Ed Tech Central West NSW Conference


Over 800 teachers from the Central West region of NSW gathered in the beautiful town of Orange for a day of learning about ICT in Education with a focus on creativity.

I had the privilege of being the main keynote presenter and with so many teachers in one place, the keynote was run twice with over 400 in each session.

For most of the teachers, it was the first time they had heard of the work of Seymour Papert, Sir Ken Robinson, Dr Alan Kay and Professor Mitch Resnick – the gurus of ICT & creativity in Education. The topic was Creativity in Education is no longer an option, it is an absolute necessity and all my slides are available on the Adobe Education Exchange via http://bit.ly/adobe24April17

Jerry Wong (Adobe Customer Success Manager), Jane Chen (Adobe Solutions Consultant) and Bill Gillespie (Adobe Education Leader) joined me for this event. Jane ran four sessions on ePortfolios with Adobe Acrobat, it was her first Adobe workshop with educators. Bill ran sessions on Adobe Spark.

I’d like to congratulate Geoff Childs and Andrew Hetherington (both leading the Teaching and eLearning – Central West Principals Network) for organising such a successful event.

Sparking creativity at SCSC


On Wednesday 19th April, I had the pleasure of working with all the Year 7s as well as  senior Media students at Surf Coast Secondary College (SCSC) in Torquay, Victoria.


Every Year 7 students at SCSC has their own iPad and together we explored the power the Adobe Spark apps.

I was very impressed with what the students were able achieve and, most importantly, with the potential educational ideas the students and teachers came up now that they had been exposed to the apps.

With the senior media students, I ran an intensive video editing session with Premiere Pro. For many it was their first exposure to this professional application but they picked up the basics and I’m looking forward to hearing about what they achieve.

Special thank you to Assistant Principal Erin Weightman for organising this event.


Creativity in Geelong, Victoria

At the hub of the The Geelong Library and Heritage Centre in Victoria, Australia is a dome shaped award winning architectural masterpiece that inspires creativity to all who visit.


Adobe Campus Leader Suzanne Cronin helps lead a range of education technology programs at the library for school groups and other members of the local and wider community. She invited me to run an afternoon of Adobe workshops for a number of the staff.


Suzanne Cronin – Adobe Campus Leader

Suzanne has had a unique background in TV production and education and we are very pleased to have her in our global Adobe Education leadership program.

Some of the Adobe Spark apps and Photoshop are used to help with the communications and education programs and it was a pleasure to provide the technical and education staff with some ideas on how they can further enhance the creative experience for all their visitors.



I was interested to hear that the dome shaped building was the winner of the coveted Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture in 2016.

Special thank you to Suzanne and her manager Gerrad Daniels for making this event happen.


Why get certified?

Having digital media and communication skills is not only a requirement in most careers these days, it is also a significant way to stand out from the crowd when applying for a new job, course of study or promotion. Skills in image manipulation, video production, online communication, animation and publication are not only fundamental to most jobs in the digital media industry, they are also considered important 21st century workplace skills in just about all careers, including education.


Many job applicants say they have digital media skills, but that is hard to prove unless they have formal certification that is recognised by industry such as the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) qualifications.

What is ACA?

ACA is a formal set of industry recognized qualifications that can be completed while doing secondary and post-secondary studies or while working and wanting to have skills formally recognised for promotion or new opportunities.

Worldwide, ACA is managed by Certiport who are also responsible for Microsoft certification. More locally in Australia and South East Asia, Certiport’s partner organization XCERIO are the main point of contact.

ACA qualification are available for Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Adobe Animate (formally Adobe Flash Professional, Premiere Pro and Dreamweaver.


2016 ACA Study

The 2016 ACA Study was undertaken late last year by Edelman Intelligence and Adobe with over 1000 current and aspiring digital media employees aged 18-29 (with and without ACA certification) from the US, Mexico and South Korea. Just under half of them (504) were ACA holders and 562 of them did not have an ACA qualification.


Digital media is an exciting, growing sector

According to the study, 72% of the respondents reflected that they are excited about future opportunities within digital media and 74% perceive the digital media field to be more competitive compared to five years ago. However, with growth comes more competition with over half (56%) of respondents expressed concern about their ability to stand out.


Demonstrating proficiency in digital media tools appears to be critical to being able to secure a job in digital media with 62% reporting that not being proficient in digital media tools is a barrier to entering the field.

Early training of digital media skills is important

Two-thirds (67%) wish their high school had offered courses/programs to help them learn how to use digital media tools. Nearly three quarters (71%) of the respondents said that if they had the opportunity to learn digital media skills in a formal education setting, they would be further along in their pursuit of a digital media career.



