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The latest project to launch was the site for Gorilla Offroad Company. Aside from their main site, a social media strategy was develop to launch the company into various industry specific automobile enthusist discussion board communities as well as popular social media fronts like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.


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Roanoke County Adopts Adobe Spark
Roanoke County Public Schools (RCPS) in Virginia gave Spark for Education a try this past school year, and the results were beyond what I could have imagined. Their journey started with teachers from the district coming across Spark and trying it themselves. Within minutes of using Spark, teachers at RCPS were thinking of what this could do for their students and were asking how quickly they could have it in their classroom. And in a matter of weeks they deployed Spark to all of the 15,000+ students and teachers (and in the middle of the school year!). You can read more in Sharif Karmaly's blog post.
(Sat, 21 Apr 2018 01:35:00 -0400)
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Adobe Spark For Education
Today we announced the availability of Adobe Spark for Education, the same Adobe Spark that you know and love (and like Adobe Spark, just as free), but adapted to better suit the needs of our younger users.What is different about Adobe Spark for Education is how it gets deployed and installed. An Adobe Spark for Education deployment adds functionality that is critical to schools, including:
  • Enhanced data privacy: can be deployed consistent with children's data privacy laws (e.g. COPPA).
  • Easier login: Ability to setup single sign-on so students can easily login with their existing school ID.
  • Enhanced control to keep students safe: Schools own the accounts and exercise admin rights over them. Plus, image results are more age appropriate for K-12 students.
  • Premium Features for free: Adobe Spark's Premium Features, used to customize Spark creations, are included for Free (normally cost $9.99 per month per user).
While students can use Adobe Spark (with some important limitations, including a restriction on under 13 users), the free Adobe Spark for Education is better suited for schools and districts and is the recommended deployment for student use. We've posted details and links to get you started at spark.adobe.com/edu. And, if needed, here are links to out Student Privacy Policy and GDPR statement.
(Mon, 09 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0400)
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Adobe Dimension CC 1.1 Released
Adobe Dimension is used by graphic designers to create photorealistic renderings using both 2D and 3D assets. Product Manager Zorana Gee has announced the release of Dimension 1.1, and highlighted the new features in this blog post.
(Tue, 03 Apr 2018 22:41:00 -0400)
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$500 Of MAX Registration
Adobe MAX is heading back to Los Angeles! MAX will be October 15–17, 2018, at the L.A. Convention Center. Sign up now for $500 savings on the full conference pass price of $1,595. Offer ends April 30, 2018.
(Mon, 02 Apr 2018 08:47:00 -0400)
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Project Puppetron Beta
One of the most exciting Sneaks at MAX 2017 was Project Puppetron. Well, we've come a long way in a few months. And now the Character Animator team (the same folks who let you bring a Photoshop or Illustrator file to life through performance-based and live animation) invite you to be a part of their latest experiment, joining the Project Puppetron beta test. Details are posted here.
(Sat, 31 Mar 2018 10:37:00 -0400)
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Spark In The Classroom: Video Storytelling
This idea is perfect for younger students, and works particularly well when using Adobe Spark on the iPad. The idea is to encourage students to create their own storybook with not just their own story, but also their own pictures and their own voice telling the tale.First help the students talk through their story idea. Keep it short and simple at first. Have the students create pictures for each step in the story. Use regular 8.5x11 or A4 paper, and have them draw, color, paint, use stickers, etc. Encourage them to fill the sheets completely, big pictures work better then small ones. Then have students use their iPad to take a picture of each of their drawings saving them to the iPad Camera Roll. Next, open Spark Video and click the + button to create a new story. Have them type the story title and their name on the title screen, and then tap the Next button. The next screen offers story templates to help students get started. You'll not need them for this project, so tap the "Start from Scratch" button at the bottom of the screen to go to the Video editor. Spark Video adds the first slide for you. Slides may contain text, photos, video, icons, and combinations of these. The first slide is the story title slide, so have students select Text and then help them type the title of their story and their name. Then have them tap the + button at the bottom of the screen to add new slide. Tap Photo to add a photo, and then select "On my iPad" to locate the photos they just took of their drawings, and then add the first drawing. Repeat this step for the rest of their drawings, each drawing goes on its own slide. Now it's time to tell the tale. Tap each slide, starting with the first, to record the voiceover for the title screen and then for each picture. Students simply press the red microphone button, talk, and release the button when done. They should click the play button to listen to their recording, and then can rerecord if needed. Finally, students can select Themes and background Music for their story using the options at the top of the screen. Have them tap on various Themes while looking at the Title slide (as that is where they'll easily see how each Theme renders their creation). When done, have students click the share button at the top right to publish or download their very own story.
(Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:51:00 -0400)
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Spark In The Classroom: Video Journals
Lots of teachers encourage students to keep a daily journal, something short, focused, a few minutes of personal expression and communication to start each day. Student journals are usually written, but they need not be, and video journals are cool and lots of fun for kids to create. Here's how it works:Obviously, students need access to Adobe Spark which is fun, free, and runs on iPads and desktops (including Chromebooks). If using iOS have the student use the Spark Video app and click the + to create a new video. If using the web version click on the blue + and select Video. Have the student name the new video, call it "My Journal" or use the student's name as I did with mine. To personalize the journal further, have the student click the + on the left of the screen and add a picture of themself as the title screen background. If using iPad the student can even add a picture using the iPad camera. Students will update the same video every day, opening it, and then adding one new slide by tapping the + at the bottom left. Slides should be added to the end of the video, if students mistakenly insert the new slide earlier in the sequence, just have them tap on it and they'll be able to drag it to the correct location. The new slide can contain text, an icon, photos, videos, or combinations of these. Younger students will love coloring their own picture which they can take a picture of and then use as the slide background image. More sophisticated students may want to change layouts to Split Screen to have text alongside images and icons, and so on. The final step each day is for students to record their voice-over, their narration for the day's journal entry. It may help to have them write out what they plan to record, and read it when recording. Have them state the day and date, and then a brief sentence or two for the journal entry. When done, have the student click the play button to listen to their ever growing journal. The play button next to the slide editor will play just the new slide, the one at the bottom next to the slide carousel will play them all from the beginning. You can then have students download the video MP4 file, or publish it so it can be shared with family. The Video Journal can get rather long, so you may want to encourage student to start a new one each month.
(Wed, 28 Feb 2018 13:04:00 -0400)
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Blocking Inappropriate Images In Adobe Spark
One of the most popular features in Adobe Spark is the ability to search the internet for free Creative Commons images for use in videos, pages, and post. Spark is used extensively by children, and so we utilize safe-search to ensure that only appropriate images are returned. But, no public image search is ever 100% safe, that's an unfortunate reality.In our testing, Flickr appears to be the primary source of problematic images. And while the Flickr libraries are vast and the service is thus an invaluable source of images, you may want to block Flickr results for younger Spark users. To do this:
  1. Go to the web version of Spark at spark.adobe.com.
  2. Go to "Settings" which appears in the drop down under your profile image in the top right.
  3. Turn off "Flickr".
  4. You may also want to turn off "Adobe Stock" to block searches from our paid stock image service, as some Stock content may also be inappropriate for younger users.
These settings are applied to the account, so the block will apply to any browsers or devices logging in to Spark with the same account.
(Tue, 06 Feb 2018 22:41:00 -0400)
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Free Adobe Spark For Schools and Districts
Last week at BETT in London we announced that Adobe Spark, including Premium Features, would be made available for free to students and teachers. The release is planned for April, so not a lot of details were provided with the announcement. But, there's been huge interest in the upcoming offering, and lots of you have been wanting more information. So, with time to spare on this flight from London back Stateside, I've compiled some notes that should hopefully better explain things. (Of course, details could change between now and the planned release in April).
  • Adobe Spark is already used by students of all ages, from preschoolers through college students. But it's been a little tricky for minors (those under the age of 13) to use Spark because we could not allow them to create their own accounts. Our recommendation to date has been for teachers to create a shared classroom account for all students to use. This type of use will still be possible and allowed when we release the education offering.
