Hey everyone! There has been a TON going on behind the scenes- here’s the scoop on what’s happening and what’s coming soon.
We have worked really hard to improve the user experience here lately. We’ve updated our servers, changed our delivery from the AWS servers, and switched video playback engines. Here’s the scoop on what’s changed on the technical side and what they mean:
SERVER UPDATES: We have tripled CPU capacity and quadrupled RAM on our servers, and switched to SSD’s for the drives. All three of these should help the site run more responsively and faster.
AWS CLOUDFRONT UPGRADE– We use Amazon Web Servers (AWS) to serve the videos to our site. We recently updated to a CloudFront distribution- which means that copies of the site are made across the globe to allow your computer to access the videos from the closest server. This has increased load speed from 30-70% depending on your location!
VIDEO PLAYER UPGRADE– This has also been made possible by the CloudFront distro and server upgrades, but the new player has speed controls, allow multiple videos to be loaded into each page, and closed captioning (we’re exploring captioning now).
One of the biggest benefits of video-based curriculum is that it allows for fast updates. We make sure that our tutorials reflect the latest ACTIVE EXAMS from Certiport for the Adobe Certified Associate exams. We don’t do updates when the exams haven’t been updated, and we don’t record new tutorials until we know we have good info on what to cover from our customers. Normally it happens a couple months after a new exam is released, but if we’re getting mixed info on what’s on an exam, we wait until we have good info. The goal is to make sure that what you have is accurate and totally covers all exam concepts for the exam we’re addressing. Like a good beer- we release no tutorials before it’s time… when we know it is exactly what you need!
Here’s where we are at with the exams currently:
PHOTOSHOP– CC2015 content finalized and the old CS projects re-created in CC.
DREAMWEAVER– CC2015 content finalized and updates of CC17 addressed.
ILLUSTRATOR– Being recorded for CC15 now- you can peek behind the curtain here.
ANIMATE (AKA FLASH)- Being recorded now as the new exams have just been released.
PREMIERE– CC15 Updates are done, but we’re tweaking the arrangement some… Peek behind the curtain here.
INDESIGN– Tutorials are current- no plans to go back to CS versions.
We started this site for our own classrooms, and we wanted to just have the most concise training possible while covering all that students need for the certification and career. But we’re recognizing that some teachers prefer a bit more traditional style of learning materials. We’ll always have our learner-focused, content-directed training that reflects real-world learning as much as possible, but we are adding some extra tools that are helpful for classrooms. Here’s the new changes coming soon- available across the board in the 2017-18 school year (probably at a slight premium to keep our prices as low as possible).
LESSON PLANS- We’re creating lesson plans for each project- get a rough, unfinished sample here from Photoshop.
QUIZZES– Like we have for Photoshop and Premiere, we’ll have quizzes that test on critical concepts learned on each project. Check them out in Photoshop and Premiere.
TEACHER’S LOUNGE– We’re looking at other features to add for teachers only, including sample files and other ancillary documents we created while recording. We don’t recommend giving these files to students, as it makes it too easy to just download instead of DO the work! Check it out here, or under the About menu.
In the end, we’re moving past having only the instructional videos into having some supplemental resources available for teachers to use, and to reinforce the learning.