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Blue Skies Thread, Does your school teach Flash animation? Is Flash Obsolete? in General; Just a quick question to see what others are doing as we're about to start teaching Flash to our GCSE ...
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    ben604's Avatar
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    Does your school teach Flash animation? Is Flash Obsolete?

    Just a quick question to see what others are doing as we're about to start teaching Flash to our GCSE kids.

    Obviously, Flash isn't obsolete just yet, but with people increasingly using tablets/smartphones to connect to the internet, there'll be a time in the near future when Flash will be useless to the majority.

    Would you start with Flash now or look at something else? By the time these kids get to employment age, Flash might be already gone...

    What do you think?

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    HTML5.

    Flash is obsolete.

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    ben604 (4th December 2012)

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    Steve21's Avatar
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    Is there a specific reason for teaching flash/html5? As in why not go with something that will still be around. End of day HTML5 is like as likely to get replaced before they get to a job age, if it's ever actually taken as a "proper standard".

    As with all of these things are school, isn't it more to bring them into programming/coding etc, rather than actually teaching them a specific language.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    Is there a specific reason for teaching flash/html5? As in why not go with something that will still be around. End of day HTML5 is like as likely to get replaced before they get to a job age, if it's ever actually taken as a "proper standard".

    As with all of these things are school, isn't it more to bring them into programming/coding etc, rather than actually teaching them a specific language.

    Steve
    I agree, it seems like dated technology to me, I don't think teaching how to use software is the answer, how to code would be more useful. I suppose it depends whether they are being taught computer science or web design skills...

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Flash animation is and always has been pointless to teach in a school. Its far too specific.

    HTML5+CSS+Javascript is where you need to go with web based design work.

    Programming should then move into proper languages.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Moved to Blue Skies forum.

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    HTML / CSS / Javascript is definitely the way. This will teach the methodology of animating using the canvas, which isn't going to go anywhere in the foreseeable future... support is ever-growing for it. Saying HTML5 won't be around is a bit misleading... That's like saying learning HTML3 would've been useless, yet a vast majority of the content of HTML5 is unchanged from HTML3 realistically. The methods and tag structure etc are all still more or less the same, and adapting from one version of HTML to the next is very straightforward.

    Ultimately what is the purpose of teaching animation? That will define the method by which it is taught. Animation for the web: teach use of canvas via HTML/CSS/JS. Animation for media purposes, then something along the lines of Blender... ( after all if Yr6 kids can use it, then KS3+ definitely should be able to - see: Blender )
    If talking coding, then JS, PHP, Ruby & Perl all share similar pseudocode structures, so learning any one will immediately put one in good footing to learn any of the rest, and as Javascript is client-side and can be easily run in a web browser, it seems the most sensible starting point without requiring any further software beyond the OS's native web browser, and a text editor.

    For an example of where canvas has gotten to in the very short time since it became widely supported, see http://www.canvasdemos.com/type/games/
    Last edited by Marci; 4th December 2012 at 04:03 PM.

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    Have a read of this from Adobe's product manager... Clarifications on Flash Player for Mobile Browsers, the Flash Platform, and the Future of Flash at Mike Chambers
    Even Adobe themselves acknowledge the fact, reinforced by their release of CreateJS plugins to allow Flash CS6 Pro designers to migrate everything over to JS and HTML5.

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    I'm no Luddite, I accept that Flash is going, but other than the fact iPads don't run it, I'm not sure why its disappearing. We have Samsung Galaxy Tabs in school and it runs fine on these low power devices. Plus every page I've seen listing examples of what HTML5 can do, only shows off animation. I've yet to see any competition for Flash's interactive stuff. Over the years I've built dozens of quizzes, games, adjustable graphs etc... And no one is talking about how to do that stuff.

    Does anyone have an example of a quiz built in HTML5? Self marking drag and drop?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quince View Post
    I'm no Luddite, I accept that Flash is going, but other than the fact iPads don't run it, I'm not sure why its disappearing. We have Samsung Galaxy Tabs in school and it runs fine on these low power devices. Plus every page I've seen listing examples of what HTML5 can do, only shows off animation. I've yet to see any competition for Flash's interactive stuff. Over the years I've built dozens of quizzes, games, adjustable graphs etc... And no one is talking about how to do that stuff.

    Does anyone have an example of a quiz built in HTML5? Self marking drag and drop?
    The reason it is going is that it is a poorly written system. Its resource requirements are ridiculously high for simple things. I've had a dual quad core xeon terminal server with 16GB RAM crawl to a half with 1 website with a badly written game on it using up everything it had. I've never come close to that in Javascript etc...

    HTML5 on its own cannot do what Flash can do. HTML5+Javascript+CSS+Using the DOM can.

