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Acrobat

Colby Smart

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Acrobat.com

What is It?

Acrobat.com is a collaborative suite of tools designed for distributed communication. It is a free tool that can really nurture fluid communication. There are five tightly integrated tools in this suite that, combined, constitute a real progression in online collaboration. These five tools are:
  • Buzzword - An online word processor
  • Adobe ConnectNow- Online web conferencing tool that allows for web based meetings, file sharing, chatting, voip, screen sharing and more.
  • Create PDF- Rapidly generate pdf's from any computer that has and internet connection
  • Share- This allows the ability to distribute multi extension files type to a single person or several hundred at a time
  • My Files- An online file storage area that allow you to store files for quick editing, archiving, and distribution.

What is it all about?

I have created an online demonstration/tour of Acrobat.com that will walk you through the tools mentioned above. Once you have watched this demonstration you should have a very good idea as to the collaborative power that Acrobat.com has to offer.

To watch the demo go to:
http://colbysmart.com/edc641_distributed_learning/
Note:
This is a pretty heafty demo so allow some time for loading. My applogizes if it takes too long. I wanted the quality to remain high for your viewing pleasure.
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What do I need to get Started?

Go to: http://www.acrobat.com
Create an Adobe ID. This takes 2 minutes and is well worth it.

What are some great uses for this tool?

  • Web conferencing
  • Online Discussions
  • Software Demonstrations. (e.g. dreamweaver, photoshop, word, excel, etc...)
  • Rapid PDF creation
  • File storage
  • Word processor availability from any computer with an internet connection via Buzzword.
  • Text Chatting
  • Video Chatting
  • VOIP
  • dd

Why is there an empty bullet above?

This is for you. To truly get your feet wet with this online application I would like you to do one of the following activities.
  • Create a simple document in Buzzword and e-mail it to me at colby.smart@humboldt.edu. The document should have purple font, 14pt and contain a joke of some sort.
  • Create a meeting in ConnectNow. In this meeting demonstrate a simple software process by sharing your screen to a fellow cadremate or anyone at your work. An example would be showing someone how to insert an image in a word document.
  • Create a PDF of your last post on myomet and send it to me at colby.smart@humboldt.edu

Any of these activities will help you get comfortable with Acrobat.com

Reflection on Cadre Gift


Approaching this particular project was both exhilarating and daunting. Exhilarating because there are few things I like better than teaching others on topics recently learned or long known. I like to look at Acrobat.com as a sort of fusion of various technologies that centers around a collaborative foundation. The fact that it is free lends a certain “open source” flavor to it, however make no mistake that Acrobat.com is not open source. There is no access to the code for manipulation or improvement. This aside I find that the strongest element surrounding this online application is the way it blends art and science. Those who have worked with the application will notice a fluid and smooth nature to the tightly integrated modules. When I use it there is a simplicity in action that lends it to be used by an ever increasing and diverse audience.


The essence of web 2.0 is that applications are not constrained by pre-designed and ridged rules of use. They are, at their very best, open to exploration and multi-use functionality. In short, the user defines the rules of engagement and not the other way around.

While Acrobat.com is not a truly open source application it does contain some of the important elements of web 2.0 mechanics.

1.
It is collaborative

2.
It is free

3.
It is multi faceted

4.
It pushes the envelope of what online technology can do

5.
It promotes creativity and the blurring of traditional communication protocols

In creating my Cadre Gift I used an application that I often use to demonstrate software. This application is called Captivate, another Adobe application. Captivate is wonderful in the simple elegance of its design. While Captivate can create wonderful e-learning simulations an issue that kept coming for me, which is nothing new, is the question of “when is enough, enough.” Meaning, where is the line between demonstrating and boring the viewer with every single detail of the application. I kept this thought at the forefront while creating my Cadre Gift. The most important thing to consider, as most educators know, is
to consider the audience. Knowing that my audience was technology enthusiasts allowed me to focus less on the mechanics of Acrobat.com and more on the possibilities for its use. While there is a fair amount of detail when it comes to using the application I wanted to strike a balance.

Time will tell if I was successful.

In the end I really had a great time creating this Cadre gift and possibly encouraging others to use this simple yet powerful tool.