Some applications are particularly well suited to Flash. XML-driven maps, stock tickers, and photo gallery examples abound on the Web.
E-learning is another area where Flash is proving very useful. Combining Flash with XML allows distribution of e-learning applications on CD-ROMs. You can run the applications in stand-alone mode without the need for an Internet connection or even a Flash Player. These applications have all the benefits of dynamic data with the flexibility of a portable format.
In my part of the world, there is a joint project to produce online content for students and teachers . The project, called the Le@rning Federation, is an initiative of the governments of Australia, the Australian states, and New Zealand. You can find out more about the project at www.thelearningfederation.edu.au/.
The project works in priority areas such as science, languages other than English, literacy , and numeracy. Content has been developed in each area to support specific learning objectives. The aim is to create a pool of resource materials for teachers and students. Schools can access the content online, through e-learning management systems or servers.
Some important principles for the learning objects are that
Data is stored separately from its presentation.
It is easy to modify content.
Learning objects use a common framework for different contexts, i.e., they can be repurposed.
Learning objects can operate as stand-alone objects that dont require server interaction.
Flash coupled with XML is an ideal delivery platform for these learning objects. A high proportion of learning objects already created use these technologies.
The website contains a showcase of sample content at www.thelearningfederation.edu.au/tlf2/showMe.asp?nodeID=242#groups. Figure 1-15 shows a learning object from the stampede series of learning objects that deal with languages other than English.