Senior Adobe Executive meets Davidson High students at an Adobe Day


Adobe Executive Vice President Matt Thompson was in the Adobe Sydney office this week for the big Adobe Symposium event and he met up with a group of students Davidson High School who were taking part in an Adobe Day.

Adobe Campus Leader and Davidson High teacher Jessica Peade, organized this excursion for her Year 9 media students and managed to get a photo with Matt.


This Adobe Day was focused on video production. The students began by creating a short video about their passions with Adobe Spark Video via their iPhones.

Then we got more serious and moved from Spark Video to the more professional Adobe Premiere Pro video editing solution.

It is always a pleasure to see how creative students can be when they get access to Adobe’s professional applications.

The NSW Department of Education have had a long-term agreement with Adobe that supplies all of their primary & secondary students and teachers with access to Adobe’s creativity & productivity tools. NSW DoE teachers & students can also access the Adobe Creative Cloud software on their personal devices. Click here to find out more information.


St Mary’s Cathedral College visits Adobe


A group of talented young men from St Mary’s Cathedral College in Sydney took part in an Adobe Day on the afternoon of Monday 13th August.

The focus of this day was an Industry Study that they were doing about Adobe as a company.

Some of the facts about Adobe that we researched included:

  • Adobe’s headquarters is in San Jose, California
  • There are over 50 Adobe offices globally
  • Adobe employ over 17,000 employees worldwide
  • Adobe was founded in 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke
  • Adobe, comes from Adobe Creek in Los Altos, California near where John Warnock lived
  • Steve Jobs from Apple offered to acquire Adobe soon after it was established for five million dollars, but failed.
  • Photoshop 1.0 was introduced in 1989
  • In 1991 Adobe released Adobe Premiere – becoming Premiere Pro in 1993
  • Adobe introduced the PDF to the world along with Acroba in 1993
  • In 1994 Adobe acquired the makers of PageMaker & After Effects & took over control of the TIFF file format.
  • Adobe acquired Macromedia adding ColdFusion, Captivate, Connect, Director, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash & Presenter in 2005.
  • In 2005, Adobe acquired Macromedia adding ColdFusion, Captivate, Connect, Director, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash & Presenter
  • Shantanu Narayen has been the Chairman & CEO of Adobe since 2007. He joined Adobe in 1998 as a senior vice-president of worldwide product research.


Most of  the St Mary’s students were experienced users of a range of Adobe tools so it was a pleasure to help extend their knowledge of video editing with Premiere Pro and image manipulation with Photoshop.

The boys were all new the the Adobe Spark tools and were impressed with their simplicity and practical use in a range of school & social settings.

Special thank you to their teacher Mr Fady Ibrahim for organising this excursion.


The Adobe Education Exchange has a new look & feel.


Along with recently celebrating 1/2 a million members, the Adobe Education Exchange has launched a new look and feel.

Highlights include:

  • New Discover experience which leverages a machine learning algorithm that recommends content that leads to increased engagement and user satisfaction.
  • A new, more intuitive search experience to help novices and pros alike quickly find what they are looking for.
  • Powerful new ways to find community and connect with other members.
  • A new design that highlights the creative potential of using Adobe products in the classroom.


The Adobe Education Exchange courses are more popular than ever. We currently have 3,500 enrollees in our Adobe XD course and 4,500 enrollees in two Spark courses.

Click here to find out more about the Adobe EdEx Collaborative Courses.




iiiSTEAM Conference, Victoria 2018


Close to 300 teachers attended the 2018 Ignite Innovate Integrate STEAM Conference, hosted by Kingswood Primary School in Melbourne on Friday 10th August.

I was very humbled and privileged to be one of the three keynote presenters along with Will Richardson from the USA and Dr Jordan Nguyen from Sydney.

Will is a former teacher and Edu Tech administrator. He is the author of six books and is regularly asked to do keynote presentations around the world. Will is a co-founder (along with Australia’s own Brice Dixon) of Modern Learners, an online community aimed at helping educators put the focus back on learning in their classrooms.


My favourite part of Will’s presentation was his references to Professor Seymour Papert. It’s so closely aligned with a number of the points in my keynote.



And his reference to the great Alfie Kohn


Dr Jordan Nguyen is a TV Presenter and biomedical engineer and, according to his website, his mission is to improve the lives of as many people as possible and to be a driving force behind positive human and technological evolution into the future.

Dr Zguyen shared about some of the amazing people he has met and lessons he has learned while producing a range of scientific documentaries. His stories about building a wheelchair and a car that can be controlled with just the mind were amazing. And seeing a boy who could only move his eyes drive the car was an inspiration for everyone and made us all wonder what may be possible in the future. Check out his keynote show reel …

My keynote session was titled The importance of sparking creativity in the classroom. Being the second keynote, I felt like I was an insignificant filling between two amazing pieces of bread.

In between the keynotes were a range of excellent workshop options for the teachers to enjoy. It was great to see Adobe Education Leaders Brett Kent (from NSW) & Joel Aarons (from Victoria) in action.



I had the pleasure of running a workshop on Adobe Spark and one on Digital Portfolios with Adobe tools.

Special thanks to the staff of Kingswood Primary for again putting on such an amazing event.

