Ed. Tech. Professional Associations
If you're looking for a handy updated list of Professional Associations in the field of Educational Technology, Jason Rhode has done a good job at creating this one.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Here's a summary of my view of the strengths and weaknesses of Macromedia Flash. Macromedia Flash is a powerful piece of software that allows designers to create animations and interactive interfaces.
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- Can integrate sound into the animations. Example, http://svt.se/hogafflahage/hogafflaHage_site/Kor/hestekor.swf
- Can integrate video into Flash animations. Example, http://www.funpic.hu/swf/numanuma.html
- Can integrate background music along a long timeline animation. Example, http://www.freedomunderground.org/memoryhole/pentagon244.swf
- Can integrate user interactivity into animations. Example 1, try to click and send the penguin for a ride! http://n.ethz.ch/student/mkos/pinguin.swf Example 2, take out your stress on the bubble wrap! http://www.nonstop.lv/files/bubblewrap.swf
- Can build very complex animations. Example, http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onelife/fun/health/excess/index.shtml
This Excess All Areas flash animation is a very good example. The target audience is likely young teenagers and therefore, I found this object made very effective use of integrated video and sound. The mouse rollovers were nice and the action escalated as I progressed through the object, and that naturally pulled me through the navigation of all parts of the object. This is excellent. I also liked the splash screen which gave good explanations of the icons and the functions available to the user throughout the navigation. One tiny thing that was missing was a universally accessible Quit button.
- The output Flash files (*.swf files) are generally small in size and if vector based animations are used exclusively; the file is very small and suitable for web-use even with dial-up users.
- The Flash Player is a free browser plug-in.
- The Macromedia Flash Authoring Software isn't free. It costs money. Visit http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/?promoid=BINT for more information. They do have Educational pricing structures however.
- It takes awhile to learn Flash. It uses a combination of object-oriented design with ActionScripting to offer a wide range of possibilities. Many experienced Flash developers claim that anything can be done with Flash because it is so flexible but it’s this same flexibility that makes it a complex product to master. I've taken about 20 weeks of part-time instruction on the software and it was well worth the investment. Without structured instruction, I do not think I would have been able to learn as much as I did.
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Posted by Eric at 7:35 AM