“I’ve been an Adobe certified instructor in Premiere Pro and After Effects for the past 10 years. Based in the Chicago area but I have taught classes in 21 different states, Canada and on-line.” Certified Adobe instructor Rob Shultz shares his experiences.

There are not many Adobe instructors. How did you become a certified Adobe instructor?

Through lots of studying of Adobe applications, experimentation and years of use I was able to pass the Adobe Certified Expert test in 2009. Additionally, I received a teaching certificate and passed an Adobe sponsored “Train the Trainer” class. Accomplishing these pre-requisites opened a flood gate of opportunity for training centers in Chicago and nation-wide to use my services to teach, mainly, corporate clients.

As an Adobe instructor on demand, how have you been affected by Covid-19? Up until the pandemic I was teaching at three training centers in Chicago and was being assigned by a fourth center to teach on-line classes and fly around the country to teach at on-location sites. I’ve taught in 21 different states and Ontario, Canada. The pandemic has basically shut down classroom training in Chicago and to the best of my knowledge, throughout the US. Unfortunately, the shutdown makes sense.

Do you feel you are at risk of becoming infected by teaching in person?

There seems to be a high risk of catching Covid while being in a classroom for 7 hours a day or using public transportation to reach the classrooms. Additionally, many companies have gone into “survival mode” because of the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic. In the current economic crisis in the US, employee training doesn’t seem to be a high priority. Of the three training centers that I’ve been teaching at in Chicago, one is currently still offering classes. However, enrollment is very slow.

A huge benefit to corporate training is the ability to use services like Zoom to conduct on-line classes and Dropbox to send files to students to their homes or training locations. Services, like Zoom allow high-quality face-to-face instruction and with a click of the mouse, the ability for the student or instructor to see what is happening on their screens. In addition to screen sharing, most computers have built in cameras and microphones for communication. Plus, higher-end head-phones and microphones are inexpensive. In addition to the training services, utilization of websites like Dropbox allow us to upload a very large amount of files for the students to download, and follow along while we teach our classes.

What are some advantages of teaching Adobe on-line?

Teaching on-line has its advantages like the students being able to learn from anywhere in the world. Another advantage is there isn’t the overhead of renting an office space for the training centers. However, these conveniences come with a cost. Part of what instructors miss is being able to read the students in the classroom to see if the student is grasping the material. We miss out on getting the visual feedback from the students to see how the class is going for them. We also don’t have the ability to physically go to the student’s work station and navigate the student’s mouse or troubleshoot any system problems for the students like we would in a live classroom. Instructors also sorely miss the very rewarding “Aha” moment when a student’s face lights up when they grasp a concept.

Additionally, another benefit for the students is being able to say that they’re out of the office and in training, so that they won’t be disturbed during class time. The pandemic has brought challenges and solutions to many of the difficulties for technology training. However, I strongly feel that there is no substitution for learning the classroom environment.

Are you optimistic about a continuing Adobe career?

Hopefully, when the pandemic becomes under control, students will be able to return to the classroom.