Introducing Adobe apps to teachers of Japanese


On Friday March 29, I had the privilege of introducing the world of Adobe in Education when I keynoted the topic Creativity in Education to the Japanese Language Teachers Association of Victoria conference at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre.

This was the main professional learning event for about 400 teachers of Japanese in Victoria and this year, a large number of educators from other states also attended.


I found it interesting that when I asked how many had heard of Adobe Spark, less than a handful put up their hands. It confirmed to me that most the events where I speak or run workshops involve either fans of Adobe or teachers who are already aware of what Adobe has to offer. So, it was a pleasure to introduce the world of Adobe apps to a whole new set of educators.


During the keynote, I asked for a volunteer to help animate a digital puppet in Adobe Character Animator.


I also asked a volunteer to work with Adobe Sketch, Spark Post and Spark Video to make a short video that helps teach number scripting and speaking in Japanese.


I talked about some of the technological advances that have happened during my 98 year old Grandmother’s life. Such as …

  • Global literacy – 25% to >80%
  • For the first time, the majority of the world’s population will not be impoverished
  • Average human lifespan increased 2x
  • Average per capita income increased 3x
  • Child mortality decreased 10x
  • Cost of food decreased 10x
  • Cost of electricity decreased 20x
  • Cost of transport decreased 100x
  • Cost of communication decreased 1000x


And I posed the following question …

Will future technologies replace the need to learn a foreign language?

Then I helped answered the question with the idea that teaching a foreign language has a number of advantages for students such as ..

  • Better job prospects
  • Brain health
  • Travel opportunities
  • Improves first language
  • Improves understanding of the world


I’d like to thank Nathan Lane, the President of JLTAV for inviting me to speak.


All the slides I shared during this keynote are available via –

Big Day In – Sunshine Coast


Venue 114 on the Sunshine Coast was the venue for this year first Big day In event in Queensland for 2019. It was held on Wed March 27 and involved about 350 students.


Following an inspiring welcome to country by Lyndon Davis (Kabi Kabi Traditional Owner), the students listened to a range of speakers from various IT related industry areas.

One of the highlights was listening to Greg Booker from RACQ who provided a great summary of the influence of technology in the past 100 years and its expected dramatic exponential growth in the future.


It was my pleasure to share some of the research into skills required to thrive in the future.

At the Adobe stand I enjoyed sharing the value of products such as Adobe Character Animator to help enhance digital creativity skills.

It was lovely to have a group of enthusiastic Year 6 students from a nearby primary school join the event.




Inject Creativity event – Brisbane


On the afternoon/evening of Tuesday 26th March, a group of educators from the Brisbane area came together for the first Queensland based Inject Creativity into the Curriculum with Adobe roadshow event for 2019.

It was great to have the support of Adobe expert Richard Turner-Jones who ran one of the workshop options.


Some of the feedback from this event included:

Highlights included:

  • Working with Dr Kitchen with the Premiere Rush/Pro programs to do a quick edit of footage.
  • It was great to see Premiere Rush, I can see uses for this for videos.
  • Love catching up with people at these events.
  • Seeing the programs in action
A special thank you goes to MJ Raatz and the staff at Forest Lake State High School for hosting  this event.

STEAM Workshop at Macquarie Uni


On Friday March 22, Macquarie University in Sydney hosted a STEAM workshop focusing on the use of the Adobe Spark applications for their teaching staff.


STEAM - bringing the Arts into the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Digital posters, videos and web pages were created by these educators. For a number of them, it was the first time they had delved into the world of digital production.

Special thank you to Dr Bronwen Wade from Macquarie who helped me put this event together. It was great to see a range of faculties represented at this event.

Big Day In – Sydney (Part 2)


About 900 students took part in day 2 of the Big Day In at UTS on March 21.

One of the highlights was the welcome address by Zali Steggall . Zali is a former Olympic skier, lawyer and now independent candidate for the federal NSW seat of Warringah, which is currently being held by Tony Abbott.

Zali shared her inspiring story of determination and resilience. It was a wonderful start to this careers event and gave the students a clear understanding of what is possible with the right to motivation.

I gave the second keynote for this event. It was the first time that I have been asked to speak at both of the Sydney Big Day In events.

Here are some of the companies and organisations who helped support the Big Day In events in Sydney this year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Big Day In – Sydney (Part 1)


About 850 NSW secondary students, and a number of higher education students, attended day one of the Sydney Big Day In at University Technology Sydney (UTS) on Wednesday March 20.

The event was opened by Prof. Attila Brungs, Vice Chancellor & President, UTS.


Then the students heard from Anntonette (Anny) Dailey, Executive Director, Operations & Communications at the new Australian Space Agency.

She said that one of her KPIs is to create 20,000 future jobs in Australia’s new space industry. That was very exciting for the students to hear.

Then it was my turn to present my new Big Day In presentation for 2019, Skills to Thrive in the Future.


It really is a privilege to share some of the research around  what skills are considered the most important to thrive in the future and challenge the students and teachers present to focus on those skills due assessment tasks at school and when ever possible.


Other presenters for this event included:

  • Richard White, CEO, WiseTech Global Ltd
  • Matthew Rockell, STEM & Scholarships Manager, Group Technology, Westpac
  • Dan Bowen, Microsoft
  • Matt Deshon & Genevieve Ash, TechnologyOne
  • Andy Kempson – Digital Transformation Agency, Australian Government
  • Alex Giangrasso, founder of Lace Space, Downunder Box & Advisori
  • Cesar Saez, Animal Logic
  • Corp. Alan Rowell, Defence Force Recruiting
  • Steve Doyle, Veeam

In between speakers, the students visited a range of industry reps at their stands to ask them questions.

