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Dear Adobe....
September 17, 2009 - 9:36pm

I know that the higher education community is a priority for you. Your higher ed site is really nice. Many of my colleagues use (and teach with) your products on a daily basis. The Adobe eLearning Suite is essential software for many folks involved in designing and delivering technology enabled learning.

It is because of all your wonderful products and deep relationships with our higher ed community that I write in hopes to convince you to go to the next level. There are some areas within higher education in which I don't see Adobe participating, and I worry that your absence will make it difficult for us to take advantage of all your great platforms and services in the future.

These areas include:

Lecture Capture:

Lecture capture is emerging as one of the most important services offered by departments of academic computing. Recording and publishing the lecture opens up all sorts of new possibilities for privileging active and participatory learning during class. When students worry less about taking down all the notes for the lecture they are freed to think and participate in the course discussion. Lecture capture systems are increasingly serving dual roles as presentation capture tools, allowing faculty to record voice-over presentations from their offices to share with their students.

Adobe had an early lead in this field with the products inherited from the purchase of Macromedia, including Adobe Presenter (previously Breeze), Captivate and Connect Pro. While some of these products and platforms can be used to record and share lectures it does not appear to me that they were designed for this purpose. They lack some of the critical features necessary for a full-featured presentation/lecture capture, including a cross-platform client, integration with PowerPoint, and a full-featured viewing experience.

Cross-Platform Screen Recording and Rapid Authoring:

Adobe Captivate is a marvelous product. But it is also expensive and Windows only. We need to be able to put screen capture and rapid authoring capabilities in the hands of all our faculty and our students. For this we need a tool that is both cheap and cross-platform. Flash is an ideal output format, so you already have a leg up. Adobe AIR seems like it would be the ideal platform to release a light, cross-platform screen capture and authoring tool. I checked on the Adobe AIR Marketplace and was unable to find a Captivate Light or Presenter Light sort of tool. Am I just missing this?

Adobe. We need lightweight authoring tools that we can push out to all of our students. We need easy ways to publish what they create on consumer media sites (YouTube etc.) as well as our Course Management Systems. We think you are a great company, and we hope that you will be sending us wonderful, light, cheap, cross-platform presentation capture and authoring tools in the near future.


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