Flex Momentum in Higher Education

educause_2009Since this week is Educause I thought it would be a good time to talk about some of the momentum we’ve been having with Flex in higher education. I came from the higher education side of the industry so it’s really great to see Flex do well. It’s major props to our education teams and Terry Ryan, who has been doing the evangelism side of higher ed, that this year has been so good.

  • Over 70,000 downloads of Flex Builder. That’s a combination of student downloads, faculty downloads, and lab seats.
  • Around 30,000 page views for our RIA teaching resources site which includes course project information, best practices, and other information to let professors incorporate RIAs into their curriculum.
  • In a survey of faculty at mostly 4 year graduate and undergraduate institutions we found that 52% are requiring Flex Builder in their courses and that 85% of them are using it to teach about rich Internet applications. Most of the faculty came from computer science and multimedia programs.
  • A number of technology partners in higher education including Stanford, Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, University of California – Berkeley, University of Missouri, and University of Southern California.

We’ve also got some interesting things going on at MIT, Stanford, and Berkeley. All of them have integrated Flex into the coursework in design interface classes (an example Stanford course and an example MIT course). Rochester Institute of Technology is planning on having some of their students do guest blog posts for InsideRIA. The University of Missouri has been working with our developer program and has run a couple of student contents including one that has students using the beta 2 of Flash Catalyst to create interactive content. One of the other cool things is that a lot of the schools are using Flash as a way to be on the cutting edge. RIT, Purdue, Georgia Tech and the Vancouver Film school are using Flash to research multi-touch and augmented reality projects.

It’s great to see Flex in every part of higher ed from directly in the curriculum for classes to downloads for lab seats so that any student can go and experiment with Flex. Growing the base for Flex from the education side means more interesting Flex developers, more tinkering, and ultimately a better ecosystem for the Flash Platform. It will be great to see the momentum carry into 2010.

And of course, if you’re a graduate getting ready to enter the job market, it’s a pretty good time to be looking for Flex jobs.