All the resources I shared during the keynote and the workshop sessions can be found on the Adobe Education Exchange via –


Peggy Grande at Pymble Ladies College


On Thursday 9th August, I had the pleasure to introduce Peggy Grande to all the Year 11 students at Pymble Ladies College in Sydney.


Peggy was the executive assistant to US President Ronald Reagan after he left office. She has had an amazing experience regularly engaging with world leaders and these days she spends much of her time speaking at conferences and seminars to a wide range of audiences.


I had the great fortune to meet Peggy on a recent flight from the US to Melbourne and was delighted to hear her story. She very generously offered some of her valuable time to engage with some of the teachers and students I work with in Victoria & NSW.

The Principal of Pymble, Mrs Vicki Waters, and members of her executive staff put on a lovely lunch for Peggy and myself before we met with the Year 11s.


Kim Maksimovic, the IT Integrator at Pymble was my main contact at the school. I was so pleased when she was able to organise our visit at such short notice.


Kim took the opportunity to record a podcast interview with Peggy as part of series she is doing on women in leadership.

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Some of the key messages shared by Peggy to the Year 11s included the following …

  • There is no limit to what can you can achieve as long as you don’t mind who gets the credit
  • Don’t give into the drama of challenging situations
  • Prioritise people – people are the most important things
  • Leadership is a mindset, not a title
  • A good leader is always looking forward with optimism & inspiration
  • We always have a choice to either be toxic to our environment or optimistically contagious
  • You can be strong a successful and also be a good person at the same time

Click here to see my article on a dinner I organised in Victoria with Peggy and some key educators.

Click here to see a video interview I recorded with Peggy when she was in Melbourne.


Game Changer Challenge – NSW Edu Week


Planning the school of the future

Adobe was thrilled to be asked to be involved in The Game Changer Challenge, an initiative from the NSW Department of Education for the 2018 Education Week.

Inspired by the need to take learning from the classroom into the real world, the Game Changer Challenge involved connecting primary & secondary schools from across NSW with leading education technology and design thinking professionals to solve the big question – how can tomorrow’s schools help create the future?


100 schools entered the challenge and the 16 finalist were selected to take part in three days of activities and creativity at the brand-new NSW DoE Headquarters in Parramatta.

Check out the recruitment video …

Day 1

For the first day of the Challenge, teachers went through a bootcamp where they learned about, and gain confidence in using the Design Thinking process as a teaching methodology. This was run by Tricky Jigsaw an Innovation Design Consultancy.

The students had a separate program where they listened to panels of industry experts (which were broadcast live on the NSW DoE Facebook site) and enjoyed a set of workshop activities aimed at equipped them with the skills required carry out the Challenge the following day.

I had the pleasure of being on the second panel along with Janne Ryan founder of TEDx Sydney, Rebecca Smallchua from Thankyou & Ben Cooper Managing Director of Tricky Jigsaw.


The workshop sessions I ran along with Jane Chen & Jerry Wong from Adobe were based on Adobe Spark Video. Brett Kent (Adobe Education Leader) is now working full time with the NSW DoE STEMshare program was also a great help.

Day 2

The second day was focused on applying the Design Thinking process to a real world problem and help the students to answer the main Challenge question – How can tomorrow’s school help create the future?


The students also has the wonderful opportunity to do a physical workout on the rooftop  with Ninja Warrior Jack Wilson.

Most of the afternoon, and even up to 8PM, was spent working in teams to plan a pitch about the school of the future to a panel of education and industry experts. Representatives from the NSW DoE STEM team, Microsoft, Amazon, Lego and of course Adobe were all on hand to help the teams build their pitch ideas.

Day 3

The third day was pitch day. The teams added their final touches to their presentation before presenting them to a panel of education and industry experts who were judging them including the department’s Secretary Mr Mark Scott.

It was great to see a number of Adobe applications being used to help the teams pitch their ideas such as Spark Video, Spark Post, Photoshop, Premiere Pro and Character Animator.


The winners

Every team was a winner just by being involved in the event, but the primary school who was judged with the best pitch idea was …

Cudgegong Valley Public School


The winning high school was …

Carenne School (Bathurst)


This image is thanks to the NSW DoE Website

Click here to find out more


A special congratulations to the the NSW Department of Education, Tricky Jigsaw, Microsoft, TEDx, Amazon, Lego, Adobe and the following schools for such an amazing three days of learning, creativity and fun …

Lidcombe Public School
Ingleburn Public School
Oakhill Drive Public School
Cherrybrook Public School
Cudgegong Valley Public School Menindee Central School
Alstonville Public School
Thirroul Public School

Chatswood High School
Lurnea High School
Beverly Hills Girls High School
Armidale High School
Campbelltown Performing Arts High School Gloucester High School
Carenne School
Hurlstone Agricultural High School


Adobe & Victorian Catholic Schools

Adobe’s Creative Cloud and associated software is now available for many Catholics school teachers and students throughout Victoria. Marymede Catholic College in South Morang, Melbourne and St John’s Regional College in Dandenong hosted the first of several planned professional learning events for catholic school teachers.


 The aim of these events is to help Victorian Catholic School teachers understand how and why Adobe tools enhance digital literacy and creativity in the teaching & learning process.


Click here if you are interested in finding out more and possibly taking part in future similar events for Victorian catholic school teachers.


Special thank you to Tanya Moran from Winthrop for helping to put these events together.