STEM Support with Adobe

The concept of STEM in education started to become a serious policy consideration globally soon after the 2011 State of the Union address in the US when President Barack Obama called for a ramping up of technological innovation to stay competitive with other nations, encourage economic growth, preserve national security and increase ingenuity (Lee, 2012).

In 2015, the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the ideas boom with the launch of the National Innovation and Science Agenda which aimed to drive smart ideas that create business growth, local jobs and global success. This led to then national STEM School Education Strategy 2016–2026, which placed a focus on foundation skills, developing mathematical, scientific and digital literacy, and promoting problem solving, critical analysis and creative thinking skills.

I was teaching secondary IT and Multimedia at the start of this new STEM led evolution in education and one of my responsibilities was to help teachers in other subject areas integrate ICT into their curriculum. What impressed me most about this initiative was that policy makers were encouraging subjects to integrate and come up with units of work involving a team approach to teaching linking mathematics, science and IT teachers.

To me, this made a lot of sense because my first degree in the early 1990s was in Primary Teaching and I was taught to teach with a holistic approach where teaching English often also involved teaching geography, a bit of history, some science and even some mathematics. When I became a secondary teacher, I was amazed as to how siloed things were. There was very little integration between subject areas and students were learning totally different concepts in each and every class with no common themes or continuity in the learning.

The STEM education movement supports moving away from segmented content areas, emphasizing technology to connect the subjects, and relating teaching to the outside world. STEM impresses 21st-century skills acquisition so that students gain proficiency in collaboration, questioning, problem-solving, and critical thinking. All crucial skills for the future workplace (Gunn, 2020).

A technology that connects all STEM areas is digital image manipulation. Scientists, Technologists, Engineers and Mathematicians need to be able to communicate efficiently using a range of visual media and the best image manipulation software in the world is Adobe Photoshop.

This year we celebrated Photoshop’s 30th birthday. It has been around a long time and new features get accessed and refined constantly. I often reassure teachers that they don’t need to be an expert with an app like Photoshop before exposing it to their students. In fact, I don’t think I have ever met anyone who is an actual expert in Photoshop. Not even the people who make Photoshop know everything about it.

One really helpful tool within Photoshop for STEM teachers (and any teacher) is the Save for Web feature. It is the best way to compress large image files down to a manageable size for online while still keeping them looking as good as the original.

Most images from a smartphone or DSLR camera are too large to communicate online. Some can be between 10 & 20 MB but to work well online, they should be under 200 KB. Here are the main steps to compress images for online use with Photoshop.

1 – File > Open > select image


2 – File > Export > Save for Web


3 – Make sure the Preset is on JPEG Medium


4 – Change the Image Size width to 1280 px for landscape images or 960 px for portrait images (the height should change automatically) then click Save and give your file a new name and location.


Click here to see an EduTip video tutorial on this process.

Click here for more Photoshop tutorials and the check out how it is being used in classrooms across the globe via the Adobe Education Exchange

Join the new free Adobe Creative Educators program and get involved with an amazing professional learning community.



Gunn, Jennifer (2020),  The Evolution of STEM and STEAM in the U.S.

Lee, Jane J (2012), “Obama’s Budget Shuffles STEM Education Deck”. American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Inject Creativity Live – 15 July

Here is this week’s Inject Creativity Live Chat-show with special guest Dr Karen Sutherland from the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Click here for the Inject Creativity Live Deeper-dive workshop event that followed the chat-show.

  • Chapter 1 – Introductions
  • Chapter 2 – New AELs & interview with AEL Emeritus Gary Poulton
  • Chapter 3 – Karen Sutherland presentation (Spark & Social Media)
  • Chapter 4 – APAC Summit promo (
  • Chapter 5 – Erin Raithke (Spark in an LMS – part 2)
  • Chapter 6 – Resources & takeaways

Join us live next week with special guest Kev Lavery from TAFE QLD

Creative Assessment

Assessment is a vital part of the teaching and learning process. Unfortunately, it can be seen as a burden and one of the least enjoyable features of being an educator, yet when done well, it can be a very creative a rewarding experience for both teachers and learners.

This video blog post looks at a creative approach to diagnostic assessment or pre-assessment with the help of some Adobe tools. Diagnostic assessment is often overlooked in busy classrooms but when done well, it can help with engagement, curriculum planning as well as provide agency (a student voice) and lead to great levels of student engagement.

More information about using Adobe apps in education can be found within the Adobe Education Exchange which currently involved over 850,000 educators globally.

Some great Australian based tutorials for Premiere Rush, Spark Video and other Adobe apps are available via Dr Tim Kitchen’s EduTips series.

