As a COD staff or faculty member, you have free access (just ask IT!) to the complete suite of Adobe creative tools. This includes everything from Photoshop to Premiere. That’s a whole lot of potential to do some really cool things. It’s also really overwhelming if these aren’t tech tools that you’re used to using, especially in an educational setting. So what do you do?

You can always ask for help from Learning Technologies or hit up, but Adobe itself also offers some pretty amazing training opportunities for educators and students called Adobe Education Exchange.

Once you’ve created an account, it’s a good idea to watch the quick video tour of the site that Adobe offers to get some basic familiarity with what’s offered. You can also skip straight to browsing learning opportunities if that’s more your speed. There, you can search for courses, workshops and live events by the target age level and subject so it’s pretty easy to narrow your focus and find something that suits your interests. Even better, each offering clearly shows which products it requires, so you can get your computer set up well in advance.

You’ll need to register for courses and live events, but workshops and presentations are self-guided and on-demand if you can’t commit to a set schedule. Here’s a sampling of the kind of content offered:

  • Explanimations in the Classroom
  • Getting Started with Adobe in the Classroom
  • Digital Publishing for Educators
  • Best Practices: 3 Tips for Using Spark in the History Classroom
  • Adobe Captivate Series: Enhancing Our Work with Interactivity

One of the cool things about courses though Adobe EE is that once you’ve completed them, you’ll get a badge that you can showcase on your resume or online portfolio. It can be a great way to stack up some professional development and show off what you’re learning.

You can also use Adobe EE to connect with other educators. Under the “Connnections” tab, you can keep track of other Adobe EE learners you’ve met, your followers, and groups that you belong to. These networks can be useful when trying to learn a new tool, find ideas, or stay in-the-know about the latest and greatest in education technology.

Finally, let’s say you want to share what you’ve learned to your coworkers  or even your students. Adobe makes that simple as well. There are lesson plans available for a wide range of applications and products, so that you can use your newfound expertise to train others.

All in all, it’s a pretty awesome free tool for professional development, and something anyone looking to learn more about the Adobe Creative Suite should take advantage of while things are slower over summer—though courses are offered year round. You’ll likely find team members of Learning Tech in most of the courses, so we would be happy to lend support and share ideas as we learn more together!