PBC School District Students Can Download Microsoft Office 365 Suite Absolutely Free | District News

The more than 183,000 students of the Palm Beach County school district now have a new set of tools that they can add to their learning supplies, and it’s all free.

Thanks to Microsoft’s Student Advantage Program, students can now download the full Microsoft Office 365 suite which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher, Lync, Outlook and Access on up to five devices at no charge.

Learn more here:

PBC School District Students Can Download Microsoft Office 365 Suite Absolutely Free | District News.

I Didn’t Know You Could Do That with Acrobat

Acrobat 9: More than just a document printer

As part of our District’s rollout of the Adobe Digital School Collection, teachers and students now have much wider access to the creative tools found in the suite–Photoshop and Premiere Elements as well as Soundbooth–but they also have access to Acrobat 9 Professional.

You might wonder why Acrobat is even included in that package since most of us think of PDFs as just a way to convert a Word document or to download and view some sort of legal or business form. Truth is, as a program that has been around for quite a few years and has grown quite a bit in that time, Acrobat can do WAY more than just create viewable electronic documents. In fact, one of the really compelling uses for Acrobat in the classroom is its ability to create student portfolios of digital work done by students. That will be the focus we take in our trainings and the work we’ll be doing with our teachers.

In the video below from Lynda.com (by way of the free Adobe TV website) you’ll see a quick overview of the many things that Acrobat can do. I bet you’ll find more than a few things that surprise you!

Creative Space Geeks Rejoice! NASA Releases High Definition Images on Flickr

Space Shuttle Endeavor Lifts OffNASA Releases Copyright-free Images on Flickr

NASA this week released many of the images in their historical repository to a new spot on Flickr–NASA on The Commons. This is a great new resource for high definition digital photographs like the one you see here. From tremendously artistic launch photos like the one you see here to historical photos of the early efforts to put man into space, the collection may be modest for now, but will grow over time. (Notice how this photograph combines the sun’s lighting of the clouds behind the shuttle to add a dynamic lighting effect to the image.)

For students and teachers these are great source images that can be incorporated into all sorts of creative classroom projects. Imagine these photos as part of a report prepared by a student that includes research, writing, narration, movement, music, and other aspects that involve multiple senses, and you’ll have a good start on a tremendous project you can do with your students. As with any project involving digital media you’ll want to start out with clear learning objectives that are in-line with your course requirements. From there, you’ll find that great images like this one will often spark an interest in your students minds and get the creative juices flowing.

For Palm Beach County teachers Flickr has been blocked by our filtering service in the past. Luckily that is about to change as new filtering policies go into place so teachers will be able to access NASA on the Commons and other services like it, including the Library of Congress Photostream on Flickr. Student access to Flickr will remain restricted while at school, but of course students will be able to reach these educational collections from home.

Thanks to Mashable.com for the original news stories on this topic:

NASA Puts Historic Image Collections on Flickr

Flickr Now Streaming the Library of Congress’ Pics

Inspiring Student Artwork from Seminole Ridge HS

One of the teachers in our school district that I have tremendous respect for is Mr. Rob Schwartz at Seminole Ridge High School. Mr. Schwartz does phenomenal work with his students, teaching graphic and web design in way that brings out his students’ expressiveness in remarkable ways. The image you see here is from his own website where he hosts a Best of the Best student art gallery featuring student art work that meet his demanding standards. (Love those red glasses!) If you’re teaching graphic design and want some examples to show your own students this is a great place to start.

Mr. Schwartz is also one of those incredibly generous teachers who makes his time, ideas, and resources available to his peers around the world and is active in the Adobe Education Leaders program . You can find all sorts of great tutorials and resources that he’s produced for his students at his BrainBuffet.com website, with a focus on Photoshop and Illustrator and some Dreamweaver thrown in for good measure.

So, hats off to Mr. Schwartz and to his students at Seminole Ridge! To the students, you are in great hands and you have a great year ahead of you with Mr. Schwartz. We’ll be looking to see your artwork added to the Wall of Fame, and to see your industry certifications hanging on the wall by year’s end.

Welcome to the Creative Classroom Weblog!

Creative Classroom image

Welcome to The Creative Classroom Weblog!

This is our “Hello World” to let everyone know the new blog is up and running. And what exactly are we running? Glad you asked!

As this school year begins more than 70 Palm Beach County schools will be receiving a package of creative software tools known as the Adobe Digital School Collection (ADSC). The software titles being provided to schools were purchased with a federal stimulus grant and include Photoshop Elements 8, Premiere Elements8, Soundbooth CS4, and Acrobat Professional 9. These tools allow teachers and students to use digital images, video, and audio to express themselves and make strong connections with their classroom lessons.

This blog supports the ADSC rollout and the classroom teachers and media specialists who’ll be using this software with their students. We’ll be posting lots of great information and links here to lesson plans, tutorials, and ideas to help you incorporate digital creative tools into your classroom, so be sure to check back often as new goodies are offered! And of course, feel free to post your comments and questions here.

To help get you started The Education Network and Educational Technology collaborated this summer on the creation of over 10 hours of video based instruction on how to use the software and, more importantly, use it to meet your instructional objectives. These lessons are now encapsulated into online courses that you can take at your own pace. Two titles are available right now. Just login to our TrainU learning management system using the same credentials you use to sign onto your computer. The two courses listed below are available now. (Soundbooth CS4 and Acrobat Professional will be ready beginning on September 15th.)

Photoshop Elements 8 in the Classroom (photo editing and graphic design)

Premiere Elements 8 in the Classroom (video editing and video podcasts)