Adobe 2012 Educator’s Choice Awards

Educator’s Choice Higher Ed Grand Prize Winner ‘Type Faces’ by Micheal Cole

I had the great opportunity to serve as one of the judges for the 2012 Educator’s Choice Awards sponsored by Adobe.  The contest celebrates the best projects, lesson plans, and curricula used to teach Adobe tools and technologies in innovative, creative and inspiring ways. There were several hundred entries. Many were fascinating.

The judges picked the finalists, then opened the judging up for the public to vote. Adobe announced the winners this morning! Congrats to all of the finalists and winners. A job well done!

Visit the Adobe Education Exchange and view the winning entries.


“Working Smarter…” Presentation at Adobe MAX in L.A.!

After much anticipation, my colleague Craig Taylor and I delivered a session entitled “RIA in Education: Working Smarter Not Harder”.

Official Description:
See examples and hear strategies on maximizing the use of rich Internet applications (RIAs) in education while still providing the user with a personal experience. Learn how Miami University architects RIAs for education using Flash Catalyst, Flash Builder, and Adobe AIR. This session features an overview of models of development and looks under the hood at a few higher education applications built in Flash Catalyst and Flex Builder (the precursor to Flash Builder) and delivered with AIR.

The session had 58 attendees and we scored well in the session evaluations!

View the streamed session here .

Demo of Virtual Audience at Adobe’s HQ in San Jose, CA

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Demonstration of Virtual Audience“, posted with vodpod

Here’s a bite-size bit of video of me presenting our Vitrual Audience software at the Adobe Education Leaders’ Summer Institute at Adobe HQ in San Jose.

Here I demonstrate how the computer’s camera watches you “perform”. When the computer senses you’re finished, the audience claps. Sometimes more than others!

Thanks to Ian Usher for capturing this video!

**11/12/12 update- If you are interested in the V.A. download, please see this post.**




Presenting at the Education Leader’s Summer Institute

Showing some interaction's we've made at Miami

On stage showing some interaction's we've made at Miami. Photo by Ian Usher.

From the Adobe Website: “The Adobe Education Leader (AEL) program highlights the successes and contributions of innovative educators involved in Higher Education (Post-secondary – Public and Private Universities, Community Colleges, Vocational Schools) and K-12 Education (Primary and Secondary) utilizing Adobe tools and applications.”

Though the AEL program has been around for a few years, this year Adobe added 40 members from select international higher education institutions.

The Adobe Education Leader’s Summer Institute is a week long event that allows the AELs the opportunity to share their work with one another, discuss emerging trends in technology, preview upcoming software and help guide the development and marketing of Adobe software for use in education.

It was a great week in San Jose. I got the chance to meet many great minds and saw some cool uses of new technology!

Read more about the Adobe Education Leaders Program and view some AEL Profiles.


Best of New Media Consortium ’09

NMCRIbbonA screen cap from my Prezi - on our new Video Annotation System
A screen cap from my Prezi – on our new Video Annotation System

My interactive presentation on Miami University’s Video Annotation and Review System scored the ‘Best of NMC’ award this year at the New Media Consortium in Monterey!

Check out the Prezi presentation! Go Team!


Adobe OnDemand Educator Series

Our Online Seminar for Adobe

In this OnDemand seminar series from Adobe, we show examples and share our strategies for maximizing reuse of Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) in education while still providing the user with a personal experience. This recorded session shows demos of popular learning activities and features both an overview of models of development and looks under the hood at a few higher education applications currently being built using the Adobe Flash platform, and delivered with AIR.

The OnDemand Seminar Series requires a free Adobe ID.

Check out the webinar here. It will be available through June of 2010.


Virtual Audience Using Adobe AIR

A pre-recorded audience listens AND responds to your performance

A pre-recorded audience listens AND responds to your performance


The Virtual Audience allows the user to practice in a virtual reality performing in front of a living, breathing  virtual audience.

11/12/12 update- If you are interested in the V.A. download, please see this post.

The initial faculty request was to create a DVD with loopable video that would allow a music student to practice in front of an audience that did the distracting things that audiences do, cough, sneeze, whisper, etc.  In theory this would allow the student to be desensitized to audience distractions. We satisfied the faculty’s initial request by making a DVD. But, I asked to go a step further,  and make a more interactive version by using Flash’s ability to sense user’s movement and sound using a web camera’s lens (as the audience’s eyes) and mic (as their ears).

When Flash senses movement from the camera, it tells the audience when the student has “taken the stage” and Flash prompts the audience to act accordingly: welcome clap.  We shot fourteen segments of distractions. Audience members coughing, sleeping, answering cell calls, etc. During the performance, random clips of video load that represent audience behavior. Or, distractions. When Flash hears that the music has stopped for a few seconds, it tells the audience to clap in response to a performance ending. And, like a real audience, you don’t know how they will react. Sometimes the performer receives a polite clap, sometimes a more enthusiastic applause, sometimes a full standing ovation.

We are using Adobe AIR as the deployment method for a few of reasons:

  • Though streaming the video from Flash Media Server is an option, for quality and processing consistency, this needs to be a desktop application
  • we wanted to avoid creating two different versions
  • Air has a seamless update framework. This allows us to easily push updates to the user without them have to do much more than allow the update to occur

We actually tested the VA in various settings (from HUGE screens, to life size projectors to video goggles). It had a chilling (but good) effect when I “took the stage”.

During the development, we realized that the VA could be used by other areas of the university that “perform” in front of an audience. Namely speech communication and theater. Both programs require students to think on their toes and concentrate on performing a piece that they may be very familiar with performing in a quiet setting, with no distractions.

Future versions will be available using Flash Media Server and will feature video shot in HD format. The HD format will provide finer quality video when the audiences is projected on to large format screens or viewed on larger monitors.

See a 5 minute demo of the Virtual Audience