Using art to explore nature
Penn State embraces a collaborative learning philosophy by requiring every student to take an Integrative Studies course. Lori Hepner’s Biology 60N course, Art in the Natural World, brings together the worlds of biology and art by encouraging direct observations of nature. Hepner takes students out into the field and asks them to draw and identify natural objects observed during their walks.
In the past, students might need to carry sketch pads, coloured pencils and bags full of reference materials on these walks. Today, students just need a tablet. With Adobe Illustrator Draw, the tablet is a student’s canvas, allowing them to quickly create drawings of tree bark or native grasses found on their walks. They can pull up reference guides in PDF to compare what they’ve found and even layer images to contrast their observations with the data in the guide.
“Students previously only had access to Adobe Creative Cloud in campus computer labs,” says Hepner. “With the new Creative Cloud licences, students can download apps on their own devices and use them anywhere, whether they’re at home or in the field. The added mobility gives students the opportunity to work on projects whenever inspiration strikes. But it also lowers the barriers for non-traditional students who might be working full time and living off campus. They no longer need to strictly plan their day around the campus lab. Instead, they can explore ideas whenever they have free time.”
Bringing next-generation storytelling into the newsroom
Journalism has long incorporated visuals, including sketches, photographs, video or animated infographics, to better tell stories to readers. But today’s journalists are often expected to produce stories entirely by themselves, from photography to writing to editing video.
With the wide variety of apps in Adobe Creative Cloud, journalism students can find just the right app for any situation, whether they’re editing a video interview at home or reporting from the scene using their mobile phones.
Students also learn to create stories using new and emerging technologies. Professor Will Yurman trains his students to become journalists of the future by creating 360-degree documentary features. Print and digital journalism major Morgan Campbell produced a 360-degree video and accompanying article following a fellow student, Sam Reiser and his quest to turn an old school bus into his very own mobile tiny home. Taking advantage of 360-degree footage, Campbell invites viewers to turn their device and explore the tiny home, following Reiser’s movements one moment or inspecting the progress at the other end of the bus the next moment.
Campbell edited her documentary entirely within Adobe Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro also handles ambisonic or full-surround sound, natively, allowing Campbell to adjust the sound so that it shifts and turns as viewers look around. Campbell exported her final video directly from Premiere Pro to YouTube.
“We’re not incorporating Adobe Creative Cloud into the classroom just to teach Adobe products,” says Yurman. “The goal of Adobe Creative Cloud is to challenge students to work with new technologies, learn new skills and accomplish something incredible. We give students the tools that they need to do the kind of inventive work that will help them to succeed now and well into the future.”