Posts tagged "MAX"

May 15, 2013

One educator at MAX and three blog posts: Part 3: Interactive is Active

(I finally got off that airplane. And graded final project and papers for two undergrad and one grad class…and five independent studies and five practicums students. And did graduation and a birthday party and mother’s day. And slept. Oh, sweet sleep! And then I got to this third and final post about MAX. You can read my two other blog posts about the social aspects of CC and Adobe’s move to the subscription model if you missed them. Or not. I split this into three parts in case you want to read a la mode.)

The third aspect of MAX that I want to comment on as an educator and front-end developer is Adobe’s very smart strategy to support some great open-source solutions, better web tools and a good direction for Flash.

In November, I did a talk at the Adobe Education Summit in Toronto that discussed the HTML5 v. Flash debate. I do both. I love both. It’s tough to straddle both worlds and stay up-to-date, but when and because I do, my students get jobs. Not because I’m a great teacher that knows everything (but I am and I do). They get jobs because they not only know multiple solutions but how to evaluate and use the best solution for the challenge at hand.

Flash is not dead. It has, in many ways, the biggest and best support in the interactive arena. You can read the stats Adobe has out there on this. What’s killing Flash is not the reality, but the fear. One instructional multimedia designer at a university with thousands of online students told me that even when he argues that the best content-delivery solution for a specific problem is Flash, administrators just turn off immediately and shut him down.

Nonetheless, Flash still has a place. There are many companies in the Cincinnati area, particularly large companies that do their in-house training using Flash. There are more jobs in Flash in Cincinnati right now than in HTML5. It’s not easy for a large company to retrain their designers and front-end developers and rethink what’s already and still working.

I did see there was a session at MAX on what’s new in Flash Pro. I missed it because I was, ironically, at a PhoneGap/HTML5 session. One attendee told me it was all about Stage 3D, Adobe’s answer to moving gaming performance to the GPU for a faster, better experience. This is a good thing that Adobe has been pushing for a year now, but this year, they made it better by coupling it with Feathers, Starling and Dragonbones. All are free-open source solutions. Feathers is a JS framework for button assets that anyone can read and use. Starling is a great JS framework for 2D gaming with so many gaming methods and classes readily available. Dragonbones is an open source sprite generator that works directly with your assets in Flash Pro. There’s also Away 3D which brings to 3D what Starling brings to 2D. All are accessible. Under Michele Yaiser’s session, we used Flash Builder to construct and compile a game for both web and iPad. With Tom Krcha, we built a platformer with Flash Pro, Flash Builder, Starling, Dragonbones and the Citrus Engine. With the performance boost and multiplatform capabilities, Flash should hold their own in gaming at least for a little bit.

What I found particularly interesting and exciting was Adobe’s support of several free, open-source projects, namely CreateJS and PhoneGap Build. Never has Javascript, HTML5 and CSS3 been more creative. CreateJS offers four libraries and tools for a rich interactive experience on the web. EaselJS capitalizes on HTML5 canvas. TweenJS allows for animation and interactivity. SoundJS and PreloadJS improve on audio and preloading experiences, respectively.

Being a Flash developer, I got really excited when Grant Skinner, founder of CreateJS and CEO of gksinner.com, demoed a game he and his team were developing with CreateJS. When he showed us some of the code, it felt so right. While being true to JavaScript standards, it played on Flash’s conventions. Additionally, unlike many open source projects, the documentation is excellent and there are tutorials and examples to spare.

I just finished teaching my Media Scripting for Interactivity course this week—Flash Actionscripting for gaming—and I’m looking ahead to next spring. While I haven’t ruled out Flash, particularly in regards to jobs in the Cincinnati area as I mentioned above, I am considering the next wave of employer demands and I see frameworks like CreateJS at the forefront.

