Best K12 media program I have ever seen

After hearing about the media facilities at Queensland’s Sheldon College, on Tuesday 22nd August I had the opportunity to see them for myself and present to the staff.


Murray James, Me & Vanessa Noonan

Sheldon College, south of Brisbane, is an independent school with an enrollment of about 1,500 students and about 200 teachers. This year, they are celebrating their 20th anniversary and, in that time, they have developed a particularly strong music, technology and media program for their students and wider community.

The Sheldon College LINQ Precinct is what I was most looking forward to seeing. LINQ stands for Learning and Innovation for a New Queensland. As described in the above video and the school website, it houses the Business Enterprise Centre, Design Technology workshop and flexible CAD, prototyping and robotics labs, the LINQ Creative production facility, an interactive / collaborative space with full operable walls; forecourt and breakout areas; a large group lecture and exposition space; and the LINQ Video Wall for group presentations, venue signage and virtual video collaborations.

I have a particular interest in media production and was most interested in their media facilities.


The entrance to the media learning & production spaces is like a TV studio reception area. This is where media students meet with clients from inside and outside of the school and discuss a range of video productions.


The students are encouraged to be entrepreneurs and set up their own video businesses. The school provides them with equipment, training and experience and many of the students have gone on to a range of film & TV courses and careers. A set of framed images of former students, who now work in the multimedia industry, is displayed on the walls of the media centre with the following frame set up to challenge current students.


The main sound proof recording space features a large infinity green screen at one end for video effects and white walls for still image production. Windows separated it from a large media classroom and control room space, providing a seamless flow between teh teaching of pre & post production.


The Adobe Creative Cloud applications are used throughout the school and are a vital part of the success of the students productions and creativity. There is a particular focus on the use of Premiere Pro, After Effects, Illustrator and InDesign.

Here is Adobe Illustrator being used to in conjunction with an industrial laser cutter to produce a range of products.


A giant screen outside the LINQ Precinct features student’s work as well as other work to inspire students creativity. There are a range of screens throughout the school that help celebrate student’s achievements.


The peek video production event for the school is an annual celebration that involves up to 15 cameras capturing various stages & performance areas, all being switched live to a number of screens and also streamed live online for the wider school community.

Sheldon not only has the best media facilities I have ever seen in a K12 school, the way they integrate the media program with the wider curriculum and co-curriculum areas is very impressive.



Sheldon College takes the study of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) very seriously. Their Maker Space has been beautifully designed to encourage creativity and is a shared learning space for the whole school.

The physical layout of the LINQ Precinct encourages a natural flow between the studies of media, engineering and business studies.

I enjoyed presenting to a number of Sheldon teachers from a range of year levels and subject areas and sharing Adobe’s recent research into teaching Gen Z and the importance of encouraging creativity in the teaching & learning process.

This was the beginning of what I’m sure will be a strong connection between Adobe Education and Sheldon College.

Special thank you to Vanessa Noonan (Head of Faculty ‑ Technology & Digital Pedagogy Co‑ordinator) and Murray James (Director of ICT) for showing me around their amazing school.

Digital Creativity at Bentleigh West Primary – Victoria


On Thursday 17th August, I had the pleasure of taking part in an Adobe Student Creativity Conference with all the Year 6 students at Bentleigh West Primary School in Melbourne.

Check out this video filmed on the day …


Adobe Education Leader and Media Arts teacher Joel Aarons, organised this day for his school which involved keynote sessions and a range of workshops.


Joel also invited Adobe Campus Leader Matt Smith from Melbourne Grammar to run a workshop on Adobe Spark Page.

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The other workshops involved the students learning about Adobe Muse, Spark Post and Adobe Comp.


Special thank you to Joel & Matt for being involved with this event. It is always a pleasure to work with members of our Adobe Education Leadership Community.

If you are interested in joining the Adobe Campus Leaders program, click here to find out more.





Developing Adobe skills at ISV schools


On Wednesday 16th August, a group of teachers from a range of independent schools throughout Victoria joined me for a special professional learning event at ISV in west Melbourne.


For most of the teachers, this was an introduction to the potential of Adobe’s mobile apps like the Adobe Spark apps and Premiere Clip to help students construct their learning.


Adobe Photoshop Tips & tricks were also explored throughout this all day session as well as Adobe Muse, Presenter Video Express & Premiere Pro.

All the resources for this session can be found on the Adobe Education Exchange via –

The next session with ISV will be on Thursday 14th September. Click here for more information.

Young ICT Explorers – Melbourne 2017


I had the great pleasure to again be a judge at the Melbourne edition of the Young ICT Explorers competition.

Young ICT Explorers is a non-profit competition created by SAP the global market leader in enterprise application software. The aim of the competition is to encourage school students from Years 3 to 12 to create their best Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related projects.


The competition’s aligns nicely with the new Digital Technologies curriculum and enables students to apply what they learn at school to develop a technology related project of their choice. Students have the opportunity to present their project to a judging panel of academia and ICT industry professionals who make a judgement on the bases of creativity, uniqueness, quality, level of difficulty and project documentation.


It is so inspiring to see what these talented young students have been able to achieve as they have developed their coding skills. As I said to the audience of students, parents, teachers, judges and competition organisers, the future of the world is in great hands with this inspiring young people.

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Ignite, Innovate, Integrate – STEAM Conference – 2017


Close to 500 teachers attended the 2017 Ignite, Innovate, Integrate ICT Conference in Melbourne on Friday 11th August.


