AEL Nth American Summit 2018 – Part 3


Day 2 of the 2018 Nth American AEL Summit began with a number of participants successfully completing ACA (Adobe Certified Associate) exam qualifications that were offered by Certiport.

Then, after a welcome from Clara Galan, Tricia Lawrence (Adobe’s Senior Community Manager, Customer Care) shared information about the ACP (Adobe Community Professionals) Program and the Tech Wednesday sessions that she manages.

More info about what Trish manages can be found via


We then heard from PR firm Edelman as well as the team from Adobe Social Media. Edelman help manage Adobe’s annual creativity research projects. The Social Media team encouraged us to keep sharing the value of Adobe to our wider social networks.


Ben Slutter shared the strategy around the Adobe Creative Jams program and how it is being implemented in a number of universities.


We then had the opportunity for a sneak peak into some new initiatives that may end up as Adobe apps in the future. Some we can’t communicate yet but one that we can is Project Lincoln which featured at Adobe Max 2017. It is a cool way of making info-graphics and visualising data.


The wonderful Kelly Komode from Michigan finished off the Creative Catalyst Talks with her presentation titled Less Can Be More: Student-Driven Creative Problem Solving.


TeachMeet – Creative Catalyst Ignite Talks

A series of short Creative Catalyst Ignite Talks was a clear highlight of this year’s summit. These were led in a TeachMeet style event by Clara Galan and Greg Hodgson.


Chana Messer from the University Of Southern California was first up with a great presentation titled Telling Your Story with Adobe Spark.


Phil Badham presented some very interesting insights from the UK with the topic Building Creative Problem Solving in an Educational Age of Assessment and Anxiety.


Rebecca Hare, Art/Design teacher from Missouri is a new AEL this year and she presented a very engaging Creative Catalyst Ignite Talk titled Re-Thinking Student Work: Creation and Presentation.


Meredith Blanche, Multimedia & Technology teacher from Seattle, Washington presented the topic Letting Students Learn from Exploration.


Dan Armstrong, teacher at Ridgevue High School, Nampa, Idaho presented the topic Shaping CTE Pathway with Creative Cloud.


The amazing Joseph Labrecque from the University Of Denver presented the topic Rethinking Creative Collaborations


Andrew McAllister from Ocad University in Toronto, Canada presented the topic Revelations Big and Small: Astro and Macro Photography.


The rest of the day involved a range of focus group, allowing AELs to chat in more depth with Adobe about a range of topics. Then we all split into groups to visit the following neighbouring companies …

  • Pinterest
  • Uber
  • Pereira O’Dell
  • SocioFabrica
  • Google San Francisco
  • Airbnb
  • Remind
  • Clever, &
  • XYZ

The Goldern Gate Tap Room near downtown San Francisco was the venue for our closing dinner.


Special thank you to Clara Galan (right) and Tacy Trowbridge (left) for leading this amazing international education community and putting together a great AEL Summit.


I’m already looking forward to next year.


AEL Nth American Summit 2018 – Part 2


Tuesday, July 24th 2018 was the first full day of the Nth American Adobe Education Leaders Summit in San Francisco.

It began with an official welcome from Clara Galan, Adobe’s Global Community Lead, K-12 and Higher Education.


Then Tacy Trowbridge, Adobe’s Global Education Programs Lead  presented the topic Education Programs: 2018 and beyond. She gave us a greater insight into what has been happening and what is planned globally for Adobe in Education. Tacy also shared some of Adobe’s recent research into how Creative Problem solving is being taught in schools.


Aubrey Cattell, Adobe’s Vice President and General Manager of Adobe Spark shared about his passion for the way Adobe Spark is making a positive difference for teachers and students across the globe. He also provided an opportunity for the AELs to ask questions about current and future directions for Adobe products in Education.


Moses Kelany is a multidisciplinary Design and Art Director at Pereira & O’Dell. He spoke to the AELs about some of his projects, including his recent campaign with Coco-Cola and gave us all a perspective on how Adobe tools are being used in the design industry.


Rosy Capron (Adobe’s Project Manager for the Adobe Certified Associate program) and Ty Kenworthy (from Certiport) shard about the ACA program and its impact.


