Creative Campus Collaboration At UNC Chapel Hill

The Adobe Creative Campus Collaboration event, this time hosted by UNC Chapel Hill, marked my second time at this event (and my second visit to Chapel Hill). The event began with a welcome reception held at the historic DuBose House on the campus grounds. It was an excellent opportunity to talk with customers and for everyone to get a little familiar with those in attendance.

The elegant Dubose House on the UNC Chapel Hill Campus, was the location for the reception.

Over 30 schools were represented this time, including George Brown College from my home turf of Toronto. The event just keeps growing in size and popularity.

The stately interior of the Dubose House.
A social evening on the first night, for attendees, presenters and Adobe representatives

The Concept of Creative Campus Collaboration

While the main focus, Digital Fluency, remains the same, every Creative Campus event is a little different in terms of material covered. We learn from and act on feedback from prior events to make the day more engaging and relevant than the last. For example, the UNC event featured more student presentations and a hands-on workshop, as well as the always entertaining and informative presentations from faculty, CIOs and other thought leaders in the education community.

The entire premise revolves around educators and administrators sharing their success

The entire premise revolves around educators and administrators sharing their success and processes for incorporating digital fluency methodologies into the curriculum, with Adobe solutions at the heart of it all. While there are always several people from Adobe at the event, we take a back seat; people attend to hear other educators, not Adobe staff.


Our room at the Loudermilk Hall filled quickly with more than 50 educators, CIO's and students.

The day's keynote speaker - Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz - Dean of UNC Chapel Hill College of Arts and Science, spoke about Redefining a Liberal Arts Education for the 21st Century.

Keynote Dr. Guskiewic also said problem solving skills - instead of memorization - and creativity - instead of passive learning -are critical.

CIO Chris Kielt kicked off a full segment on the Carolina Digital Literacy Initiative at UNC Chapel Hill. his focus was on turning a generation of digital consumers to a generation of digital creators.
Director of IT at UNC Chapel Hill, Suzanne Caldwell, talked about how they asked for concrete use cases for those faculty applying for access to Creative Cloud.
UNC faculty member Dan Anderson spoke about "The Power of Positive Disruption" and how his students are creating digital media mash-ups that compare and contrast contemporary (and not so contemporary) concepts.
UNC faculty Todd Taylor explains his concept behind bringing digital communication skills to the students in his writing program, who come from a wide range of majors.
Students Prakash Kadiri and Brent Comstock talked about their own experiences and the impact that Creative Cloud tools had on their education and their futures. Kadiri spoke in detail about his recent film production, and the challenges of shooting on actual film and moving to digital editing. Brent talked about how students - who may arrive as blank slates and unsure of their motivations, can begin to realize their potential by learning and using technology.
Break time


Director of the USC Annenberg Digital Lounge, Courtney Miller and her colleague, Amara Aguilar (Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Digital Journalism), talked about defining 21st century literacies, building and walking on the road of Digital Literacy.

Director of the USC Annenberg Digital Lounge, Courtney Miller
Amara Aguilar (Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Digital Journalism)
Adobe Co-Chair for the event, Sebastian Distefano, Melody Buckner (Director of Digital Learning and Online Education at the University of Arizona), at his side, shares a story about the last event which was hosted by UofA.
Melody's colleague, Jennifer Nichols, a Digital Scholarship Librarian talks about the UofA's use of Creative Cloud on campus
Former Clemson CIO Jim Bottum relays to the audience that at first he was resistant to adopting Creative Cloud across the entire campus. But that reluctance vanished when he was made aware of the value to faculty and students, and Adobe's commitment to being a partner, not just a vendor.
Clemson Media Resources Consultant Wesley Smith talks about the digital transformation at Clemson and its impact on students.
Clemson Ph.D student, April O'Brien shares her personal experience and the exciting work of her students in the Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design program, where her students, "practice Knowing, Doing, and Making."
Jan Holmevik, Clemson Associate Professor of English and Co-Director of the Center of Excellence in Next Generation Computing and Creativity talks about how important digital literacy to the success of both students and faculty.
An engaged audience asks questions of and listens to the final "wrap up" panel.


Wrapping up the information packed day was a very scrumptious, family-style dinner at The Bridge Club in Raleigh. Conversations that began during the day, continued into the evening. The energy and enthusiasm at dinner was palpable, and it wasn't just from rumbly tummies!

Good food, good wine and good (and often, new) friends made for a wonderful evening and official close to the event
But this wasn't the end...

Workshop: Zero - Creative Cloud in one APP-ternoon

The following day, Todd Taylor led a group of likeminded educators and administrators in his process for bringing students and faculty up to a "working level" using Creative Cloud. In a "train the trainer" fashion, Todd demonstrated and walked the group through his concept and the use of the free Adobe Spark tools (Post, Page and Video).

By the end of the 3-hour workshop, each participant had the beginnings of a social media profile pic/meme, an online syllabus, and a lesson plan, all created with Adobe Spark.
Sitting in the hotel lobby, I created this Spark Post for my social media channels, in about 5 minutes. In fact, Spark Page (what you're reading right now) was a very prominent presentation tool at the event, along with being the focus of Todd Taylor's workshop.

Similar Events

Want to learn more about the importance of digital fluency and how schools and teachers are forging this path? Feel free to check out these other stories at the links below.

Created By
Jim Babbage


All photography by Jim Babbage. Story written by Jim Babbage, with notes from Donna Caldwell and Steve Adler.

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