this day such a success.

Animation in Newcastle

Animation is thriving in Newcastle, NSW following The 2016 Newcastle International Animation Festival.


Adobe Education was one of the sponsors of this festival and donated 12 month subscriptions to the Adobe Creative Cloud to help encourage the winners in their future creative endeavors.

Earlier this year, I met with University of Newcastle lecturer Jane Shadbolt who teaches in the Design, Communication and IT Science and IT faculties. I was very impressed with the creative way she encourages animation through Photoshop. Here is a showcase sample of students work via the festival Facebook site …

Congratulations to the following winners who received Adobe CC licenses and Wacom tablets …

  • First Prize: James Stuckey – Blackbird Corner 3
  • Second Prize: James Hunt – Newie Beach Scene
  • Third Prize: Renee McIntosh – Alfred St





Adobe @ Forest Lake SHS, QLD


Forest Lake State High School is one of the Adobe Schools of Creative Excellence in QLD. Today, Adobe Solution Consultant Richard Turner-Jones and I worked with a number of Year 7 students during the day and teachers from around Brisbane in the afternoon.


Forest Lake Teacher and Adobe Education Leader, Beth O’Malley, help to plan the activities for the day which included working with the Adobe Spark apps and an introduction to video editing with Adobe Premiere Pro.

Forest Lake Principal, Tom Beck and his students and staff were very welcoming and appreciated what we had to share.

The after school session involved about 30 teachers from surrounding Brisbane schools.


Together we looked at the education value of a number of Adobe Creative Cloud apps as well as a vast array of the free Adobe mobile apps.

JB Tinker from XCERIO ( also presented about the value of the Adobe Certified Associate certification examinations, which contribute to the QCE.


All the resources for this session are available on the Adobe Education Exchange via:

Special thanks to Adobe Education Leader Beth O’Malley and Adobe Campus Leader Nalin Naidoo for their help in organising these events.


Adobe Spark overview & demos

The Adobe Spark apps for iPad & iPhone as well as the web version (via are being used by thousands of teachers and students across the globe to enhance creativity in the learning & teaching process.

Making great looking digital posters, videos stories and web pages has never been easier.

Below are a series of Adobe EduTips videos that I have made to provide an overview of  Adobe Spark and how to work with each of the apps on an iPad.

Adobe Spark Overview part 1 from CreateEDU TV on Vimeo.

Adobe Spark Overview Part 2 from CreateEDU TV on Vimeo.

Adobe Spark Post Demo – Adobe EduTip from CreateEDU TV on Vimeo.

Adobe Spark Video Demo – Adobe EduTips from CreateEDU TV on Vimeo.

Adobe Spark Page Demo – Adobe EduTips from CreateEDU TV on Vimeo.



My Uncle’s new book

I’m having a break from my usual diet of ICT in Education related reading material to spend some time with Tim Costello’s latest book titled Faith: Embracing Life in All its Uncertainty.


‘Faith’ was launched last Thursday evening at the YGAP centre in Richmond, Melbourne. As described by the publishers Hardie Grant, Tim takes his readers on a journey through the notion of faith no matter what religious background (if any) we are from. The essence of the book is about how we all need to believe in something greater than ourselves.

‘Faith’ follows Tim’s last book Hope: Moments of inspiration in a challenging world (published in 2012) a collection of short reflections based on his experiences as a lawyer for the marginalised of Melbourne, Mayor of StKilda, Baptist Minister and currently CEO of World Vision Australia.

Tim Costello has been a significant influence in my life since he married my father’s little sister Merridie Kitchen in 1979 at the Carey Grammar School Chapel where my job, as a Year 5 Carey student, was to hand out the order of service in my winter shorts.

Apparently Tim’s influence on me goes back even further to just before I was born. The story is that my parents were holidaying with Tim’s parents in the summer of 1967/68 and my mother, pregnant with me, was so impressed with the teenage Tim Costello that she thought Tim would be a good name for her first born if he was a boy.

For as long as I can remember, I have been inspired by Tim’s dedication to stand up for justice and equity in an unfair world. He is a religious leader that we can be proud of and a voice that we need to hear in our often far too comfortable western existence.

Tim’s son Elliot (my cousin) opened the doors of his charity YGAP for the book launch where about 100 people were invited who represented the diverse backdrop that has been Tim’s journey so far.


Elliot Costello & me at the launch Tim Costello’s latest book ‘Faith’


‘Faith’ can be purchased from any good book store or online via booktopia

Other books I recommend written by Tim include:

DLTV 2016 Digital Learning Showcase

Adobe Education was proud to be involved with the 2016 Digital Learning Student Showcase organised by Digital Learning & Teaching Victoria (DLTV) at RMIT, Melbourne on Thursday 1st September.


This was a day for students to celebrate digital technologies in education and showcase the diversity and exciting pathways to future digital careers.


Brian Chau (Adobe Solution Consultant) and I ran a series of 45 min sessions based around value of working with Adobe applications to be creative at school and in the future. The main product the students worked with was the free iOS & Android video editing tool Adobe Premiere Clip.


We taught the basics of Premiere Clip and gave the students time to build their own short video stories. Most of the students downloaded the app on their smart phones and enjoyed creating their own stories.