Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Flash in 2012 education

This blog has ceased running solely because of lack of interest. What is here illustrates its potential.

This is not my wish. Flash, as used in my web site, is, I still believe, an excellent tool in education.
It provides a way of teaching mixed ability children so they have an exciting activity pitched at each person's level of expertise.
I have found that 30 primary school children or 24 secondary students years 7 to 9 in the UK system can have 60 minute lessons where the whole class enjoy the experience and leave the classroom feeling very positive ready for their next lesson (their behaviour even improves). It was for this reason that Flash became such a popular subject in the schools where I taught in North East London and why I was invited by several boroughs in London to run projects there. Much of this work can be seen on my web site at www.tygh.co.uk/new.html where the work of every student in many classes is demonstrated showing how successful the work was with mixed ability classes.

The reason why Flash has lost its appeal is probably for two reasons:
First because teachers feel too pressured to take it on and because it is sadly not promoted in the British National Curriculum. Conformity has led to the death of very good initiatives.
Secondly Adobe who now own the licences on Flash software do not want to promote the Flash 4 software; software that is superbly suitable for young students because of its combination of simplicity and the powerfulness of the software. Later versions have quite naturally become better suited to web site design rather than as a teaching tool. This is where Adobe believe the money making market is. I believe they are mistaken in this as if adopted in education they could be selling licences at a low fee to millions and millions of students rather than mere hundreds of thousands of licences to potential web design experts.

Both these attitudes can be challenged. First, I can still support those wanting to use Flash in education.  I have put several detailed tutorials and resources on the Internet. I can and have taught teachers all over the world from my office here in Britain using the phone - Skype in particular. Secondly I have copies of Flash 4 software that I can provide at a moderate cost - the money going straight to Adobe. I have already spent £400 to explore the legality of such a procedure  with top lawyers ( Pannone ).

I suspect that Adobe could be persuaded to market Flash 4 as an educational tool which this version is.

So over to you - I can be contacted by email : gd at tygh.co.uk or by phone - 01229 480 347 and would give all the help I could for free to those showing a sincere interest in following this up. To get on top of Flash 4 software you will require five lessons with me involving homework of about 90 minutes each time supported by phone backup of 30minutes. My experience has been that those I've taught have loved the experience and are still good friends though for various reasons not practising Flash because of an inability to introduce Flash into their teaching. Sad.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Talking Heads in Thailand

Maggie continues to do good work with this template.

Having successfully explored puberty and sex with a year 6 class ( the work is nor available for public view!) the work continues!

Here is just one of the examples from her current class. Get those headphones ready to go as we're right in there with a lively exchange between two students!

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

mark 6

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Shape and music done differently

With a template, children from year 3 to year 11 could enjoy doing this.

Give them a boost, don't you think?

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Latest try with shape and music!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Shapes and Music

This has lots of potential!

Having fun with this for a bit of fun!

Anyone interested!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

New interest in Flash

Peckham, watch out, Flash is invading your classrooms!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Are there alternatives to Flash?

I received this email yesterday:


Have you thought of turning your attentions to MIT's Scratch? It is a
wonderfully creative tool, it's completely free (so once fired up children
can continue work at home), has an online community and though schools that
use it see the benefits pretty quickly it has yet to take off as a key tool
for engaging children in learning using ICT.

I'd download it, try reverse engineering some of the games on the site and



It's really good to hear from you!

Having used Flash in so many different ways successfully with such a range of abilities, even with three years olds but many 5 up to 16, educationally challenged students of all types, some using a joy stick others temperamentally unstable, I have problems turning to anything else.

The price is minimal - £200 for 17 licences for a primary school for Flash 4.

It's such a Rolls Royce piece of software I can't imagine how it can be improved on.

The schools I'm still working with continue to develope new fields of use and the work using shapes and music is just scratching (?) the surface.

So why not use one piece of superb software in a multitude of different ways - far less strain on teachers who don't have to keep on learning new software but working in teams to develop and share new uses for Flash.

The problem may be that I'm far ahead of my time, I say modestly ! ! Which is what Mike Bostok tells me - and he's trying to get me to write a book!

