I hope I can throw my 2 cents in. Not trying to argue, but to TRY and answer
some questions.

> A question was asked early in this thread about what are the benefits of
> using Flash? There's been no answer to that question.  I was hoping to
> learn
> some answers because I've been confused about why it's become so widely
> used
> in eLearning.

Okay, first this part of the answer. There are different types of ways that
people learn. I suggest reading:




the above is a quick search.

But in other ways, there have been found different ways besides the three
listed in the first link. Interaction. Here is an interaction information
link, it is in pdf:


and to search:


there are a lot of other different, informative links on that search.

Interaction is one the greatest styles of learning there is, in my opinion
(don't jump at that, because it is just my opinion, although I must stress
that my opinion mainly depends on the subject being taught). Flash can help
tremendously with interaction, although that is not the only way. An
excellently developed Flash eLearning solution will add a lot of different
types of learning solutions to it. Most do. In an excellently developed
site, you will have "links" to different portions of the file, where one may
be to read what needs to be read, one may have one spoken to you, and
another may ask for questions and answers. Others, may things where you need
to drag objects to stage or link one side (which may contain a list of
words) to the other (the definitions of those words) (you click the word,
then click the definition to check answer). And yet, even more others, will
contain videos that someone can watch to see something being done, if they
are a visual learner. In these regards, Flash can offer many different
advantages to ALL different styles of learning. But, like the arguments
posted, there is the question of Accessibility. There is no reason that
flash cannot be used on a site. Some have stated that a little can add depth
to a site. Well, my question to those statements, how are you saying your
site is "accessible" if you do not have an accessible Flash file on it? You
cannot, unless you say it is accessible on only the main parts of the site.
But, that would leave a large part of the disabled out if they cannot see
what is happening.

Flash is a way to do learning online, just like the combination of
HTML/CSS/JS/AJAX, etc. And if instructors do want to use Flash for whatever
reason, then by all means, make accessible Flash. You cannot change all the
teachers in the world, it is impossible, and Flash is here to stay.

Um, I hope that explains it, I noticed when rereading it might not fully
explain, if it doesn't let me know.

BCAT's developers have a serious nerve asking the WSG community to
> provide feedback on a site they've built, but then require that
> a) people compromise their freedom by signing an NDA to even view the
> site, and then add insult to injury by
> b) making the terms of the NDA available only in a non-standard,
> proprietary MS Word DOC format.

On the first part I disagree, they do not. But on the last part, I would
have to agree (the b) part). But, again but, people do not compromise
freedom by being asked to sign an NDA. That is an argument either way
understandably. I can agree that you shouldn't be asked to sign an NDA, but
on the other hand, I can agree that you should. I can agree in the since
that they are protecting their site from being "compromised", meaning they
do not want word to slip out on what is being developed yet, since it may or
may not be completed. On the other hand, I cannot agree with that NDA,
because of the b) part, and the fact that you are being asked to look at it,
and it is a waste of time having to read it, agree to it, and then get to
the point of the matter. Both arguments listed.

Simon said, (not trying to get hateful) and I quote:

> Ultimately teachers should aim to teach the skills that are required of
> students entering the industry. It's not uncommon that many secondary and
> tertiary IT and web media courses are grossly outdated. From my experience
> this is mostly attributed to the teacher's education in the field which they
> received when they did their tertiary education in order to teach, and have
> since not remained up to date with new developments and sadly even
> standards. Money and a requirement to regularly attend courses to keep
> educators up to date help in this regard but nothing beats personal
> interest—the high school IT teacher that in their own time is actively
> involved in his or her field will be more likely to teach his students about
> the latest relevant and exciting bleeding edge technologies.
> On a side note, my personal opinion on web media courses focusing on rich
> web content is that they should still entail the bare basics of HTML, XHTML,
> and CSS, with a toe-dip into JavaScript. These technologies are so
> fundamental to the web, and given their role as standards they should be
> part of any web-related courses.

My questions to you are:

   1. What industry? No industry was stated that I can see. There are a lot
   of different industries that can have eLearning solutions applied to them.
   If you mean this industry, IT, than ignore IT and focus on other industries.
   2. Who said anything about eLearning only being used to teach IT and web
   media courses?
   3. Again, you mentioned IT teachers. Who said something about IT being
   the only industry to teach by eLearning?
   4. You state, "On a side note, my personal opinion on web media courses
   focusing on rich web content is that they should still entail the bare
   basics of HTML, XHTML, and CSS, with a toe-dip into JavaScript." Agreed, on
   the part that in the discussion you are stating, it should. But, you are
   off-subject again. Noone mentioned IT's industry, in regards to eLearning.

