USC Annenberg and Adobe: A Digital Partnership

USC Annenberg and Adobe are entering their second year of a partnership that provides access to the Adobe Creative Cloud suite for all Annenberg students, faculty and staff. And mobility is at the forefront of that partnership.

James Vasquez, associate dean of operations, said that the school wanted to find software that promoted a great skillset for Annenberg students to create content. The partnership also allowed the school to move forward with the mandatory laptop requirement set this year.

“It has revolutionized the way we teach in our classrooms because the mandatory laptop requirement allowed us to move away from the traditional computer lab model,” Vasquez said. “That’s a very big decision that we made a number of years ago, and the Adobe Creative Cloud was right in the center of that decision.” In an article by Adobe, USC Annenberg was considered a model of pioneering a new era for digital communication and it’s a statement Vasquez completely agrees with. Vasquez explained that since Ernest J. Wilson III was appointed dean, Annenberg has looked at media, entertainment, and communication and the role the school will play in those fields.

“We’re building a dynamic technology infrastructure that allows us to have a really ubiquitous usage of technology throughout our classrooms and our general media environment,” Vasquez said. “I do think we are at the technological forefront of the new field of communication.”

The USC Annenberg Digital Lounge has helped foster the common skill set USC Annenberg students will gain through the workshops offered every Tuesday through Thursday. “Our main focus is on the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, but we do a range in focus on workshops held here,” Erika Hang, design specialist at the USC Annenberg Digital Lounge, said. “We’re curriculum based so anything that is taught in the classroom we try to support.” It is all in an effort to make students more marketable when they graduate, Hang said.

The digital lounge will also begin offering certification programs set to launch next spring, Vasquez said. “We’re going to start with Photoshop,” Vasquez said. “Come mid-spring students will be able to attend a series of certification programs and they can actually walk away being certified in Adobe Photoshop.”

Last year Dean Wilson appointed a committee to push towards his 21st Century Literaciesinitiative. The initiative focuses on the school supporting students to better use their own devices while relying less on school-supported computer labs. Vasquez explained that the Dean and the committee explored the definition the word literacy and wanted to identify what types of core skills USC Annenberg students needed upon graduation. One of the key elements the initiative did was pull together common skills across all Annenberg curriculums, Vasquez added. “The Dean and the committee came up with guidelines and steps and now the next step is for the school to implement that literacy initiative,” Vasquez said. “The Creative Cloud is just one component of it.”