Educating a New GeneratioN in New Educational Contexts
Adobe Creative Cloud Across the Curriculum is a new kind of resource for a new kind of student: learners who increasingly work in digital realms, students who are likely to produce media and not just consume it, and future professionals who read, write, think, and communicate in digital, networked environments. In other words, this resource is for every student, all the time, in any course, and in any discipline -- everywhere and any time intellectual work is being done, because digital media are not just “external wrapping” put on a “thought package” to make it seem cool. This is how thinking and learning are increasingly happening in the first place: Everywhere across the curriculum.
Revising curricula in response to new technologies
College campuses everywhere, including my own at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are currently revising their curricula with an increasing emphasis on experiential learning, interdisciplinary approaches, and an array of literacies. As dramatic as these changes might seem at first, the purpose of higher education remains the same: to develop students into citizen-scholars who use their intellectual work and creative practices to promote the public good and advance their professions.
However, the contexts in which students and professionals now produce and circulate their work continue to change rapidly, largely in response to emerging digital and information technologies. Adobe Creative Cloud Across the Curriculum is a practical resource for extending literacy traditions into new contexts, with an emphasis on critical reading and listening combined with creative problem solving through writing, speaking, presenting, and making.
Using Adobe Creative Cloud to enhance teaching and learning
This guide is organized according to the most common kinds of academic work, such as research studies, technical reports, and audio-visual presentations. Adobe Creative Cloud Across the Curriculum shows instructors and students alike how to use an array of Creative Cloud applications to tackle familiar forms of academic work in innovative, digital ways. This resource showcases and examines powerful student work from across the curriculum to provide faculty and students with the inspiration to innovate and the scaffolding to do so effectively.
Adobe Creative Cloud Across the Curriculum supports teaching and learning in your courses through the use of Creative Cloud, and not the other way around. The goal here — the primary learning outcome — is for students to strengthen their critical, creative capacities by using the most powerful and widely used digital literacy tools in the world to solve problems and connect with audiences, teachers, clients, communities, constituents, and readers. Adobe Creative Cloud Across the Curriculum flattens the technological learning curve for students and teachers so that they can better focus on what’s most important: learning and problem solving in the contexts of their coursework.
Adobe Creative Cloud Across the Curriculum helps you use powerful digital literacy tools to create and share outstanding academic work in any class, in any discipline, anywhere across the curriculum. The best way to accomplish this, the best way to get your work done, is to focus first on questions such as:
> What problem do I need to help solve?
> What does my community, organization, classmates, or collaborators need?
> What do I want to learn?
> What knowledge do I want to produce and share?
Once you have a sense of what you want to accomplish, then you need to consider the best way to get your work done. What genre or format might be best? What mode or media to use to develop and communicate your ideas effectively? What are the expectations of my audience, readers, or viewers? Can you find models or examples of other work that have succeeded in what you are trying to accomplish?
These fundamental questions begin with a focus on goals and outcomes -- this approach focuses on the ends before the means, on the results before the approach. Once you have an initial sense of your destination, next you can plan a route to arrive there.
Overview of Adobe Creative Cloud
Notice how the first column in the above table is organized according to the kinds of publications or products you might create, rather than according to the names of an Adobe application you might use. This table is designed to help you select the right tool for the job, after you have figured out the job in the first place.
As you will discover throughout this book and particularly in Chapter Two, the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of applications is enormously powerful and diverse -- these tools can do almost anything you can imagine, and many things you won’t even begin to imagine until you work with Adobe Creative Cloud. You do not have to use the applications as listed in the table, because there so many ways to use them. But, as a way to get started, the table matches each application with its most common use -- to produce creative solutions to assignments in any class and everywhere across the curriculum.
In the table, the Adobe Creative Cloud applications are organized in three columns. The “Mobile” column recommends applications to create using primarily mobile devices. Some of the mobile apps might not be available on all platforms.
The second column with “Getting the Fire Going” lists the simplest and easiest-to-get-going applications, which most anyone can learn to use within just a few minutes. Most of these applications are in Adobe Spark (online and/or mobile), and the applications in this column are an ideal place to start if you lack experience with computers and digital applications -- or if you want the flatest learning curve possible.
The “eternal flame” column is where most media producers end up eventually. These are the full-blown, professional-grade tools that can do anything. These applications, like Photoshop, InDesign, and Muse are world-famous and galactically powerful. The great news for beginners is that they are increasingly user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to operate. As advanced and as sophisticated as these tools are, this textbook includes a series of tutorial videos that will orient you and get you working with the most common features very quickly. The tutorials are called “From Zero to Creative in 50 Minutes” because they are designed to teach students the “10 Basics You Need to Know” to begin using the application in as little time as one 50-minute class session.
Here’s how this can work for you:
1) Answer the question: “What do I want to create today?” This might be very easy to answer, if your instructor has told you what to create in your assignment. Or, if the instructor hasn’t specified the genre or format, you might ask “Could I complete this assignment as a film, podcast, magazine, or interactive presentation?”
2) Look down the first column of the table and determine which genre, format, or media is most appropriate for your assignment, the work you are trying to complete, the problem you are trying to solve, or the solution you are trying to create.
3) Follow your selected row across the columns and pick the application that seems best for your situation: mobile, simple, or professional?
4) Go the appropriate chapter for advice and tutorials for the genre and application you selected.