Competition for Flash?

Flash is amazing. I use it to create interactive learning objects and online lectures. The only problem is that I have to use “cheater” programs like Swish or Camtasia to get the results that I want. Yesterday I sat down and attempted to put together a simple self-graded, multiple choice quiz in Flash. I even tried using a template, but gave up after about a half hour. I ended up using Hot Potatoes, a nice free software package that allows the creation of multiple choice quizzes, crossword puzzles, etc. The program is a little bit limited (and it uses Java), but you can’t beat the price.

In my search for a better option, I came across a Microsoft product to be released in Fall 07 that has the *potential* to fill a void in my course development toolbox. The official propaganda states, “Grava is the code name for a new set of tools from Microsoft’s Education Products Group that is designed to allow the education community to create and assemble materials that will increase discovery and allow learners to go at their own pace and learning style.” It looks like the tool is an easy-to-use learning object maker. The interface looks pretty slick. A potential drawback is that a “Grava” player must be downloaded to use the stuff you make. Neat stuff.

One thought on “Competition for Flash?

  1. I wonder why Microsoft chose to create a new plug-in and system to do this, when they could have used existing formats to get it done? Well, because they are Microsoft….

    I like the idea of this, but I wonder if it is going to be that good in the end. If you have to have the plug-in to play it, will that plug-in work with older browsers? There is a good chance it won’t and therefore will be useless to most browsers used in schools today.

    I really hope that SVG would take off soon. That could replace graphics and Flash with a searchable replacement (SVG uses XML to author graphics AND animation, as well as add tags to the end product that can be searched).

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