Investing in Lifelong Learners
Digital literacy and teamwork are rapidly becoming essential knowledge in the global economy. To help young people in Idaho compete for jobs, the Idaho State Department of Education (ISDE) needed a way to give a diverse and geographically dispersed student population access to cutting-edge technologies.
Through the Create Idaho program, ISDE collaborated with state legislators, school districts, and teachers to provide Adobe Creative Cloud software, certifications, and curriculum to schools. An Adobe Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) grants students, faculty, and staff spread across 84 million square miles continual access to the latest apps from computers at school and home.
“Create Idaho is about creating a positive, competitive experience for students in Idaho,” says Rick Kennedy, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Idaho State Department of Education. “Working with Adobe Creative Cloud, we’re not only giving students skills that will help them in the workforce, but we’re getting them interested in learning and post-secondary education.”
Besides teaching the basics of industry-standard apps such as Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Illustrator CC, some schools train students to use video apps including Adobe Premiere Pro CC. Some are even trying beta solutions such as Adobe Fuse CC, which lets users create custom 3D characters for Photoshop projects.
Because projects are saved in the cloud, students can access them from any device at any time. Plus, they can collaborate online with other students. One TV production class even taught itself to use Team Projects to simultaneously edit videos with Premiere Pro for school news shows using tutorial videos and resources outside the classroom.
Create Idaho also helps students study for Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) credentials. Since a pilot began during the 2017–18 school year, students earned 1,432 ACA certificates and faculty members earned 37. In fact, some middle school students earned up to six certifications each to prepare for high school. ISDE plans to expand access to ACA certification statewide by 2019.
“The sense of accomplishment from our students is amazing,” says Roni Gilbertson, Career and Technical Education Teacher at Sawtooth Middle School. “Kids are coming into classes because it’s cutting-edge technology and lots of fun, but as they keep working they start to gain more interest in technology. Earning Adobe certification builds students’ confidence even further and provides the positive feedback that they need to continue learning.”
Besides demonstrating student mastery of skills for job and internship applications, ACA certifications can be applied toward college credit at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. Practical experience with Adobe Creative Cloud apps has allowed students to gain professional experience working with local companies and freelancing. The connection between creativity and technology is also improving participation in STEM programs by female and minority students.
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