Adobe Creative Cloud across the Curriculum

A Guide for Students and Teachers

Chapter Two Overview
This chapter has three parts:
Part 2A: What is Creative Cloud?
Part 2B: 5 Principles You Need to Know about Using Creative Cloud
Part 2C: 5 Elements You Need to Know about Every Creative Cloud Workspace (Interface)
Part A describes the awesome array of applications included in your Creative Cloud subscription. It explains the matrix below, which you could think of as a kind of “menu” to the entire collection of applications. The first five principles you need to know about Creative Cloud in Part B are the more general concepts. In Part C, items 6-10 cover the more practical aspects of operating the software — such as the menus, tools, interfaces, and workspaces.
If you are completely new to Creative Cloud and don't know much about it, then Part A is a good place for you to begin.  If you have some sense of the different applications in Creative Cloud, but are just beginning, then you might want to skip to Part B and Part C.
2A: What is Creative Cloud?
Creative Cloud is a collection of connected software applications. Think of it as a toolbox for making media. You've probably heard of Photoshop CC, which is for editing photographs. Illustrator CC is for creating graphics and drawings. Premiere Pro CC lets you edit and generate video. Spark makes it easy to create simple pieces of social media, web stories, and videos.
In Chapter One you saw the matrix below, which is a menu for the most widely used Creative Cloud applications. This first column is the heart of Chapter One because when you’re getting started, it’s best to focus more on the intellectual work you want to accomplish rather than the individual applications themselves. The purpose of Adobe Creative Cloud Across the Curriculum is to encourage critical digital literacy, which means that you learn more about how meaning and media work as opposed to functional digital literacy, which is more about which buttons to push. Critical digital literacy explores why you want to push the buttons in the first place, whereas functional digital literacy is only about how to operate the software. Critical digital literacy is a capacity that you continually develop as a lifelong learner. Functional digital literacy is skill you learn once that doesn't evolve much.
Overview of Adobe Creative Cloud
So, to understand Creative Cloud, first look down the first column to see some of the things you can make, and then look across the rows to see the different menu choices you have for creating those things. If you want to make a video, Chapter 5 will help you decide which application to use: Spark on your mobile device or Premiere Pro on your computer? If you want to make an interactive website, Chapter 8 has got you covered: Do you want to use Adobe Spark to create a website using a template or Dreamweaver CC to write some of your own code for the website?
Across the matrix you’ll see colorful icons that represent different Creative Cloud applications. Many of these icons appear in a number of columns and rows, because they’re so powerful and adept they can work in a variety of ways and do many things at once. If you’re completely new to Creative Cloud, then the very first thing you see is that it’s a large collection of digital tools —an incredibly powerful digital toolbox, as represented by all of those different icons.
A powerful networked platform for media creation

Of course Creative Cloud is much more than the sum of its many software apps. It’s also a synergistic networked platform — a system of applications that are engineered and designed to work together seamlessly — which makes the individual tools that much more powerful collectively. Once you get the basic idea that Creative Cloud is a collection of media-making tools, then you need to zoom out to see how the system works together — and to see the entire menu of possibilities and capabilities.
Once you have that general sense of the collection, the next step is to start using the tools themselves to figure out how they work. Because Creative Cloud is an integrated system, each of its applications has a similar logic and similar tendencies. Each application is designed according to some fairly consistent principles and elements, and it’s very helpful for you to have a sense of these universal aspects of Creative Cloud. In fact, you might call Part B and Part C that follow “The Ten Things You Need to Know about Creative Cloud.”

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