 At the Adobe stand, the students had the opportunity to play with Character animator and chat with Adobe staff.


Special thank you to the Australian Computer Society Foundation for all the work they do to put together this and all the other Big Day In events throughout the year around Australia.




Inject Creativity into the Curriculum – Sydney event (March 19)


About 20 NSW teachers registered for the (NESA accredited)  Inject Creativity into the Curriculum professional event which was held at the Adobe Sydney Office yesterday

Premiere Rush was the tool that most of the teachers were interested in knowing more about, but we covered a whole lot more.

For many of the teachers, it was their first time working with Adobe Spark, Character Animator, Photoshop, XD and a range of other Adobe apps.

I’d like to thank Adobe Education Leaders Chris Betcher and Brett Kent for their help running breakout workshops during the event.


Also, a special thank you to Rebecca Smith from Northern Beaches Christian School who stepped in at the last minute to run a Photoshop tips & tricks workshop.

This event was one of a range of Inject Creativity into the Curriculum events we are running around Australia. If you are keen  to attend an event near you, use this Spark Page to find our more and register …

Highlight comments from the feedback …

  • The Adobe Rush app
  • 3D Photoshop
  • Enhancing knowledge of a wide range of Adobe applications.
  • I enjoyed learning about Photoshop 3D and a way to implement stem into photography in a more relevant way that my students will enjoy – Re. VR experience through cinematography
  • learn so many new things, and new possibilities — a good mix of detail workshop and inspiration of what’s possible. 
  • A highlight of the event was creating high-quality videos using Premier Rush and the ease of using such software.
  • I’m so privileged to have been given the opportunity to present some exciting activities in Photoshop with the talented educators in the room.
  • I’m going to present my Year 7 and Year 8 students with the Rush app to get them started in video editing and prepare for Premier Pro. Thank you!
  • I loved learning about so many different tools and apps. I also appreciated being able to ask heaps of questions throughout the time. The small group breakout times were really valuable.


Big Day In – Wagga Wagga, 2019


The 2019 Big Day In season commenced last Wednesday at Charles Sturt University in the rural city of Wagga Wagga in the south of NSW.

Adobe has been supporting the Big Day In for a number of years and I have the honour of keynoting most of the 12 events around Australia each year.


These events are aimed at senior secondary school and university students interested in careers in ICT and technology.  They help students obtain more information about ICT and technology careers.


The theme of my presentations this year is preparing students with the skills to thrive in the future. I challenge the students to look at the above list of skills that have been highlighted by the work of Marc Prensky and establish what they are good at and what they need to work on.


I challenge the teachers attending to consider these skills when setting assessment and learning tasks to help their students prepare for an unknown future.


We look at the top 5 skills to thrive in the future according to the World Economic Forum and note the significance of enhancing creativity skills.


It’s always nice to chat with the students during the breaks at the Adobe stand and show them how Adobe tools can help them enhance their digital creativity skills as well as help brand them to be noticed in the competitive job & course market.




Creativity on the Vic/NSW border


On Thursday, 14 March I had the pleasure of visiting Catholic College Wodonga (CCW)and working with a number of classes during the day and then with a group of educators from around the Riverina region for an Inject Creativity into the Curriculum professional learning event.

Over 30 teachers registered for this event from 10 different school/TAFE/Unis in the region covering towns like, Albury (NSW), Wodonga (Vic), Wangaratta (Vic) and Mt Beauty (Vic).

Looking at the feedback, highlights of this event included …

  • The range of apps presented and multiple uses for them in teaching and learning.
  • Premiere Rush and Character Animator.
  • I gained insight into innovative ways to create content and showcase learning
  • Spark Post and Rush.
  • Having lots of things to take home and further develop my knowledge with Adobe products
  • Using an Adobe App on my phone for the first time.
  • opened a whole new world to me
  • Seeing what is available that students will be able to implement in a variety of contexts.
  • As a complete novice it introduced me to the various tools and apps that I might look into so I can incorporate them into my product and design classes.
  • Great to see products which can be used in the classroom.
  • The spark Apps were great. I will definitely explore these more!
  • Premier Rush was a revelation. Seems much more intuitive. Great that it works with Premiere Pro too.
  • Adobe Rush
  • Learning some of the software I was unfamiliar with. Adobe Rush, Spark Post, Capture and XD.
  • Ease of use for the ‘lite’ versions of apps.
  • Learning about Adobe Rush and XD

Other comments included

  • While this is a great introduction, I realise that I have a lot to learn to get the skills and confidence to use these applications regularly in my classes. The links to the education tutorials will hopefully get me on the journey to learning these exciting tools
  • Wish we’d been able to have the whole day.
  • I really loved some of the explanations around Spark Post Great event.
  • Very happy to have an event in Regional Vic.
  • Thanks Really enjoyed having a walk-through of the apps, giving me confidence to have a go.

Here are image of some of the activities I did with the students during the day focusing on Photoshop, Character Animator, InDesign & Premiere Pro …

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Special thanks you to Melinda Prentice (Teacher & Leader of Emerging Technologies at CCW) and Lisa Mason (Year 10 Learning & Teaching Leader CCW) for making these events possible.