    Searching for HTML5 + Javascript quiz is somewhat difficult, as it just turns up quizzes about HTML5 though.

    However, creating a quiz is not difficult. A drag and drop self marking one wouldn't be any different really.

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    In answer to the original question... is Flash obsolete? I have to say maybe.

    Should Flash be used as part of the curriculum?

    If it's a tool that gets young people coding then I have no issues. The original Basic that was just about in existence when I left school would be just as useful in getting youngsters to see the possibilities of IT beyond software they buy pre-packaged.

    It's the ready-meal argument. If all kids eat is something that comes in a packet that goes in the microwave, they never develop a curiosity about food and its possibilities. If they prepare stuff from scratch they learn to innovate and take risk and ... maybe they become the next Michelin starred chef. You could argue that Lego is old-technology and should be obsolete.

    Flash, Basic and other programming tools are still relevant if they encourage innovation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The reason it is going is that it is a poorly written system. Its resource requirements are ridiculously high for simple things. I've had a dual quad core xeon terminal server with 16GB RAM crawl to a half with 1 website with a badly written game on it using up everything it had. I've never come close to that in Javascript etc...

    HTML5 on its own cannot do what Flash can do. HTML5+Javascript+CSS+Using the DOM can.

    Searching for HTML5 + Javascript quiz is somewhat difficult, as it just turns up quizzes about HTML5 though.

    However, creating a quiz is not difficult. A drag and drop self marking one wouldn't be any different really.
    You say that Flash has ridiculously high resource requirements, but really? I have never (afaik) had a browser crash from Flash, let a PC crash. The argument about it being badly written has always struck me as a little snobbish. Actionscript programming made programming easy and I think there's always been some who look down on it for that reason.

    Full on Interactive Flash stuff: A dambusters simulator, where students have to input correct speed and height for their plane to see if a bouncing ball hits a dam tracing its descent at the same time (maths and history research project). Or how about a navigation game involving multiple coordinates and a ship at sea (maths again). Or a school based version of Brain Training. Can html5, JavaScript, CSS and DOM replicate these? And do it as quickly and easily as Flash? Because I haven't seen anything near this level of functionality.
    Last edited by S.C.; 7th December 2012 at 11:25 PM. Reason: Fixed autocorrect

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    Quote Originally Posted by ben604 View Post
    Would you start with Flash now or look at something else? By the time these kids get to employment age, Flash might be already gone...
    Flash-the-propriatory-runtime, or Flash-the-rapid-application-development-and-animation-tool? I can't see any good reason why Adobe wouldn't just keep the Flash IDE and get it to output HTML / JavaScript / CSS - after all, it's that tool they make money from, maintaining a runtime for every available platform must cost a fair bit. I'd guess Flash, as a good package to do animation and so on, will be around in the future.

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    Throw them in at the deep end, teach 'em C++!

    In all seriousness I have no idea why they teach flash animation at all, I can understand HTML etc, but a lot of the time the teachers are learning the language as they go along with no extra curricular experience of the language. I would say keep things simple at GCSE or EWOK or whatever or you will lose 90% of the class!! Start to specialize into java (or any particular managed code) or C type languages at A level.

    (Personally I would love to have started learning coding at school, but I, like many others here, am a nerd.)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quince View Post
    You say that Flash has ridiculously high resource requirements, but really? I have never (afaik) had a browser crash from Flash, let a PC crash. The argument about it being badly written has always struck me as a little snobbish. Actionscript programming made programming easy and I think there's always been some who look down on it for that reason.
    You have been very lucky then! Flash is unstable on any platform that isn't Windows, and even on Windows it is, as I said, a resource hog - why do you think its such a big issue to have it in a thin client environment, with Citrix designing features to redirect its CPU demands onto the thin client etc...?

    Full on Interactive Flash stuff: A dambusters simulator, where students have to input correct speed and height for their plane to see if a bouncing ball hits a dam tracing its descent at the same time (maths and history research project). Or how about a navigation game involving multiple coordinates and a ship at sea (maths again). Or a school based version of Brain Training. Can html5, JavaScript, CSS and DOM replicate these? And do it as quickly and easily as Flash? Because I haven't seen anything near this level of functionality.
    Yes. HTML5, Javascript, CSS and DOM can replicate anything you throw at them really! Speed is down to proficiency. Someone can be slow in ActionScript just as they can be in Javascript.

    Here are some examples of HTML5 sites:

    The Rational Keyboard
    The Beast by Laura Marling
    Webcam Toy - Take photos online with over 70 fun camera effects
    Picozu Editor - sharing creativity
    Cell Cycle - WebGL design app - create organic designs for 3d printing



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