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Technology Today - IBM Collaborates With Adobe to Introduce Teens to Basic Design Principles

Technology Today

No-cost courses on IBM SkillsBuild for Students provide learners with design skills for the workplace. IBM has announced that it is providing no-cost, online coursework and a digital badge credential in a collaboration with Adobe. The collaboration is designed to help prepare students, particularly those from under-resourced backgrounds, for successful academic and professional careers by teaching them basic design principles and creativity tools that are highly valued by today's employers. All coursework is provided at no cost to learners through IBM's SkillsBuild for Students Programme.

"IBM thanks Adobe for collaborating on content that can help prepare learners of all backgrounds for the professional workforce," said Justina Nixon-Saintil , IBM VP and global head of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. "Students preparing for careers in any industry need to be comfortable with a range of technical and human-centered skills. Adobe and IBM's collaboration is intended to help inspire creativity and help students become better communicators and team members as they increasingly join the ranks of workplace professionals."

IBM SkillsBuild for Students provides no-cost visual design coursework that aims to help teens be more successful when they begin careers. For example, the program offers a "Basic Principles of Design" course, co-developed by Adobe and IBM. This helps learners recognize what good design looks like, enables them to hear from experienced design professionals, and get resources to help apply design principles to actual projects. Learners explore the value of visual consistency, balance and proportion. Students also have access to curated courses on industry standard creativity tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign. 

"Creativity and content are fueling the global economy," said Mala Sharma, VP & GM of Creative Cloud Product Marketing & Community at Adobe. "Regardless of the career someone may choose, creative expression and storytelling will not only continue to be necessary but expected, which is why creative skills are of immense importance for the future workforce. Adobe is proud to partner with IBM on its SkillsBuild for Students program to teach essential creativity skills that will prepare students to thrive in a changing world."

Such skills are essential for a variety of professions and prepare learners for their future workplace experiences. For instance, this learning program will help students present ideas to one another and to clients, engaging them through clear and interesting storytelling. After successful completion, students are awarded a Basic Principles of Design badge that can be used in their resumes to show prospective employers what they have learned.

In addition, the partnership with Adobe includes other interactive learning activities and self assessments, such as one that enables students to explore the different creative personalities that they can express through visual art. Created with psychological research, the exercise helps learners understand and maximize their creative potential, in all spheres of life, including the workplace.

The test assesses learners' habits and tendencies—how one thinks, acts, and sees the world. Learners can discover whether they are Artists, Thinkers, Adventurers, Makers, Producers, Dreamers, Innovators, or Visionaries. Each type can make unique contributions to a given team at school, home and work.

Research has shown that creativity and the "4 Cs" of critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity can help young people develop academically, civically, and professionally. In fact, teenagers from under-resourced backgrounds who engage in the arts, including visual arts, have more successful outcomes as adults than their peers who were not involved in arts-related curricula, according to a report from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Adobe coursework is available in English, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish.

Educators who use the basic principles of design course with students can find other free offerings to help them unlock their students' creativity on the Adobe Education Exchange at

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