www.adobe.com (opens in new tab)
Educational price: Creative Suite 5 Master Collection Student and Teacher Edition, $899
By Carol S. Holzberg, Ph.D.
Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 offers new tools for collaborative work in multimedia design, Web development, and video production. Optimized to run on multi-core processors with 64-bit-aware Macintosh, Windows 7, and Vista operating systems, the CS5 Master Collection consists of 17 applications.
QUALITY AND EFFECTIVENESS: The CS5 Master Collection supports 64-bit processors and tighter integration among the programs (e.g., enhanced drag-and-drop capability between CS5 applications and the ability to export InDesign content as HTML pages that open in Dreamweaver).
EASE OF USE: Adobe Device Central CS5 lets you test the content you create by simulating its operation on more than 100 devices. The latest Master Collection delivers improved control over the media you use and the content you create. Its Mini Bridge Media Manager (a subset of Adobe Bridge) is a customizable panel that allows you to see thumbnails of pictures and other assets without leaving Photoshop CS5 or InDesign CS5.
CREATIVE USE OF TECHNOLOGY: A link to Adobe CS Live in the menu bar of several CS5 applications connects you to Adobe online services, where you can share with others the video sequences, page layouts, artboards, and image-comps content you create. CS Live consists of five services, including Adobe CS Review for online collaborative review, Adobe BrowserLab for preview, and test Web content in Internet browsers or in operating systems you may not have.
SUITABILITY FOR USE IN A SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT: Adobe’s CS5 Master Collection is more than a casual collection of digital tools for graphic design, video editing, and Web development. Each application is an industry standard. Students who become familiar with the CS5’s powerful features and resources as part of their regular course work have a better understanding of the technology tools used by realworld professionals.
Applications in Adobe’s CS5 Master Collection are powerful and complex. Even if students work through Adobe’s free year-long project-based curricula in visual design, digital design, and digital video, becoming comfortable with the tools will take time. Applications in the Master Collection are best reserved for high-school-aged students, teachers, staff, and administrators, and not elementary- school-aged students. Individual programs in the Master Collection, e.g., Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Dreamweaver, can be introduced to young students with great success.