Adobe’s Head of Institutional Business World Wide Education, Johann Zimmerman informed us all about the current and future Adobe software licensing arrangements for schools and universities.


AEL, Nancy Dick, Dean of Instruction at Lake Washington Institute Of Technology in Kirkland, Washington was the first of a series of 30 min Creative Catalyst Talks for the Summit. Hers was titled Equity in Education: Your Work Matters.


Mark Shufflebottom, Professor of Interaction Design at Sheridan College, Ontario, Canada presented his Creative Catalyst talk titled The Continual Process of UX: Developing UI with Adobe XD.


Matt Dombrowski, Assistant Professor UCF & Limbitless Solutions in Orlando, Florida gave an inspirational Creative Catalyst Talk about his work with Limbitless who make affordable prosthetic limbs for young people titled Creative Empowerment: Using Creativity to Empower Children.

We then broke into a series of AEL workshop/presentation breakout sessions including:
  • Art Boards to Animatic by Matthijs Clasener from Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Creativity is The Path: Developing Lessons by Rob Schwartz from West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
  • 3D Animation Set in Outer Space by Emmalee Pearson from Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  • Web and Mobile Design: Adobe XD by Tom Green from Ontario, Canada
  • Creating Animated GIFs by Cindy Schultz from Missoula, Montana, USA
  • Using Creativity to Spark Student Journalism Susan Mango-Curtis from Northwestern University in Illinois, USA
  • Creative Cloud: A Tool for Public Outreach and Education by Seth Chambers from the Center For Advanced Research & Technology, California, USA
  • Global Leadership and Citizenship in the 21st Century by Claudir Segura from Pontificia Universidade Católica De São Paulo, Brazil
  • Refreshing Integrated Projects with Design Thinking by Matt Cauthron from Digital Arts Technology Academy, Cathedral City, California, USA
  • 3D Modeling in Photoshop by Stephen Burns from Otis College Of Art & Design, San Diego, California, USA
  • Best Practices in Online Learning by Greg Hodgson from Edge Gain Ltd, Wilstone, England


After lunch, the AELs had an opportunity to do some round table discussion sessions with a range of Adobe product managers for existing and future offering from Adobe. Each AEL signs a non-disclosure agreement to keep Adobe secrets safe.


Then we all took a bus trip to visit the Minnesota Street Project Gallery and artist work-spaces, a unique part of San Francisco that aims to encourage & rejuvenate local artists.


Day 1 of the Summit concluded at the Mission Rock Resort near the San Francisco harbour.


Stay tuned for videos from the Summit on CreateEdu TV

AEL Nth American Summit 2018 – Part 1


The San Francisco city skyline was the backdrop for the opening reception dinner of the 2018 Adobe Education Leaders Summit.

About 80 AELs from around the world have met up in San Francisco to begin this annual pilgrimage.

One of the unique things about this year’s Summit is that it involves three Aussies. Eden Carey from Perth, Chris Betcher from Sydney and yours truly from Melbourne.

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We are looking forward to a week of learning, sharing and lots of fun with some very talented and creative educators.

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Sparking creativity at Woodleigh School – Victoria


Part of the opening mission statement on the Woodleigh School website states that …

Great education is creative. It is collaborative. It is hard work for just reward.

Last week, I had the pleasure to visit the Penbank campus to work with the Year 5 students as well as a range of Woodleigh teachers on some Adobe Spark & Photoshop activities.


This was the first time I has seen under 13 year old students successfully access Adobe Spark via their normal school login process. Each Woodleigh student manages their own access to Adobe Creative Cloud software, including the Spark tools, via the Creative Cloud admin app through the Adobe Admin Console (part of the Named User Deployment (NUD) process). This means student under 13 do not need to log into accounts created by their teachers or parents, all authentication is managed in-house. I’m looking forward to when this process is available to all schools.

More info on Spark access via the Adobe Admin Console can be found via –


Adobe Campus Leader Justin de Lacy, is a teacher at Woodleigh and he invited me to spend the day with his Year 5s and colleagues to help share the value of Spark & Photoshop and digital creativity tools.


I was very impressed with what the students achieved and delighted with the ideas they came up with about how they can use this software.

