This course uses four Adobe software programs — Photoshop, Illustrator, Audition and Premiere. Some background about Adobe is explained in the Introduction to the Course, and this course is designed to make use of the free 30-day trials Adobe has offered since developing the subscription-based model several years ago.
Officially, Adobe still offers 30-day trials, but recently this has not been working for many users. Beginning in late April, many users reported getting only 7-day trials after installing the software for the first time. Adobe has not formally announced any changes at this point, but it appears the company is phasing out 30-day trials, likely because they have started selling month-to-month subscriptions. The company’s only response to users’ complaints is that they are currently testing free trials of various lengths.
What this means for you…
The first program we’ll be using is Photoshop, and you should still follow the instructions for downloading and installing the program. When you first open it, you will most likely get either a 7-day or 30-day trial.
If you do not get a free 30-day trial, you will need to pay for the software to complete the work for this course. There are numerous subscription options you may want to explore, but these are the most cost-effective options for the purposes of this course:
Student rate annual subscription: Students get a significant discount, and can purchase an annual subscription to the entire collection of Adobe programs for $20/month for the first year. Many students enjoy having access to all the programs throughout the course, and afterward.
Professional rate monthly subscription: You may opt to purchase each program one at a time using the monthly subscriptions, which are $20/month for a single program, and cheaper for Photoshop. (There is no monthly subscription at the student rate.) This is the least expensive option.
Everyone will receive at least a 7-day trial, so you do not need to choose a subscription option immediately. The Adobe site includes a live chat with a sales representative that I’ve always found very helpful for making sure you purchase the subscription that you want. For all products, make sure you cancel your subscription if you do not want it to continue — do not assume it will just expire!
Why this is bad, and also good…
This is an aggravating move by Adobe, particularly because the company is not being transparent about it. This software is truly the professional standard, particularly for Photoshop and Illustrator, and Adobe has been criticized in the past for disregarding its community of users because it knows there are no good alternatives for many design professionals.
But this is the reality of relying on software in the professional environment, so in some ways it’s great to encounter this issue so early in the class. The most challenging part of teaching this class is that we use both WordPress and Adobe programs, which change frequently and without warning. There are times when I’ve updated a tutorial on a Friday only to have it out of date by the following Monday. Learning how to adapt to these changes is an important part of learning the software.
Of course, it’s especially frustrating when it’s a change that costs money. This course is specifically designed to use the software and free resources in lieu of a textbook, to help defray that cost. And it’s also worth noting that the students who opt to pay for a subscription have often gotten a lot more out of the class because they can continue to explore the software on their own time.
The content of this post is created by Lisa Jones, the instructor of Com210 and Com561. The two classes share the similar class structure and learning platform/software, therefore situation like this one applies to students from both classes.
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