Monday, July 30, 2012

AEL Summer Institute Reflection

I attended the AEL (Adobe Education Leader) annual Institute which was held last week, July 23-27, at Adobe headquarters in San Jose, CA.  Approximately 120 AELs from all over the world (including Norway, Germany, Canada, Great Britain and more…) came together to learn from each other and from Adobe leaders and product managers. I have to say that this was the most inspiring learning event that I have attended since I re-started my teaching career.

I was not only inspired by the AELs, but also I was very impressed with Adobe as a company.  I have worked for a lot of different companies in my lifetime (before re-entering the education field) and was blown away with the level of listening that company employees did – everyone from the product managers to the new Vice President of Worldwide Education Marketing, Jon Perera.  I was quite impressed with Jon Perera’s leadership and vision.  He listed three key trends in terms of a technical perspective. These included devices, the cloud and its social.  Most K-12 districts in the U.S. have an iPad deployment underway. Smartphones just out shipped P.C.’s last quarter. Most likely we can count on a chaos of devices in the classroom. HTML 5 will be front and center.

One of the most exciting aspects of the Institute was that I got to experience an amazing level of collaboration that was happening across the world. After Tuesday’s presentations by Adobe leaders, Wednesday and Thursday consisted of AEL to AEL presentations and hands-on workshops. The amount of talent and energy in the AEL community is astounding, and the fact that everyone is so generous and sharing with their ideas and content is truly inspiring. I have to say this was a little intimidating given that there were people from Ivy League higher education institutions to 8-12 grade teachers from around the world presenting.  I also have to say, however, I felt so comfortable with everyone that I think I can get past this. I have submitted two proposals to NCCE (National Council of Computer Education) in February, 2013, in the areas of InDesign and Dreamweaver.  I hope to have a lot of time to practice and should feel much more comfortable to present at the AEL Summer Institute next year.

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