And, of course, there is PhoneGap Build. Accessible through Dreamweaver CS6, PhoneGap Build is also available online as an open source solution for compiling HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript assets into native applications for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, webOS and Symbian. I’ve played with PhoneGap with my responsive web students last fall and we had fun doing simple apps. This year, we’ll expand on that by tackling the PhoneGap API and device features more deeply. While ultimately maybe not as powerful as native development, PhoneGap gives Media Informatics students who tend toward front-end development a great entrée into the development world, particularly when we share best practices in programming and development with them.

That said, Rainn Wilson may have given the developers a lot of crap during Sneak Peaks, but this is going to be the year of the front-end developer. Mark my words. Or don’t. We’ll talk more about this later.

My last MAX concession: I told Claire Erwin I would blog once a week this summer. I’d say this more than counts for my first week considering I’m only two days out of the semester. I’m taking requests: What is media informatics? What’s in the media informatics curriculum at NKU? What should I do for my communication studies PhD dissertation since my committee keeps rejecting my ideas as too technical? (Seriously, help me out here…) Anyway, happy summer. It’s all good when it begins with an exciting MAX.

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One educator at MAX and three blog posts. Part I: Socially expansive

I wrote this last Thursday on my flight home from MAX. My head is full (as was my belly this past week–thanks, Adobe, for great food and beverages to go with great content). As usual, there were great sessions and keynotes and a few surprises. And the Black Keys! Here’s a rundown on this educator’s experience and perspective on the Creativity Conference. (This will be a three-part blog, focused on this instructor’s take on the social direction of the products, the much-discussed subscription issue and, finally, the promise of a healthy but quickly-growing web/mobile strategy and delivery.)

Part 1- Social-ly Expansive: Adobe goes social media big time

The social media theme of the conference started to become apparent when attending a session on the Adobe Exchange on Sunday. The old exchange has become a train wreck, or at least it had for me as a web, mobile and Flash girl. Instead of trying to clean it up, Adobe is redoing the entire exchange and encouraging more user content and plugin development. I had never considered contributing to the Exchange, but the three entry points—via Extension Builder 2.1 (3 is coming this spring), Configurator 3 for custom panels in Photoshop and InDesign and the Adobe Exchange Packager—there should be an entry point for almost any designer or developer to submit. And as educators, it gives our students a new possible (and possibly financially beneficial) outlet for their content and development. And the social media aspect of the new Exchange will let you vote up or down products so the good stuff should rise to the top.

Of course, the push to the Cloud also is incredibly social. File sharing and collaboration will be much easier for teams. I’m excited to see how my students will use the Cloud since most Media Informatics courses have team projects. I’m considering how I can require groups within the Crowd. I think the chief benefit here from the instructor’s perspective is to be included in those Cloud collaborations. I’ll be able to see what’s going on. I won’t have to rely on student reports, I’ll be able to see who procrastinates and who contributes what to the project as well as the process itself. For that, I’m very excited.

Of course, the other social aspect of the Cloud is the inclusion of Behance. After watching the keynote online from NKU, students have Facebooked me to say they signed up for their account and “know what they’re going to do this summer”.

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September 14, 2010

Education Summit at Adobe MAX

Sunday, October 24 – Education Summit at MAX – Los Angeles Convention Center

If you are involved in education and will be attending Adobe MAX this year, I highly encourage you to check out the full education rundown and especially the preconference Education Summit!

Registration is reduced significantly for students and educators!


As an aside, I’ll be speaking on OSMF! Check out the full agenda!

Open Source Media Framework for Education
Joseph Labrecque, Senior Multimedia Application Developer, University of Denver

Whether your institution provides progressive video streams over simple HTTP or leverages the full streaming power of Adobe Flash Media Server, when deciding how to implement playback, the Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) is clearly one of the best choices available. Join Joseph Labrecque as he provides a brief overview of OSMF and demonstrates a range of customization options for developing media playback clients within the framework for educational needs. This presentation covers both functional concerns and custom skinning mechanisms to implement your institution’s unique branding requirements.

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