  • The release in April is a different kind of deployment, one suited for schools and districts. It will make it possible for all students of all ages to log in and use Spark with their own accounts. They'll do this via their existing school login (Google, or Office 365, and so on). This way teachers and school staff don't have to manage and maintain additional accounts and logins, and students don't have additional passwords to remember (or forget). Spark will use students' existing accounts and logins, nice and simple.
  • The Spark school / district deployment is associated with school or district domains, so whoever manages the domain will need to be involved. We'll provide instructions on how to register the domain with us, how to set up federated authentication (don't worry, your IT person will know what that means), how to sync accounts, and so on.
  • The Spark school / district deployment will be available to both K-12 and higher-education worldwide.
  • Once set up, students of all ages can safely use Spark school / district deployment in a way that is consistent with COPPA privacy laws.
  • The Spark school / district deployment adheres to Adobe's Student Privacy Policy.
  • Students will be able to use both the web and iOS versions of Spark, and content will automatically sync between platforms.
  • We also announced that students would have free access to Spark's Premium Features which allow users to create custom themes and branded content. These features are usually paid for, $12/month or $100/year per user. Students using Spark via the new school / district deployment will have access to these paid features for free. (Sorry, we can't provide this benefit to students using a shared classroom account, this will only be available for Spark school / district deployments).
  • Oh, and it's not just for students. Once a domain has been granted access to Spark, all logins at that domain, including teachers and staff, will also have access to all of Spark's goodness, including the free Premium Features.
We'll published more details nearer the April 2018 release. In the meantime, if you need to learn more, comment below, or contact us at SparkEDU@adobe.com.
(Sun, 28 Jan 2018 16:43:00 -0400)
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Adobe Spark Free For All Students
Students (and their teachers) love Adobe Spark. But, Spark isn't quite perfect, yet. The two most common concerns are expressed by teachers are the lack of support for minor (under 13) logins, and the lack of integration with existing school logins. Well, both are about to be resolved.At BETT in London we announced that in time for Back-To-School 2018 we'll be supporting school-wide deployments, allowing all students (even minors) to safely access Spark using their existing school logins. In addition, we'll be making Spark Premium features (usually $10/mo or $100/yr per user) completely free for all students, their teachers, and anyone else with a school domain login (we want everyone in the schools to be able to learn, teach, and use Spark themselves). Watch for details in in the first half of 2018. More details to follow.
(Tue, 23 Jan 2018 03:07:00 -0400)
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Creative Problem Solving Research Published
Creative problem solving is the process of redefining problems and opportunities, coming up with new, innovative responses and solutions, and then taking action. Global research shows that tomorrow's jobs will demand creative problem solving skills. Adobe asked 1,600 higher and secondary educators, and 400 policymakers and influencers around the world to tell us about how students are being prepared to be creative problem solvers. This is important reading, and the full study, with supporting infographics, is now online.
(Mon, 22 Jan 2018 10:17:00 -0400)
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My Oracle Book In Chinese
My Sams Teach Yourself Oracle PL/SQL In 10 Minutes has just been released in Chinese (making this my 8th book transalted into Chinese).
(Tue, 09 Jan 2018 17:31:00 -0400)
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Using Adobe Spark To Advertise Your Class
Dr. Younus Y. Mirza, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Allegheny College, has shared how he uses Adobe Spark Video and Adobe Spark Page to advertise his classes in an informative and very personal way.
(Thu, 21 Dec 2017 09:20:00 -0400)
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Adobe XD December Update
The Adobe XD December update is out, complete with underlined text support, improved Lightroom and Adobe Stock integration, and lots more goodies.
(Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:11:00 -0400)
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Marc Schenker On Design Trends
Flat Design? Material Design? Skeumorphism? Minimalism? I missed this one last month, but better late than never ... Over on the Adobe Creative Cloud blog, Marc Schenker has shared useful insight into emerging design trends.
(Fri, 01 Dec 2017 13:17:00 -0400)
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