Still, the advantages of using Flash are far and out there. The advantages
depend solely on the person learning. Like I stated previously, Interaction
is one of the true advantages of Flash which should in itself stop the
question, and again I do note that interaction can be done by other methods,
no argument there. All-too-many people, the majority, learn through
interaction with the subject (depending on the subject) being taught. Recall
your (you and your, as everyone here) past when learning what you know now.
Did you learn better when actually doing the subject, rather than reading
about it, asking questions and continuing on? I did. Honestly. And
admittedly, reading is boring sometimes, and a little interactive way to
reach the points that you would normally get reading can help unbore a lot
different people, especially those who might get uneasy having to sit and do
nothing but read or fall asleep.

To help my point, any research site, let's say wikipedia.org, can be called
an eLearning site, if you say that using CSS/HTML/JS should suffice. But you
don't call wikipedia an eLearning site, you call it a research (i.e.,
resource) site. And while reading a long subject there, do you not get a
little tired or bored or uneasy? If you do, wouldn't you want a site that
can give you a little action. Or even watch a video that tells about it with
pictures and such? Yea, a normal site with a video may work, but some
eLearning places ask questions about that video, and Flash can allow more
interaction by making such questions a little more exciting. And having an
accessible Flash part, will help those who want to use Flash, but can't see
it. Argumentatively, you can say they don't, but the option available to
them shows that we care, and since we can see it, we should at least give
them the chance to see it, too, shouldn't we?

Another point, Flash can be used in other ways, too. If a person wants Flash
on a site for advertisement, and there are a lot of ads that are Flash
based, it isn't fair to disabled people that they cannot see them. Why not
work on accessibility to Flash to help them out, give them a chance to see
what we see?

I hope that can shed some light on the subject.

P.S. Again, Flash is a way to do learning online, just like the combination
of HTML/CSS/JS/AJAX, etc. And if instructors do want to use Flash for
whatever reason, then by all means, make accessible Flash. You cannot change
all the teachers in the world, it is impossible, and Flash is here to stay.
So why not work on accessible Flash?

Brett P.

On Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 8:38 AM, Christie Mason <cma...@managersforum.com>wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From:f Hassan Schroeder
> Christie Mason wrote:
> > Yes, I've tried Flex and abandoned the effort.
> > ...  Plus, there's the maintenance issue.  Simple example I always
> > use is what if you had to change a corporate logo in every Flash file?
>  To
> > do that with a dynamic database approach you change the file once and
> that's
> > it.  To change it in every Flash file...
> HS .. you do exactly the same thing, because it's not "in every Flash
> file" at all.
> CM - I wasn't talking about Flex.  I was referring to Flash.  I can see
> that
> I wasn't clear when I changed thoughts.
> HS Yes, you obviously didn't get very far with Flex -- so, why are you
> arguing the (de)merits of a technology you don't understand?
> CM -  Instead of humphing at me, educate me and by extension everyone else.
> What does Flex do better, faster, cheaper than a text based database with
> links to graphics, video/Flash, etc using PHP, ASP (scripts) or ASP.NET
> (framework)?  Plus, I'd be curious as to availability of the Flex server in
> remote hosts. I haven't seen any offer it, is it still so pricey(?), but I
> also haven't been looking for it.  As a user of Cold Fusion many years ago
> I'd also be interested in learning more about its current market share.
>  How
> is AIR doing?  At first AIR was intriguing but then I haven't met any need
> that it fulfilled.
> Hassan, I also have a theory that I'd like to test with you.  Do you use
> Macs as your primary computer or PC?  I think the very visual are drawn
> towards using Macs and Flash.  It's fine to be visually oriented, I'm not
> using it as a judgment call because I think it's just as difficult for
> highly visual people to remember that not everyone shares their preference
> as it is for those that aren't highly visual to remember to use graphics
> for
> those that are highly visual.
> I'm not a highly visual person, I even prefer reading data to being given a
> graph.  I don't see the value of most rich interface methods because it's
> been my experience than when people start focusing on making the
> interface/content flash around, then usability is degraded and content
> quality is decreased because first the budget bucks go towards "make it
> sing/dance" before taking the time to build a solid structure that easily
> creates and maintains useful content.
> So back to the original, still unanswered question.  What are the
> advantages
> of using Flash (Flex etal)?
> Christie Mason
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