As part of my job with Adobe, I regularly write on the Education team’s blog. Here is a brief article I just posted. It can be found on the Adobe site here.
Visiting 21st Century Classrooms: Lessons Learned
I joined Adobe four months ago as an Education Advocate. My job is to focus on supporting creative teaching and learning in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Since I started, I visited 26 teachers in 25 schools and saw nearly 800 students engage with Adobe’s creative software across California and the Province of Alberta. In this blog, I want to share the top three lessons I learned from these educators and students.
1. Students are creating incredibly high-quality digital art and media
During my seven weeks on the road, I was constantly impressed by the work students were producing, their creativity and knowledge of Adobe products. For example:
- Students at Palo Alto High School (California) design professional-quality spreads using In Design, mirroring the style of famous artists like Ellen Lupton, Peter Max, and Saul Bass.
- A 3rd grade teacher at Cranston Elementary School (Alberta) teaches his students Photoshop Elements and Photoshop Touch to produce a music video.
- Edmonton Catholic School District (Alberta) holds an annual Film Festival. This year’s Best Film was so impressive, most people don’t realize that the student who made it was only 15 years old!
2. Students are passionate about creativity
We talk a lot about creativity at Adobe, but students don’t need any convincing—they already know how essential self-expression and creativity are. I met a student at New Tech High (California) who spends all of his free time (and much of his time in school) making movies and creating digital art. At 14, he has a Flickr account with more work than many artists! Another student at Valhalla High School (El Cajon, California) works 40 hours a week during the summer creating a gamified classroom system for his teacher so that every media arts student can have a personalized, creative experience in class. (Not sure what being gamified is? Go here for some info!)
3. Students quickly learn tools that allow them to be creative
Students are passionate about creativity and they love using industry-standard tools that help them express themselves fully. In just one semester, a student can go from being a Photoshop novice to designing the school newspaper in InDesign or even getting a summer internship with a local design firm. One student from Old Scona High School (Edmonton, Alberta) told me how she learned to code when she was just 9 years old when her father got a book on coding. Nearly ten years later, she’s using Dreamweaver to build a custom website for her dad’s company and she secretly let me know that her web design skills far surpass those of her dad’s!
And this is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more stories about inspiring students and educators who are redefining creativity and ensuring that classrooms are powerful sites for creating and learning. If you have a great story to share, don’t be shy, let me know!