Product Index
Teacher Needs

Platform that engages teachers in online courses and resources to incorporate media creation into the classroom.


AdobeEducation Exchange is a free platform that focuses on building teachers’ skills and helps them to incorporate media intothe classroom. It allows teachers to share and search for classroom resources,engage in discussions with others, and take online courses to learn more. Whilemuch of the platform has a focus on Adobe products (resources that requirethings like Photoshop or Flash and profiles for highlighting expertise with aspecific product) there are also more resources and online courses focusingbroadly on creativity and media, not tied to a specific product.

  • Purpose: Engage, Learn
  • Primary Users: Individual educators + Adobe Education Trainers
  • Cost: Free
  • Seeking Improvement: Integrating creativity skills into curriculum
  • On-Brand Use: Teachers use this to find resources, connect with other educators on the network, and take courses focused around how to integrate creativity skills into all class subjects. Educators wanting to train other educators also use the tool to take courses to become Adobe Education Trainers.
  • Off -Brand Use: High school aged students are taking the courses to learn how to teach others how use Adobe products. IT departments are using the courses to train their staff how to better serve people at the help desk.
  • Platforms: Web Based platform, on all browsers
  • Deal breakers: Some of the resources require Adobe products to work or to engage in. If a teacher is unable to download a free trial or doesn’t have access to the products, it would preclude them from using some, but not all, of the resources loaded up on the site.
  • Types of Schools Using It: Individual teachers and districts that have purchased Adobe products 

Product Brief

Value Added:

Foreducators who are interested in fostering creativity, Adobe Education Exchange is a blendof other like-minded educators, the resources they share, and opportunities totake courses on the topic. The great value is the hugely diverse collection ofhigh quality digital media resources. There are many different ways to learnand to use the Exchange. Teachers can go at their own pace with asynchronouscourses or they can simply use it as a place to share resources. There are alsoaccess points for all types of educators, including those teaching math andscience.

Schoolsthat have access to Adobe products and need to train staff to use them will findample opportunities to learn on the Exchange. There is even a train-the-traineronline course for educators. It’s agreat way for schools to get  teachers or even students up to speed on howto teach others how to use digital media tools.

TheAdobe Exchange is also a great way for educators to explore if the Adobe toolsets would be useful in their classes. Educators can do a free 30-day trial ofthe Adobe product that interests them, and then take a course to learn moreabout it.  

On February 28, 2014,Adobe upped its contributions to education by committing to provide more than$300 million worth of software and production development to helping teachersuse digital multimedia products. (Here’s theAdobe release on the news.)

How It Works:

Thereare four different areas of engagement on Adobe’s Exchange site, ‘Resources’,‘Community’, ‘Discussions’, and ‘Professional Development.’ Anyone can searchfor these resources, profiles, discussion topics, and online courses with orwithout being logged in. However, to download or share anything, or take partin discussions a user must create an account.


Tofind a resource, users can search by grade level, subject area, resource typeor Adobe product. Resources include anything from a five-minute activity to afull yearlong curriculum. Resource types include assessments, lesson plans,presentations, projects and technical tutorials. Resources can includedownloadable files or links.

TheExchange lists what teachers need to implement the resource, along with a recommendedmeasure of technical experience ranging from “rookie”, “novice”,“intermediate”, “pro”, and “expert” so users can gauge whether a resources is agood fit.

Userscan comment on resource or ask the person who shared it questions about how toproperly use it. Comments are tracked at the bottom of each resource page likea feed, so anyone can see the discussion and the types of experience othershave had with the tool. Users are also invited to rate the product on a five-pointscale. 

Theresources also track and display data like how many people have seen theresource, commented on it, and ratings they gave it.

Onceusers see a resource they like, they can mark it as a  “favorite,” and it will join   a “favorites”list within their own profiles.  

Toshare a resource, users click the ‘Share Resource’ button in the drop downmenu. They select the type of resource they’d like to share first, and thenfill out a description about that resource and tag it according to grade,subject, products needed, and searchable keywords. Users sharing a resource canalso assign it a Creative Commons license, (basically a way to govern how theresource can be used by others). 

Asof autumn 2013 users had shared more than 5,500 resources on the site and contributedin excess of 50,000 comments on the available resources.


Thecommunity consists of member profiles; those who share contact information (email,LinkedIn or other social media addresses) are free to contact one another. Thereis currently no way to communicate directly with a member through the site.However, users can follow each other and be notified when they share resources. 

Itis mainly a place where users can share more about themselves, track badgesthey have earned, courses they’ve completed, and designate which Adobe productsthey have mastered.

