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Linda Dickeson
Consultant/Trainer

Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements—what grades?

Who uses Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements? In what grades? How well do students transition from the "Elements" programs into the Creative Suite versions?

Products
  • Photoshop Elements

    Organize, edit, create, and share your photos.

  • Adobe Premiere Elements

    Organize, edit, create, and share your videos.

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4 / 5 • 2 Ratings

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Thomas Duval

Posted on 8/11/13 6:11:27 PM Permalink

Green Screen Digital Docudrama Storytelling,

The Catalytic Key To Making an Educational Miracle Strategy Happen

How To Motivate African American Children ,especially the boys, To Want to Learn And Finish High School

Fourth grade failure rates are accurately used to predict the number of prison beds a state will need to house inmates.

Traditionally, the family and the local neighborhood community played the major role of developing the moral compass and self esteem of the AA children. After emancipation the religious community (American Missionary Association) with the support of the Freedmen's Bureau helped restore the AA family unit.

However, something very strange has happened with the development of the information age in the AA community. The traditional neighborhood wisdom watch sentries are no longer relevant nor present. The old people no longer call to tell receptive parents about the mischievous behavior of children. The old wisdom story tellers that preserved the AA history through public speaking and by writing articles and stories in the black newspapers are no longer there, nor are the newspapers. The AA old wisdom story tellers and sentries are not on Facebook.


I have been using Adobe Premiere Elements and Adobe Premiere Pro to have the children perform local leader African American Docudramas. By using green screen short documentary digital storytelling, AA children can be engaged in a popular fun filled activity that will improve reading skills, build self esteem, and motivate children to stay in school. By having students, research, develop and or read issue oriented scripts depicting local leaders AA children become totally engaged in producing 15 minute short docudramas /documentaries that essentially become permanent reusable lesson plans for teachers throughout the local school system. The reciprocal teaching approach can be used to have students develop a script, read a script, and/or revise or rewrite a script. The green screen background can be changed to include period appropriate scenes that can be used for CRCT skills development discussions. The kids will want to participate in the digital green screen docudrama project because the final product after the research is to produce a political/social hip hop video video about the local historic leader.


The open microphone and scripted green screen video recording activity is a youth motivational engaging strategy that will get children excited about being a speaker, celebrity, and/or star at school. By using children to research, video/audio record, and video edit a student portraying a local Macon Middle Georgia, AA students will learn their AA history as well as their American and Georgia History. This activity uses locally known professional story tellers, actors, writers, and editors to act as mentors to produce local leader DVDs that can be taken home and shared with parents and friends but also used by educators to motivate children to read, and learn CRCT oriented vocabulary, history, and social studies information. This activity not only educates the children it educates the parents and make them more supportive of the school system.

I would be happy to share my ongoing experience and resources with anyone interested.

Thomas Duval DDS, MPH

Nancy Parker

Posted on 8/3/12 11:25:58 PM Permalink

I agree, Kristie!!! If at all possible start the students in middle school using CS6.

Kristie MacLaughlin

Posted on 8/3/12 11:12:18 PM Permalink

We're running the Creative Suite 6 in our middle school; my children are "economicaly-disadvantaged" ( I HATE that label). There was a great debate: Elements or the full versions?

I can tell you, firsthand, these kids are capable of the full program. This year we're launching a program to have our 8th graders certified as Adobe Certified Associates before they leave. Again, these are children that people have written off as "unteachable." There's no need to "lower the bar." Heck, my middle school kids pick up this stuff faster than some of the adults I teach! :)

Bill Guy

Posted on 8/3/12 1:55:57 PM Permalink

In my mind (a very scary place indeed Tongue out) I would think that Elements would work great for Middle School (Grades 6,7,8) but for High School students they should be exposed to CS versions. Elements would give them a background in Layers, organizing images, toning, selections and Adjustment Layers.

Joe Lampone

Posted on 8/1/12 3:22:16 PM Permalink

Thanks, Linda. We don't have an art program thats sophisticated to start a Elements to CS for our students. To me it would make sense to use a new version of Elements in elementary and CS in secondary, but even if it were not that, a first time user, not having any background in an art program at all, will not have a problem using a standard version of Photoshop. Truly, I can settle on using Elements 10.0 now in grades 9-10. However, does it really matter? Id rather use CS5 or 6 bc the choices of project types is larger and more creative in CS. Particularly in painting. The different brushes and tips and mixer brushes, etc.,...

To me, its all about the theory of what you teach, not learning the whole program just to begin making art. Then just use Photoshop for the things you need to do. Back to Elements, though, the new version has capabilities that Photoshop has, like masking. This says something. Elements was created for Photo-editing,for photoggraphy, and thats great!! Its perfect for that, and not so much creating other forms of art, even if you can use the paint brushes and filters and effects etc,... they are just not as open, and they are a little limited in the older versions. The new version of Elements is def better than the older ones.

Joe Lampone

Posted on 8/1/12 1:40:10 AM Permalink

This is a very good topic and I have been looking for some major responses from professionals, educators or industry pros,...I am both!

I will tell you right off the bat that I believe in raising the bar for students in high school. A standadrd version of a Photoshop CS suite should be just fine for secondary education. I do not think its too advanced to understand. If you teach any kind of art using Photoshop, you will never get into using all of its features in one semester course or year long course. The idea for any art application is to use it for a specific reason or specific type of art that it can be useful and effective for the art subject being taught. That being said, if you compare Photoshop Elements to a CS version, high school kids can get more out of the CS version bc there are so many more kinds of art projects one can do and complete using the new paint features to the editing tools for photos. Whatever the kind of art you are having the students work in, you do not need to teach the entire package just to learn a specific kind of art where certain tools will not even be tampered with. For example, if I am teaching an animation course and I want to use Photoshop CS6, then I wil be teaching my students how to create animation not how to paint an oil painting and learn how to use the brushes and special paint brush features, etc., etc., ...Now if anyone has a problem about students tampering with other parts of the app and may take away from someone elses course using Photoshop, I say, it just strengthens and reinforces the skills AND, as a teacher, discipline is part of grading, so students need to know that they will be repremanded if they use techniques not needed for learning a particular art using Photoshop. I am not telling anyone how to teach their class,so to speak, but just explaining that is one option to make students understand.

WHEW!!! I hope thats easy to understand. I have a situation at the school I work in that is making it difficult to use CS5 and I am forced to use Elemets 2.0. I can go into alot of rationale here as to why I should be using a CS version, but even in a beginners course Photoshop is not a major difficulty to learn and besides that, I am in a pc lab that uses Win XP Pro, and using old versions of ANY software is an issue bc the Network server is a Win 7 Pro server system and there are a TON of functionality issues that are driving me and my students crazy.For example, the simple task of saving a file cant be done bc Elements cant save to a certain memeory amount like 1 TB of data, or whatever. What it is is that Elements 2.0 is not meant to work with Win 7 Pro and its time to upgrade so it can. I dont want to come up with altermate ways to save a file when I should do it straight from the software, not resort to saving to a local drive and copy and paste from a window and send it to the right folder.

There is a whole lot of stuff going on in my situation but I'll explain once I get any responses here.

Thanks all!!!

I am a secondary educator in New Jersey.

Linda Dickeson

Posted on 8/1/12 2:37:53 PM Permalink

Yikes, Joe. I hope you can upgrade from version 2.0 of Photoshop Elements...many many things have been improved. If you can buy, do it now on version 10. That interface transitions students nicely to the CS version. Thanks for your input and thoughts.