Standing out from the crowd

Having formal ACA qualifications helps candidates to stand out, be competitive, develop confidence and demonstrate their proficiency in digital media tools. Two-thirds of both ACA holders and non-ACA holders agreed that completing the ACA can help candidates stand out from their competition, and that having ACA improves their overall confidence.


ACA holders are nearly twice as likely as non-ACA holders to feel ahead of the curve compared to their competition with 66% of non-ACA holders agreeing that the ACA would have helped them prove their digital media skills to prospective employers if they had been given the opportunity to complete it as part of their K-12 or post-secondary education.

A relevant & creative résumé

Demonstrating that candidates are keeping up with developments in digital media tools is seen as imperative. A lack of proficiency in digital media tools is the number one perceived barrier to entering the digital media field according to 62% of the participants.


The survey asked what can help a résumé stand out if the applicant lacks previous digital media experience? The top answer (61%) was a demonstrable knowledge of digital design tools. Over half (56%) said a demonstrated ability to work across multiple devices, platforms and programs. Again, over half (53%) said a portfolio that demonstrates digital media capabilities and just under half (49%) said the résumé needed to be visually appealing and 47% said that indicating the completion of 4-year degree in digital media was important.


Adobe, like other major multinational IT companies, receives 100s of résumés per month. One of the Senior Directors told me once that he divided the résumés that he had to deal with into three piles before choosing potential candidates to be short listed for an interview. The first pile were all text and paper based, and generally they were ignored. The second pile featured an image of the candidate with a link to a blog, online portfolio or website. These résumés were looked at an considered for the next stage. The third pile was almost guaranteed an interview because they featured a video of the candidate outlining who they were, what skills they had and why they should get the position. A video based résumé is a great way to stand out from the crowd.

Here is a great example of a video résumé that I often show you senior secondary students to inspire them …

Digital Media as a career

When asked the type of digital media that respondents specialised in or wanted to focus on, 33% said multimedia, 33% said web publication, 19% focused on video production and 13% on print. When asked what the primary purpose of their work is, 36% said it was for social impact, 32% said it was for commercial projects and 27% said it was for fine art.

Nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents are excited about their future opportunities within a digital media career with over half (56%) planning to stay within the digital media industry for their entire career.

More about ACA

If you are interested in finding out more about the Adobe Certified Associate and you live within Australasia go the this site – http://www.xcerio.com/certifications/adobe/

Click here to see the Adobe Education blog about the ACA research.


Click here to access the info-graphics related to the ACA study.

Click here to learn more about how to prepare for an ACA examination.

If you’re already an ACA holder, check out the Adobe Certified Associate World Championship to potentially represent your country at Disney Land, California.



Teach Tech Play – 2017


The 2017 TeachTechPlay Conference (TTP) was held on April 3 & 4 at Ivanhoe Grammar School in Melbourne.

TeachTechPlay is  learning community for teachers, led by teachers with an aim at inspiring learning through empowerment and connection. This was the second TTP conference led by Eleni Kyritsis, Steve Brophy and Corey Aylen – all full time teachers in Melbourne doing TTP in their spare time.


Eleni & Steve starting the 2017 TTP Conference

Ewan McIntosh founder & CEO of NoTosh was the opening Keynote presenter. Ewan is the author of How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen. He is a well regarded international keynote presenter and a great choice to start the conference. NoTosh consultants also ran a series of sessions through the two days.

Other keynotes included Jon Burgess, founder of Kwan and  Matt Miller from the US, Author Ditch that Textbook

As one of the major sponsors, Adobe was provided with its own dedicated workshop room where Adobe Education Leader Joel Arons, Adobe Campus Leaders Matt Smith, Michelle Dennis, Terry Cantwell and I ran a series of Adobe workshops.

Joel Aarons (AEL) ran a session titled Teaching Media Arts with a range of Adobe Applications with a focus on Adobe Capture and Adobe Sketch


Michelle Dennis (ACL) ran a Photoshop workshop titled ‘The Real Me’:  Using airbrushing in Adobe Photoshop to teach about body image.


Matt Smith (ACL) and Terry Cantwell ran a series of video editing workshop/presentations on Adobe Premiere Pro titled Taking video production to the next level with Adobe Premiere Pro CC.


Matt Smith (ACL)


Terry Cantwell (ACL)

I had the pleasure of doing the following sessions throughout the two days:

  • Free and easy online production with Adobe (Spark Post & Page)
  • Free and easy video production with Adobe (Spark Video & Premiere Clip)
  • Flipping the classrooms with help from Adobe (Adobe Presenter & Spark)
  • Photoshop Tips & Tricks (Photoshop CC)



It was great to have the support of the Adobe Leaders for this event.


I’d like to congratulate the TTP team Eleni Kyritsis, Corey Aylen & Steve Brophy and their supporters for putting together such a great event with so many enthusiastic educators who took time out of their holidays to network and share with each other.



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