Thecommunity consists of  127,000 educators from around the world.Members are predominantly from North America; the UK, Australia, and NewZealand have their own versions of the site. Out of the entire US community 57%are teachers or professors, 11% are tech or media specialists, 10% arecurriculum specialists or trainers, and the rest are a mix of administrators,graduate students, and others.

Membersearn points for engaging in activities on the site, such as sharing resources,commenting, rating those comments, and following each other. Users can alsoearn badges (distinct from points) for things including becoming an AdobeCertified Expert (through an online course), being chosen as the best answer ina discussion, having more than 10 members following you, or sharing more thanfive resources.

Users track pointsand badges on their profiles.


Thediscussion section of the form is essentially a forum for users to ask andanswer questions.  Discussion topics are broken up into fourdifferent categories: CTE/Vocational Education, Education Technology, Events,and Research and Learning. Each group has subtopics as well.

Inthe forum, users can ask questions, upload resources and ask for critique, orsimply start a discussion. Often times these discussions are catalyzed by anonline course and will involve everyone taking part in the course. Users cantag discussions (like resources) and can be ranked according to how many peoplehave seen it, and how many have commented.

Adiscussion topic like “Teachable Moments: Memes” asks people to share anddiscuss their favorite meme, including how to integrate memes into theclassroom. This discussion received over 20 comments and over 5,100 views inless than a month since it was posted.

Professional Development

Theprofessional development part of the platform is a catalogue of online courses,self-paced asynchronous modules and live webinars. Most of the course topicscover creativity and media creation, with topics like “Managing CreativeClassrooms” and “Designing Creativity in the Primary Grades.”  Somecourses are focused on an Adobe product like “Making It With Creative Cloud” or“Interdisciplinary Learning With Photoshop 101.”

Teacherscan use the courses to brush up on their Adobe skills or to study how tointegrate the tools and approaches into their classroom. There is also a strandfor those who want to become a certified Adobe trainer in their district.

Asof autumn 2013, there were 20 self paced workshops devoted to “creativity” inthe classroom.” Workshops are meant to inspire teachers to be more creative andthink about how to foster that creativity in their own classrooms. Workshopstake users through four steps that include:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Learn a New Skill
  3. A Creative Challenge
  4. Closing

Eachworkshop is self-paced and asks users to learn a new skill and then apply thatnew skill by creating something. Finally, the workshops instruct users to sharetheir work (both resources and reflections) with the community and solicitcritiques and feedback.   

Morestructured courses are available that happen at a specific time and organize acohort of participants around a specific topic.

Allcourses are free; instructors guide the courses and review homework. Onlinecourses have a live component that takes place on Adobe Connect, where theinstructor does a screen share and does direct instruction. At the same timethere are question-and-answer chats going on, which provide space forparticipants to talk it out. Most of the online courses are six-weeks long andfocus on topics such as  “Digital Imagingfor Beginners” or “Digital Creativity in the Classroom.”

Thereare also 30-minute live webinars offered through the platform, led by educatorsin the field.

How is it used?

Someeducators use the Adobe Exchange platform to find resources and support forusing Adobe products. Others  want to learn how to integrate media intotheir classrooms. Still others are simply seeking some good ideas.

Schoolsthat have purchased Adobe software licenses can use the  online courses to train   teacherleaders  how to use the tools. (They can then, inturn,   train the rest of their staff or encouragetheir whole staff to use the Resource section of the platform to find tools.)  

Educatorswho don’t have Adobe product licenses, they will often download a 30-day freetrial while they take a course.  .

Who’s Using It?

Amajority of teachers who use the platform do it independently of their schools.As of late 2013, more than 127,000 people were using  the platform, 57% of whom were teachers, 11% weretech or media specialists, and 10% were curriculum specialists or trainers.

Someeducators are using the platform (and Adobe tools) throughout a   regionof schools. The province of Alberta, Canada bought Adobe Digital SchoolCollection and Adobe Creative Suite Master Collections for all their schools. Theprovince is encouraging all teachers in the region to attend the Adobe webinarsand use the Exchange to share expertise and quell fears about using technologyin school.


Thebiggest barrier to using this product to the fullest is having access to Adobeproducts. If a user lacks access to Adobe, even on a limited (and free) trialbasis, then some of the tasks associated with the courses will be impossible todo.



Thetool is entirely browser based. To fully implement and get the most out oftraining and resources, teachers need access to Adobe products.


Everythingon the platform is entirely free, including all the courses. While there are 30-daytrials of Adobe products available, licenses for individual products typicallystarts at more than $300 per user per product.


Noformal graduate credits are associated with courses. However, teachers canreceive badges, tied to the website, for completing courses. Getting PD credithours for the badges is up to each individual school district to assign. 


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