Last week at BETT in London we announced that Adobe Spark, including Premium Features, would be made available for free to students and teachers. The release is planned for April, so not a lot of details were provided with the announcement. But, there's been huge interest in the upcoming offering, and lots of you have been wanting more information. So, with time to spare on this flight from London back Stateside, I've compiled some notes that should hopefully better explain things. (Of course, details could change between now and the planned release in April).
- Adobe Spark is already used by students of all ages, from preschoolers through college students. But it's been a little tricky for minors (those under the age of 13) to use Spark because we could not allow them to create their own accounts. Our recommendation to date has been for teachers to create a shared classroom account for all students to use. This type of use will still be possible and allowed when we release the education offering.
- The release in April is a different kind of deployment, one suited for schools and districts. It will make it possible for all students of all ages to log in and use Spark with their own accounts. They'll do this via their existing school login (Google, or Office 365, and so on). This way teachers and school staff don't have to manage and maintain additional accounts and logins, and students don't have additional passwords to remember (or forget). Spark will use students' existing accounts and logins, nice and simple.
- The Spark school / district deployment is associated with school or district domains, so whoever manages the domain will need to be involved. We'll provide instructions on how to register the domain with us, how to set up federated authentication (don't worry, your IT person will know what that means), how to sync accounts, and so on.
- The Spark school / district deployment will be available to both K-12 and higher-education worldwide.
- Once set up, students of all ages can safely use Spark school / district deployment in a way that is consistent with COPPA privacy laws.
- Students will be able to use both the web and iOS versions of Spark, and content will automatically sync between platforms.
- We also announced that students would have free access to Spark's Premium Features which allow users to create custom themes and branded content. These features are usually paid for, $12/month or $100/year per user. Students using Spark via the new school / district deployment will have access to these paid features for free. (Sorry, we can't provide this benefit to students using a shared classroom account, this will only be available for Spark school / district deployments).
- Oh, and it's not just for students. Once a domain has been granted access to Spark, all logins at that domain, including teachers and staff, will also have access to all of Spark's goodness, including the free Premium Features.
We'll published more details nearer the April 2018 release. In the meantime, if you need to learn more, comment below, or contact us at SparkEDU@adobe.com.