From Digital Citizens To Digital Creators: Preparing Students For The Future

Posted by Mark Rupert, senior director, Adobe Education
I was fortunate enough to host a delegation of congressional staffers organized by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) last month at Adobe’s San Francisco office to chat about the vital role that technology plays in education.
Technology is immersed into practically every aspect of our lives. It affects how we socialize, digest content, and, most importantly, learn. And students are no exception. In an increasingly digital world, we need to cultivate the skillset that students need to succeed in the future workforce. This is why Adobe is committed to inspiring and empowering the next generation to be lifelong creators.
Technology in education is traditionally thought of as a computer in the classroom. At Adobe, we think of it as much more than that because having technology in the classroom has numerous benefits, including:

Enabling personalized learning experiences that are more engaging and relevant;
Helping students take advantage of learning opportunities in museums, libraries or other out-of-school settings;
Providing real-world challenges and project-based learning with complex concepts and content;
Helping learners pursue passions and personal interests;
Making transformative learning opportunities available to all learners.

From coding to media production, exposure to Adobe software helps students develop key skills that employers want such as problem solving, critical thinking, digital literacy and –perhaps most importantly – creativity. According to a recent study commissioned by Adobe, 85 percent of students and 91 percent of teachers see creativity as essential to students’ future careers, and 94 percent of teachers feel their students will have careers that do not exist today.
To prepare our future workforce, Adobe is working with educators across the country to increase the focus on creativity in the classroom. For example, many teachers are using Adobe Spark to introduce students to the power of visual communications. Spark serves as a one-stop content shop for creating and sharing visual stories such as social media posts, memes, graphics and animated videos. Students who are introduced to Spark develop skills that prepare them for more advanced software tools like Photoshop and Illustrator – both of which are essential for designers, media professionals, and numerous other professions.
While Adobe has tried to make a difference by committing more than $300 million in software and professional development to schools, the federal government must ensure schools are getting the resources they need to cultivate the next generation of creative problem solvers.  I encourage all of the congressional staffers who I was fortunate enough to meet with and their colleagues in Washington, D.C. to support funding for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants to help schools purchase software, hardware, and other resources needed to prepare the workforce of the future.
Adobe’s goal is to turn students, who are all digital consumers, into digital creators, and they will never be able to do that if they do not have the tools they need. We believe that when students learn to express themselves, they will find their voice and find new ways to impact the world around them.