OneNewThing - Adobe Spark
instructional technology, TLT, Video

#OneNewThing – Adobe Spark

This summer I attended a teaching symposium where the mantra was “One New Thing,” or the act of finding one thing that you think will meet a need and implementing it instead of feeling pressure to implement many things.  This new series will focus on helping you potentially find your #OneNewThing.

One New Thing from TLT
Adobe Spark is an online graphics and video application.  Use the Social Graphics app to create graphics with text to post to social media or to liven up blog posts or presentations.  Use Web Stories to create interactive pages for storytelling or newsletters.  Animated Videos allows the user to create animated slideshows and presentations with images, text, and recorded audio.

How It Works

Spark Post – create stunning graphics 

  • Get started quickly using a theme or start with a blank slate.
  • Add your own images or use the built in image library.
  • Search the text library to find just the right font and layout to meet your needs.

Uses for Faculty & Students

Spark Post
Create graphics to

  • illustrate your concept in a presentation.
  • add to blog posts or social media.
  • spice up a newsletter.
Spark Page – create beautiful web stories

  • Create a beautiful, eye-catching story using photos and text.
  • Choose from preset themes or start from a blank slate.
  • Add motion to your photos as the user views your page.
  • Your page resizes for any size screen, including mobile.

Spark Page


  • Webpages
  • Newsletters
  • Class presentations
  • Storytelling
Spark Video – create compelling animated videos

  • Start with a beautiful template or a blank slate.
  • Add images, text and icons to tell your story.
  • Finish with music and a voiceover.

Spark Video


  • Video tutorials
  • Video presentations
  • Video newsletters
  • Music videos
  • Documentaries
  • Video blogs
  • Document events

Get your free account now at adobe spark


If you use Adobe Spark tweet about it using #OneNewThing and add TLT at @tltcofc!  We can’t wait to hear from you.


adobe icon
Productivity, TLT, Video

New Adobe Licenses Available

Great news!  IT just announced that they have secured two fabulous Adobe products for use by CofC faculty and staff.

For Free – Adobe Acrobat Pro

Adobe Acrobat Pro will allow faculty to view and create PDFs.  This is a critical piece of software if you are preparing for tenure and promotion.  You can also use it to:

  • combine multiple PDFs into one
  • make your PDFs accessible
  • annotate a PDF
  • shrink the file size  of a PDF
  • digitally sign a PDF
  • convert some PDFs to Microsoft Word format

This is a free license for faculty and staff for use on CofC owned computers.

How do you get it?

Easy!  Just contact the Helpdesk ( or 953-3375) and indicate that you would like to have Adobe Acrobat Pro installed.  Make sure to indicate the type of computer you have as well as your computer’s name.  The Helpdesk folks can help you figure out this information.  Just give them a call.

Adobe Creative Cloud

While not free, IT has secured an amazing price on this comprehensive software bundle.  For CofC computers, your department can purchase a license of Creative Cloud for only $165/year.  Creative Cloud includes Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Premiere.  Be advised that this suite is not needed for basic video or photo editing.  There are easier, free versions of software that can help you meet basic needs (contact your instructional tech for help with the free versions.)  Also be advised that, currently, CofC does not offer training on these applications.

How do you get it?

  1. Contact IT Financial by phone at (843) 953-3989 or by email at and indicate that you would like to purchase Adobe Creative Cloud.
  2. IT Financial will walk you through the steps to submit an IDT in the amount of $165.00 per year per copy. Please know that this will be automatically renewed at the end of the fiscal year. If you wish to cancel your subscription, you’ll need to inform IT Financial.
  3. Once the IDT has been received, IT Financial will arrange for a technician to contact you for installation. Please note that classroom installations will have first priority.
Adobe Voice
instructional technology, iPad, Mobile, Presentation, Share, Video

Make Professional Looking Voice Stories with Adobe Voice

“Adobe Voice is a free iPad app that helps you create stunning animated videos in minutes.”  Just “pick from over 25,000 beautiful iconic images to show your ideas (or choose from photos on your tablet).” Record your voice over the images, one image at a time.  “Set the mood with a musical soundtrack and choose the perfect look with just one tap. Watch your story automatically come alive with cinema-quality animation and share it with anyone online.”

As I started exploring Adobe Voice I was impressed by how easy it was to use but I wasn’t sure what I would use it for.  However, the more I played with it the more I realized that it has an enormous number of uses.  Adobe Voice allows you to create a slideshow of sorts with icons, Creative Commons images, and text.  You then add your voice to each “slide” as narration.  Finally you embellish your project using themes that control the font, color, and transitions of your slides and background music to set the tone of the project.  When your project is complete you share it by clicking on the Publish button and can easily publish it to the Adobe Cloud as well as social media, email and text.

Student Uses Faculty Uses
Create a biography/autobiography
Create how-to videos
Recount a story
Create an oral history
Promote an event
Create a public service announcement
Promote an idea
Tell what happened
Teach a lesson
Record a lecture
Create a personal introduction
Recount a story
Introduce a new subject
Summarize a chapter


What I liked was how easy it was to use.  I also like that it uses Creative Commons images and free music so copyright is not a problem.  The sharing is super easy and the fact that you can share them privately is also very important when working with student projects.

What some may like less is that you can’t add any video.  This isn’t a deal breaker for me and I know that it’s kind of outside the intended purpose of this app.  The fact that you can’t use it without an Adobe ID is a bit of a drag for K12 (esp. K8) students.  Not everyone wants their students to get these types of accounts. There may be a workaround for this but I didn’t investigate it further.  The think that bothered me the most was the lack of ability to make basic changes to the project such as placement and font.  I know for many this could be seen as a positive because it makes it easier to use and a bit more universal but if you are pretty tech savvy and like to control a lot of items in a project this isn’t the app for you.  You can’t control the placement of the image or text boxes nor can you control font or alignment within the boxes.  Again, not a deal breaker, just something to be aware of.

All in all I think this is a great, FREE, app to use as both a student or a teacher.  Unfortunately, at this time it is only for iOS devices and I’m not sure if there is an Android version on the horizon.

Price:  Free
Platform:  iOS only

App Location: