Adobe Education Summit 2011

Adobe Education SummitI had the opportunity to attend both the Education Summit and Community Summit this year a day before the actual Adobe MAX conference. What a great experience! These two events were happening simultaneously so it was quite a painful process having to choose from the many excellent sessions (isn’t it always?). Fortunately, many of the sessions were recorded with Adobe Connect and will be made available later.

The Education Summit was jam-packed with sessions talking about educational resources provided by Adobe and sessions on inspiring ideas presented by educators who are using Adobe products to improve education. The Education Summit is a free event, and while it’s targeted towards those from the education community who are also attending the Adobe MAX conference there were a few who flew out to Los Angeles just to attend this event.

I enjoyed learning from Adobe leadership how discounted softwarecurriculum, certification, and other programs are about helping students become better prepared for future jobs in digital media and digital marketing. Throughout the Summit, I saw many examples and case studies of how this is happening at educational institutions around the world. I also enjoyed learning more about Adobe Youth Voices, a program designed to help underserved youth learn to build their communication/creativity skills and to be a positive influence in their communities. At the summit we saw a very compelling video created by youth in the Adobe Youth Voices program entitled “Deaf not Dumb“. It really got me thinking about how I approach the hearing impaired and how I can better communicate with everyone. A job well done.

There are also many resources from Adobe available to educators including a new professional development program, certifications and an ever-growing Adobe Education Exchange. If you’re an educator looking for lesson plans, tutorials and other resources to incorporate into your curriculum, you have got to check-out Adobe Education Exchange. It’s a fantastic resource.

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit of information I learned from the Education Summit was from Ann Lewnes, Senior VP of Global Marketing at Adobe. She mentioned that Education is the largest vertical segment for Adobe. That is significant! More people are using Adobe products in education than any other market. I think that’s a win-win move by Adobe. By enticing students to use their products and preparing them for future jobs those students will take their skills and experiences and help drive sales as they enter the workforce. From an educator’s standpoint, I really appreciate Adobe’s steep discount (around 80% off) on most of their products for education (As a side note, I wish that Adobe’s Marketing Suite, Digital Publishing Suite, and Web Experience Management were more accommodating to education. WEM doesn’t even list education as a targeted industry for their solution. More on this later…). Steep academic discounts gives students and institutions an opportunity to actually use Adobe software without the professional price tag. Adobe also offers other flexible purchasing options for institutions that can save more money. By getting software into the hands of students and educators, Adobe is building a strong foundation of future sales for the company.

I wish I had a little more time to dive into the details of some of the presentations that I attended. There were so many great examples of technology working well in the classroom. Attending the Adobe Education Summit was time well spent for me. It was helpful to hear from Adobe leadership about their vision for Adobe products in education, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning how other educators and institutions are using Adobe product to improve teaching and learning.