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.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I am getting ready for my first Adobe Education Leader Summer Institute.  I am very excited about this event.  It is hard to find people in Missoula, Montana, passionate about Adobe software.  I understand that there will be people from all over the world at this event sharing and learning together.  I just looked at my schedule and it looks packed.  I arrive in San Jose, California, around 12:30 p.m. tomorrow and immediately need to go to the Adobe Headquarters from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.because I signed up to participate in the conversation about the Creative Cloud and what it means, and could mean, for students, educators, and institutions.  I feel like this could be a great opportunity to help shape the future of Adobe's tools and technologies for use in education.

There is an AEL Quarterly Meeting scheduled from 4:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. I have attended these before, but always virtually.  This will be fun to attend this face-to-face this time. We get a break form 6:15 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. and then attend a welcome reception at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel until 9:00 p.m. After that I am helping to help pass out and show how to use DSLR cameras so students have time before we meet to shoot some footage.

Tuesday, breakfast is from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. and there are a series of presentations focused on creativity and innovation in education. Lunch is from 12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., however, I have a district meeting that I would like to attend virtually.  This meeting has to do with implementing Google Apps in our school district, our new school website and e-mail in the district and professional development for these.  From 12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. there is an optional Lytro Camera Demonstration.  I would like to see this, as I read about these earlier and was fascinated by the technology.

In the afternoon I have a series of sessions that I have signed up for:
  • Adobe Connect Roadmap
  • Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Roadmap
  • Adobe Touch Apps Roadmap
  • Adobe Muse Roadmap
That brings me to 5:50 p.m. at night.  Reception/Dinner with Adobe Executives and Product Teams is scheduled for 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday we start the schedule all over again.  8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. breakfast, 9:00 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. daily kickoff, 9:15 a.m. - 10 a.m. AEL to AEL Presentations.  I am scheduled to attend the following on Wednesday:
  • Using Interactive Video and Infographics to Tell Complex Stories
  • Developing a Digital Creativity Curriculum Online
  • Gamifying the Learning Environment
  • iPad Trail at Arts University College
At 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. there is a Fice Minutes of Fame presentation where we hear tips, tricks and triumphs from our colleges in five-minute mini-presentations.

Dinner is at Campo di Bocce, which sounds very interesting.

Thursday I am scheduled to attend the following:
  • Easy Ways to Connect Like a Pro
  • Adobe Touch Apps Workflow (I am the proctor for this session)
  • Adobe Premiere Pro & Adobe Audition CS6 - New enhancements for Video and Audio Editing
  • Creative Web Sites with Adobe Muse
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and the Tapeless Workflow
Thursday night from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., we will be spending at the Tech Museum - now this looks like fun! It seems like a great way to end the week. I can't wait!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Had the opportunity today to help Vicki Davis with her next book.  She is writing about Collaborative Writing in the Cloud. She sent an e-mail to the Flat Classroom Certified Teachers and wanted to get some feedback on Chapter 1.  What got me was her her comment about "A book on collaborative writing without some collaborative writing is a hypocritical sham."  I really agreed with that and am happy to see that she is truly trying to make it collaborative.  I spent time today making comments and suggestions.  I think this is a great idea for anyone writing a book.  I am guessing that you can spend so much time looking at the same words over and over, that you could miss things that other people might see right away.  She can choose to use or not use the feedback, but to just get it, I think would be great!  I am looking forward to reading the next chapter.