Caleb Clark
Talented Visual Arts Teacher

Teaching Principals of Design Programs, for students without access to Adobe Software


This discussion is for any teachers out there who struggle because their schools do not have Adobe resources available for students. I wanted to start a conversation related to the programs that are most commonly used in creative assignments by educators. If there is freeware by Adobe or other alternatives I think it would be great to collaborate and share tips. I myself have found that Windows Movie Maker and iMove are good programs for teaching animation and video production to students. If we have Photoshop without Premier these are still good programs to use. I teach students to edit out fishing line/wires and other unwanted elements of their footage with the healing brush tool in photoshop and then they can combine jpgs and render movies using freeware. Part of my challenges in teaching is that the rural environment limits student access to technology; so I try to make the most of the resources which I know are most commonly available. It is great that the Game design course mentions gamesalad and gammaker8 for those of us looking to provide more options for our students and expand our knowledge of software that is available in the field. We occasionally use windows live photo gallery for image edits in my classes but it is far inferior to Bridge, Lightroom, Cameraraw, and Photoshop. Many students do their photography edits on their cellphones. I have some students that still love to work with paintbrush for windows. I made a series of artworks with that program just for the nostalgic fun of it. There are also a few apps on the iPads that use layers in a way similar to Photoshop which is a very important workflow concept to teach as soon as possible. I like Inspire Pro and ArtStudio for iPad. one uses layers while the other uses animation. Teaching is challenging and none of us would be in this exchange if we didn't want to improve the ways in which we work and learn. 

Thanks in advance to all of you whom will contribute,


  • Premiere Pro

    Edit media in its native format and create productions for film, TV, and web.

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • Photoshop Elements

    Organize, edit, create, and share your photos.

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Comments (4)

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Margaret Vallance

Posted on 11/26/15 11:10:52 PM Permalink

Have you looked at GIMP? It is a reasonably featured free, open source image editor (& cross platform).

Eliot Attridge

Posted on 11/19/15 11:23:05 PM Permalink

Good discussion idea. One of the things about the Edex is that it is not only about Adobe software. There are alternatives around (some which cost money, some which are free).

With the mac, the most obvious paid alternative to AI for me is Serif Affinity Designer:

This has a cheap one off cost. This is better than completely free alternatives, I feel.

Caleb Clark

Posted on 11/20/15 9:02:33 PM Permalink

Thanks Eliot!

I will download and give affinity a try. It is a new resource to my eyes!!! Unfortunately, only one of my students has their own mac. Sharing is caring though! I will post/share my experiences with it on my blogs and with that student.