Things have come a long way since my early days of teaching when our school district first installed a desktop computer and printer (dot-matrix, of course) in each classroom. I remember being so excited to have the power to create newsletters for parents, inspirational banners for my classroom, and customized worksheets for my students. Not having to rely on generic textbooks and teaching materials was a game-changer, and it became even more impactful when my students got access to devices so they could create as well.
Having witnessed this evolution, I can appreciate that it is no small thing that today’s generation of students now has even more digital power with the ability to instantly produce photos, videos, and websites and pretty much anything else they can imagine for audiences around the world. Recently, Adobe has made this even easier with its repackaging of the Spark for Education tool into Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education. Unlike many ed tech companies who dangle free products for students for awhile and then begin to charge as they add more attractive features, Adobe seems to be committed to keeping its Express suite free for schools. Below, you can see a screenshot of what is now included:
You can get your students familiar with using the tools, which they can access on any internet enabled device, by having them participate in the monthly creative challenges. For February, the challenge is for them to design a poster to express their values. You can access the details and free lesson plan here. January’s highly popular challenge was to remix a template to express your identity. You can find more lesson and project ideas to use with Adobe Creative Cloud Express here.
Plaster your physical and virtual classrooms with student designs that represent their individuality and imagination.
And be thankful we’ve moved past the days of mimeographs and dot-matrix printers — even if you’re not ancient enough to have used them.