Click here if you would like to get monthly updates on Adobe in Education resources for busy teachers.


Adobe in Education APAC update – July, 2020



As Semester 2 commences for many of you, have a think about how engagement and creativity can be enhanced in your classes by allowing the learners in your care to do assessment tasks via video with Premiere Rush or Spark Video or even Premiere Pro. You may also like to incorporate the amazing design thinking and collaboration capabilities of Adobe XD.

A new video course has recently been announced on the Adobe Education ExchangeMake Impactful Social Videos with your Students. This course helps teachers and students enrich their creative skillset and deepen their knowledge of video creation with Premiere Pro.

Another new course is the Adobe Spark Professional Learning Kit. This course is aimed at all educators working in primary, secondary or higher education looking to offer face to face or online professional development with Adobe Spark.

Inject Creativity Live – weekly free webinars


At last week’s Inject Creativity Live Deeper-live event, the new Whiteboard plugin for XD was featured. It is a great tool for brainstorming and visual online collaboration. This week, the focus is on Adobe Spark. Join us each Wednesday evening starting at 6.30 PM (AEST), 4.30 PM – WA/SEA, 8.30 PM – NZ via any of these social media channels Facebook (closed group), YouTube or Twiter/Periscope.

New free PL series for K12 Teachers


A new free series of professional learning events for K12 educators is happening online during Term 3. This will cover a number of Adobe applications that are available for many schools including Spark, Rush, Adobe Sign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dimension, XD, Captivate & Presenter. Click here to find out more, share and register your interest.


The above events and more can be found in the new look Adobe in Education Events & Resources site.

APAC Adobe for Education Summit


The 2020 APAC Adobe Education Summit will be held as an online event from September 29 to October 1. Being a holiday period for most educators in ANZ, this event is about digital creativity for all areas and levels of education. The theme will be Improving Education Following COVID-19. Please encourage your colleagues and wider education networks to register for the September 30 sessions that are open to all educators.

Adobe Creative Educators Program


This month, Adobe is officially launching the Adobe Creative Educators program which is aimed to help teachers continue to develop their digital communication and creativity skills. Designed for educators in every subject area and sector, members will receive free lessons and resources to spark creativity with students, in addition to special events with other like-minded educators and the Adobe team. Encourage your colleagues to join.

The new Creativity for All course on the Adobe Education Exchange is a prerequisite for the Adobe Creative Educators Program, especially if you were not already an active member of the AEL or ACL program. This free course is about understanding the power of creativity, why it matters, and how to leverage it in your teaching helps prepare students with 21st Century skills they need to succeed.

Have a listen to Clara Galan (Adobe’s Global Education Community Lead: K-12 and Higher Education) chat about the new program that launches for APAC officially on July 14.

Australasian Adobe Education Community Facebook Group

Click here to join the Australasian Adobe Education Community Facebook Group and get first hand updates on the Adobe in Education program.

Don’t forget to join us live each Wednesday for Inject Creativity Live

Keep being creative!


Tim Kitchen (Senior Education Specialist, Adobe – APAC)

EduChat with Andrew On Yi Lai

This EduChat interview is with Andrew On Yi Lai, media teacher at Northern Beaches Secondary College – Freshwater Senior Campus in Sydney.



Click here for more information about Andrew.

The charity mentioned by Andrew –
SkillShare for online learning –
FreshMedia YouTube channel showcasing student, ex-student and teacher productions from Freshy –


Inject Creativity Live Event – July 8

We had a great Inject Creativity Live session last night with special guests Craig Daalmeijer-Power from NSW and Paul McClean from NZ.

Take note of Craig’s Adobe XD (Whiteboard Plugin) session. Great for design thinking!

Here is a recording of the Chat-show session

Click here for the Deeper-dive event

  • Chapter 1 – introductions
  • Chapter 2 – Craig Daalmeijer-Power  – Adobe XD (Whiteboard Plugin)
  • Chapter 3 – APAC Summit promo (
  • Chapter 4 – Paul McClean – Future of Education research
  • Chapter 5 – Resources & takeaways

Join us live next week with guest presenter Dr Karen Sutherland – AEL from the University Of The Sunshine Coast



Inject Creativity Live – July 8

Have a listen to the promotional podcast for this week’s Inject Creativity Live event,

Click here to find out more


July 8

  • Focus – App design & development 
  • App – Adobe XD
  • Guest presenter – Craig Daalmeijer-Power  AEL/ACL & Lecturer / Head Teacher Nepean Arts & Design Centre- Tafe NSW Western Sydney


Special guest – Paul McClean CIO of Rare Innovations, NZ