Creativity is the buzzword that is beginning to define the frontiers of leadership in the domain of education. Peter McAlpine, senior director, education and channel, Adobe Systems Incorporated-APAC talks about the role of technology in creative learning at the Adobe Education Leadership Forum hosted at Kuala Lumpur.
In your view what is the connection between digital learning and creative intelligence and how does Adobe envisage fostering creative intelligence through its various products and suites?
Our recent ‘Education, Creativity and Employability’ study, revealed interesting points on the ubiquity of creativity in the classroom. Educators across Asia Pacific were unanimous in their agreement that creative expression is a must for all students regardless of their stream of study. An overwhelming 97% of respondents feel that creative tools help students to better grasp theoretical concepts and enhance their overall understanding in the classroom.
At Adobe, we realised over two years ago that if we’re going to meet our goal of unleashing creativity in educational institutions worldwide, we needed to redefine the way we inspire and engage educators. We re-designed and re-launched our educator platform and have created a professional development programme based on best practices for adult learning. In addition, we offer a wide array of learning opportunities, from live to asynchronous, from product-focused to more esoteric explorations of pedagogy and instructional design. To date, we have trained over 38,000 educators worldwide and added a number of innovations – including gamification, collaboration, and creative challenges – into our offerings
What are the specific opportunities within our current education system to incorporate digital learning?
Access to education is a fundamental right of every citizen in India. Currently, the literacy rate in India is 74% and the government aims to achieve 80% literacy rate by 2017. In terms of opportunity, the Indian education market size is currently USD 85 billion and is expected to increase to USD 109.8 billion by financial year 2015.
Adobe’s vision is to align students and careers by providing them with the tools and skills that will help them to evolve their capabilities through the education system and beyond. Adobe is working closely with education institutions in India at all levels to transform teaching and learning. Currently, the Indian education system faces its biggest challenges in terms of basic needs such as high-speed internet connectivity, power, lack of adequate number of computer systems etc. Adobe plays a crucial role in enabling the education ecosystem to meet this demand by truly democratising the creation of content. The company has a long history of bringing cutting-edge tools that have transformed teaching and learning experiences in classrooms. Adobe tools support the administration of learning environments and further help in improving the collaboration between various members of the education community
How has your experience been while working with India, other Southeast Asian countries like China and South Korea and the developed West? What are the similarities and contrasts?
There are four major shifts that we are seeing in campuses around the world, be it a developed or a developing country. Firstly, campuses are experiencing a dramatic increase in the diversity of devices. Secondly, they are constantly fostering creativity in teaching and learning. Thirdly, most countries are staying current and productive with the latest tools and finally they are providing equity and access in a complex technology environment.
Asia has the world’s highest regional growth rate for e-learning. Increasing internet penetration, low cost existing coverage and rising demand is helping this market to develop. In India the scenario is fairly similar to the rest of Asia. The key drivers for this market are increasing government initiatives to promote E-learning, the growing adoption of technology, the shortage of quality education and convenience and affordability factors. The rapid adoption of mobile technology is going to play a major role in the way the entire digital experience is valued and consumed.