Remy Mansfield
Technology Integrator @ Friends Seminary | Youth Media @

Students and the Creative Economy

How are you preparing your students for the creative economy? What do you define as the "creative economy"?

During SXSWedu 2016, educators Erica Muhl, Mark Martin, and Villy Wang will be engaging in this question. See below for their session info. Join the discussion by sharing your own thoughts and examples in this discussion.

Are Your Students Ready for the Creative Economy?

Tuesday, March 8

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM CST


According to the Department of Labor, 65% of current students will spend their careers in jobs that have yet to be invented. To succeed in tomorrow’s workforce, we must equip students with the kind of skills that will never appear on a standardized test — creativity, adaptability, collaborative decision-making and problem-solving. In this session you will hear from experts who are approaching this type of education in a variety of ways. Then, we will challenge you to work in small groups to define other strategies for how we can ensure our students are ready for the creative economy. 


  • Erica Muhl - Dean of the USC Roski School of Fine Arts, Executive Director of the USC Iovine & Young Academy
  • Mark Martin - Urban Teacher
  • Villy Wang - Founder/President & CEO of BAYCAT

**Organized in collaboration with Adobe Edu, Autodesk and Prezi

Comments (2)

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Shafiq Rehman

Posted on 10/6/19 8:58:37 PM Permalink

Thanks for Sharing and providing link

james kinney

Posted on 3/2/16 10:36:57 PM Permalink

Some estimates put the number of images on the intent at over one trillion! The site Internet Live Stats shows about 1 billion web sites with a live count of roughly four thousand images being added EVERY SECOND! We are awash in imagery and we have been numbed to the point of imputing zero value to this infinitely abundant commodity. The question arises: Where does value inhere in this economy of abundance? I believe it is in story and interaction and that our ability as individuals or corporations to value, reflect upon and articulate our own stories is of paramount importance.

Technology has enabled this hyperbolic expansion of media artefacts in what has been described as the "democratization of media"; however, simply being given a platform to share your story with the world can have disastrous consequences if you are incapable of crafting engaging and compelling narratives. When given the stage it is important that the media reflect one's brilliance rather than one's ineptitude. It is important that we recognize this phenomenon of amplification and to properly prepare our students for their walk on part in the world.

I am of the opinion that the creative production of digital artefacts should serve to illustrate and embellish the age old—and often misunderstood and under-estimated—medium of storytelling. It is the one, key element that will inspire, elevate and engage the hearts and minds of one's intended audience. An image without a story is devoid of life and meaning. An image on the internet is a one in a trillion phenomenon that remains mute and ineffectual without story as a value added component.

In my work with students I have been introducing them to a number of platforms and technologies that engage them with articulating their stories—the stories of who they are, where they wish to go and how they will get there. It is this last narrative that I concentrate on in helping them to prepare for next steps in education.

In my role as coordinator of a Foundation Art and Design program in Higher Ed. my focus has been on engaging students with aspects of active and responsible Digital Citizenship. Central to this initiative is the developing a solid foundation for agency in a professional context. For our students, the process of building an online persona or brand begins with sharing their narratives about their work. The narratives follow a typical arc with an introduction to the problem that they were given to solve, a section that outlines their materials and methods of production, their creative process and, finally, a reflection on what they took away from the experience—the triumphs and the obstacles—the wisdom gleaned from the experience. Typically, in the past, it would simply have been enough to have them build a static collection of works in a web site; however, the mobile social world demands a relatively intimate level engagement with your audience—or, rather, your community members. It is such that they not only tell the story of their work they must expand upon that activity by reaching out and "appreciating," "liking" and commenting on the work of others—joining and eventually leading the conversation. It is story and interaction that are the value adds in the mobile social world. The images that they produce are seen as mere artefacts that help to illustrate the milestones of their story.

Here is an example of such a narrative by student Savanna Jackson:

Storytelling is important to all of us. So much so that we shelled out nearly three billion dollars to see James Cameron's Avatar! The problem with that scenario; however, is that we have in some ways abdicated responsibility for our own stories—preferring, instead to consume the carefully-crafted tomes of others. Mobile social platforms such as snap chat and youtube, etc. have changed all that. They have given us the platform but our prolonged absence from the art of storytelling has us struggling with the form in order to make our stories more engaging and powerful.

I managed to convince our funders of the importance of storytelling to the extent that we managed to have our program-level outcomes changed to incorporate dimensions of personal narratives and branding as well as digital citizenship as part of it. This is no easy feat and has to be approved by the ministry of education in Ontario. As part of this initiative we were loaned an iPad cart for this January semester. Using these iPads students are actively exploring the use of the Adobe Mobile workflow for co-creating and collaborating on a number of initiatives aimed at building the students' storytelling chops.

One such initiative was dubbed "Under Investigation" where groups were given "Mystery Boxes" filled with artefacts that they used to infer the plot line and characters for a Crime Mystery. They had to formulate a hypothesis inferred from the artefacts that answered the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW of the story. Students then had to execute a project plan in the form of storyboards (using Adobe Sketch, Draw and Comp) and distill down the essence of their story into a rough poster concept that included a working title.

Eventually, the students will create a rough cut of their movie trailer using Adobe Premiere Clip on iPad and share their crime mysteries with the world on Behance. The students will, of course, be responsible for providing a story about the entire process that they will then share within that community.

Here is an example of such a story:

One of the "Mystery Boxes"

Outline and Character bios:

Character Sketch:

After shooting the film we will break from fiction into the realm of documentary where we will use tools such as Adobe Voice and Adobe Premiere Clip to capture the students' unique perspectives on issues that are near and dear to them. They will end this narrative exploration by doing a brief autobiographical piece about themselves, their worldview, artistic vision and future ambitions. This will, I believe help prepare them for the next steps in their educational journey when they need to present their work for degree programs in the months to come.