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Is there a demand for Flash in higher education? Not multimedia, but for Flash in particular?

On one level, the production level, I'm curious about how much Flash production campuses do in-house in 2010.

On the consumption level, how many academics are consciously fond of Flash as a delivery mechanism?

I'm not sure, but I'm beginning to suspect there's not a lot of Flash backing in .edu.

Cole Camplese

Hi Bryan ... In my shop quite a bit of Flash gets produced in the form of what I'll call interactive exercises. Really a lot of simulation stuff. And in that case, I am curious as to how all this plays out. HTML 5 can do the video without much challenge, but the interactive stuff we drop into course materials is a whole other ball of wax.

Pat Besong

Using Flash for video is neither here nor there. Flash's strength is in its interactivity, and often it's just easier to include video in that interactivity. Not many people realize Flash's capabilities when it comes to math and complicated calculations such as gravitational effects. Here's a rather simple example: http://www.johngrindall.com/maths/gravity/index.php
You right-click on the picture to add planets, then add a spaceship and click the animate button to see the effects of gravity on the spaceship. If more people in higher ed knew what Flash could do, I'm sure it would get used a lot more. It's also difficult to find good Flash designers as it requires a good mix of art and coding skills. Most end up in the private sector and get paid very well for their skills if they're any good.

Cole Camplese

Hi Pat ... that's my point with Flash -- we use it for things that really make sense. I think the general public feels they need flash to watch Hulu, YouTube, and Vimeo -- not to participate in complex simulations. The video guys will move t oHTML5 -- and I think that is a great thing. What will we do *if*, and it is a big if, a device like the iPad becomes the ubiquitous computing device on campus? Is there a path around Flash? What kinds of runtimes can be produced that allow Flash activities to degrade elegantly?

Derek Morr

Cole - I don't think you need to worry. You can do a lot with the HTML 5 canvas ,Web Sockets, WebWorkers, and Storage APIs. CSS 3 is a major improvement over what's available now.

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