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The teachers at the after-school professional learning  session were just as delightful as the students. Some of theme had been using a number of Adobe applications over the years, and others were new to what Adobe had to offer.



Keynoting at St Aloysius College


St Aloysius College in Nth Melbourne asked me to be the closing keynote presenter for their staff day at the start of Semester 2.

The Principal Mary Farah asked me to talk about getting students ready for the future workplace which is currently a pet topic of mine and links nicely to Adobe’s research in the fostering of creative problem solving in education.


We spent a bit of time breaking down the skills globally identified as most important to creative solving problem and what emphasis they are playing in today’s curricula.


It is somewhat staggering to see the contrast between what is considered important life long skills and the lack of time spent on them in the education process.

More info on this research can be found via –


The resources I shared with these teachers can be found on the Adobe Education Exchange via –


Sparking creativity at Strathcona


Day one of Semester 1 also saw me back at my previous workplace, Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School for an Adobe Spark workshop.

It was delightful to meet a number of new Strathcona teachers as well as catch up with some former colleagues on mine and share with them the value of working with Adobe Spark throughout the curriculum.

Adobe Spark is a great way to be introduced to the world of Adobe digital creativity & productivity software.

Here is Rob the Robot introducing Adobe Spark





Starting the semester at Luther College


The first day of Semester 2 for Victoria was a staff day for Luther College, an independent school in Melbourne’s east and I was invited to be their opening keynote speaker.


The topis was Preparing students for the automated workplace – a topic that resonates for many educators who are delivering curriculum with a focus on getting young people ready for the future.

It was interesting to look at some of the changes in technologies that teachers have been using to deliver their curriculum in my time as an educator. Do you recognise any of these?

During this session, we reminisced on a number of these changes that have occurred in the past 30 years. Then we looked at what skills are going to be required by students to thrive in the next 30 years.

I shared with them some of the work from Marc Prensky and who has outlined three separate categories of skills for the new generation worker – effective thinking skills, effective action skills and effective relationship skills.


All the resources that I shared during this keynote presentation can be found on the Adobe Education Exchange via –

Special thank you to Adrian Puckering the Director of Learning at Luther College and the Luther College executive for organising a wonderful day of professional learning for their staff.

Digital storytelling at Macquarie University


About 90 staff from Macquarie University registered for one of three Adobe workshops that were run on Monday 9th & Tuesday 10th July.

The aim of these workshops was to enhance video storytelling skills and introduce these educators to some key Adobe storytelling apps such as Spark Video and Premiere Clip.


I shared with the participants that today’s students are immersed in digital realms, they want to produce media not just consume it. They are engaged more in formal education when they can work with digital creativity tools. Digital is how thinking and learning are increasingly happening across the whole curriculum.


School systems and universities across the globe are revising their curricula with an increasing emphasis on experiential learning, interdisciplinary approaches, and an array of literacies.


Adobe applications such as Spark Video & Premiere Clip help extend literacy traditions into new contexts, with an emphasis on creative problem solving through writing, speaking, presenting, making & storytelling.


I also shared the following video made with the Macquarie University Ancient History Department in April 2018.


Here are a range of images taken throughout all three workshops…

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The main resources I shared during these sessions is now available on the Adobe Education Exchange via –

QSITE 2018


Brigidine College in Brisbane was the venue for about 90 educators who attended the 2018 QSITE (Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education) Conference.


I had the pleasure of running the following three workshops:

  • Basic video production with Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Photoshop Tips & Tricks for teachers
  • Make Photoshop Puppets come alive with Adobe Character Animator

All the resources I shared for this conference are available on the Adobe Education Exchange via –


ITE, Swinburne & Adobe


Last week, a group of about 20 students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) in Singapore visited Swinburne University in Melbourne for a culture exchange and I was invited to run a half-day digital creativity workshop with them.


We started by looking at the top five skills required to thrive in the future according to the World Economic Forum. Then I asked the students to form groups to build posters, videos and webpages with the Adobe Spark tools based on each of the above skills.


The students were encouraged to download the three Spark tools on their various iOS devices (and Spark Post now on Android). After some brief demonstrations, they produced some great work.