This is very much an event run by teachers for teacher through the initiative of the leadership of Kingswood Primary School in Dingley Village.

I ran three Adobe workshops throughout the event featuring a range of video tools such as Premiere Clip and Premiere Pro. I also ran a workshop on Flipped Learning that featured the use of Adobe Presenter Video Express and the very popular Adobe Spark products.

It was great to see Victorian Adobe Education Leader and Media Arts teacher Joel Aarons also running three workshops with a string Adobe focus.


A highlight for me was reconnecting with Hugh van Cuylenburg from The Resilience Project. Hugh was the School Captain of Carey Grammar School when I was there as a teacher. He is now a well-known former educator and motivational speaker. Following post graduate studies into mental health and resilience, Hugh has developed and facilitated programs for schools a wide range of corporate and sporting organisations including the Australian cricket team and 11 AFL sides.


Hugh van Cuylenburg – Keynote presenter

 Another highlight was hearing from Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. Dr Karl is the Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at Sydney University, where his ‘mission’ is to spread the good word about science and its benefits. He has degrees in Physics, Maths, Biomedical Engineering, Medicine and Surgery and has worked as a physicist, tutor, filmmaker, car mechanic, labourer, and medical doctor at The Children’s Hospital in Sydney.


Dr Karl Kruszelnicki – Keynote presenter

Another highlight for me was awarding a 12-month Adobe Creative Cloud licence to Rachel Bryant, a teacher from Willmott Park Primary School in Craigieburn, Melbourne.


Congratulations Rachel

Special thank you to the team from Kingswood Primary who have been running this very impressive event now for 6 years. I’m looking forward to next year.

Skills 2021 – Darwin 2017


The Northern Territory Parliament House in Darwin was again the host venue for Skills 2021, a special all-day event run by the Northern Territory Department of Education. This year was bigger than ever, with about 1000 students from all over Darwin taking part in a wide range of hands one activities and presentations.


The aim of Skills2021 is to provide students with opportunities to learn about new technologies and future careers in our digital world. The event gives the technology sector opportunities to interact with schools and demonstrate their technologies and work to students.

Technologies on show this year included …

  • NAO Robot
  • Sphero Spark+
  • Samsung VR Gear – Oculus
  • Minecraft
  • Strawbee
  • Raspberry Pi
  • The Adobe Spark tools and more …

The NT Minister for Education the Hon. Eva Lawler MLA visited the students in action and was interviewed by local Channel 9 & ABC News crews about the day.


Mark Christie, Director eLearning Systems at the NT Department of Education, started this event three years ago. He was praised by the Minister for his work and also interviewed.


It was lovely to meet with the Minister and see how passionate she is towards enhancing technology and creativity opportunities in her schools.


I enjoyed sharing the power of Adobe tools like Spark Post, Spark Video, Spark Page and others to a wide range of students, teachers and other visitors.


It was also wonderful to catch up with my friend Pip Cleaves who was running  activities for  Code Club Australia.


Here are a collection of images from the event …

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Special thank you to Mark Christie and his team for putting on another great Skills 2021 event.

Aussie student – 2nd Place in World ACA Championships


Special congratulations to Western Australian Student Elliot Tawns who, overnight in California, was announced as the second place global winner of the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) World Championships.


The ACA World Championship is a global competition run by Certiport who mange formal certification for Adobe, Microsoft, Autodesk and other software companies. The aim of the competition is to tests students’ design skills using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

More than 110,000 students entered worldwide, and 47 finalists came to California to compete in the world championships. Students are selected from those who have successfully completed an ACA certificate and then go on to win their regional competition. The regional winners are invited to represent their countries at the World Championship where they are asked to create a designated design project for a chosen nonprofit client chosen by Certiport.

At the age of 21, Elliot (from Shenton Park, West Australia) is studying Printing and Graphic Arts at North Metropolitan TAFE in Perth who have been very successful in the regional competition in recent years. Click here for an article written when Elliot won the national competition.

Click here to see samples of Elliot’s art via Instagram.


Click here if you are interested in finding out more about Adobe Certification for your students or staff.

Adobe & Enfield Public School – NSW


On 2nd August 2017, I had the pleasure of meeting a working with all the teachers at Enfield Public School.

After watching me present at the Schools of the Future conference at the Opera House earlier in the year, Assistant Principal Grace Lattuca invited me to run this session with her teachers.

We focused on the Adobe Spark apps as well as Premiere Clip.

It was also a pleasure to introduce these teachers to the ongoing work of Seymour Papert through the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT.

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

Special thanks to Principal Mr Rick Daly and his team for inviting me.


Visiting Pymble Ladies College


Located on 20 hectors about 25 minutes north of the Sydney CBD, Pymble Ladies College is one of Sydney’s premiere girls schools.

I was invited by Kim Maksimovic, Pymble’s IT Integrator, to present a range of workshops on Adobe Spark, Photoshop, Muse and Premiere Pro to a number of the teaching staff from various faculties as well a group of keen students after school.


It was lovely to reconnect with Kim after working with her students and colleagues at her previous school, Roseville College in Sydney.

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I first heard about Pymble Ladies College from my past Principal and mentor Dr Helen Hughes. Helen was Pymble’s Deputy Principal prior to moving to Melbourne to take on the role as Principal of Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School from 2000 to 2014. I had the please of working with Helen for 13 years.


Helen Hughes & Me at my farewell from Strathcona in 2013