It's the way I teach with Flash that is perhaps special - where students are put in charge of their learning and there are few barriers to what they can do as their curiosity and excitement develop as they enjoy this kind of education.

The crux of this philosophy is not training but exploring our innate wish to ask each other "Why?"

Thank you for stimulating my response. I would be very grateful to hear your comments and awaiting these. Perhaps we'll get some other reactions.

Note I'm available at any time any place to run teacher training with certain reservations - that the teachers are going to be encouraged to teach with Flash themselves in the classroom (not a club) with my support in the background!


Tuesday, 10 June 2008


Here's a request for an animation that can be solved with masks!

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Uploading to Youtube from Flash

After a hard struggle with help from Chris Dennett, I am thrilled to bits to have managed to upload this short video onto Youtube.

This work was done with Flash MX which is needed if one is to incorporate video. Neither Flash 4 or 5 can handle it!

More to follow I'm sure!

Enjoyed this site !

These were different - very gentle !

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Flash and poetry!

Ian Alexander in Colorado Springs, USA and I are exploring The poem Out,out by Robert Frost!

Remains for sound and the spoken word to be added!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Unspoken communication !

Thanks Maggie for the thought - see comments below on "Animated shapes to music".

We could try to go back to the ideas that were used in the silent moves only without the captions. - Flash ballet! - I can see some animated faces now!

Trouble is can PCs come with the Flash work - long live Macs that are fine!

I feel a Youtube video on the way - who will be the first!

There are some very disappointing computer generated animations to music there - our kids can do much better!

How about ?

using lines as well as the solid coloured shapes

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Creativity Discussion

Thanks for all the fascinating insights into what you are all doing.

You may like to take up some of the issues here!

Also, I'll gladly forward any emails for you - gd at tygh.co.uk

Creativity in the Classroom - your replies

I emailled a group of teachers that are interested in the use of Flash with the following:-


It would really help me understand where to put my energies if you could give me a quick reply to the following:

Are there problems bringing in programs that encourage creativity and problem solving into the classroom?

Do you see Flash as part of these programs?

What alternatives do you favour? and Why? ! ! !

I've suspected that the people introducing new approaches are those with some time to explore new initiatives.

In the private sector there are people with time and expertise who go into and support teachers in their classrooms.

Would you love to do Flash but can't get round to it or is it out of date compared with the alternatives?

What are these and why do these appeal?

Would welcome your response - even the briefest - "no time to reply" would tell me a lot!


See comments for their replies:

Animated Shapes move to Music

Maggie (IT), Mark (music) in Thailand and I are working together to develop the putting together of art and music.

The first project was done with a year 4 class in one hour ready for a whole school presentation.Seven groups took a short piece of music and created their interpretation in colours and shapes.
Have a look and listen!

There is plenty of room to refine and extend this idea!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Robert Hart, Intuitive Media, SuperClubsPLUSs and ICTOPUS

Bob's work greatly interests me as he is encouraging young children to design their own web sites, some day they may begin to use Flash! - I've offered to be an expert for them.

I've expressed my doubts about children spending too much time at the computers when they could be going on real adventures in the real world. Furthermore the way that ICTOPUS are handling there blog is in my view a disgrace and quite dishonest. So I have tried to replicate the discussion before it was deleted by Heather Govier and the ICTOPUS team. At the moment I've lost complete faith in their objectivity.

This of course applies to those captivated by Flash - we need to 'get a life' and keep things in perspective. For me renovationg a house, a weekly pottery group, regularly walking the neighbour's dog, and a fortnightly philosophy group give me variety.

Must say the Flash I'm developing with Maggie in Thailand is proving very exciting - a great collaboration with their music department. This for me is what Flash is all about!

More to come.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Art and Music

Maggie McGrane and I are working on a project that will extend the Christmas project into the area of animated shapes and music.

This is something that flash is ideally suited for.

The project came about because Mark the music teacher saw the Christmas Greeting work done by Year 3 (see below) and was excited with the possibility of doing something with Year 4 where animated shapes portrayed the emotions of the music. A brilliant concept that I've done some work with but this is a new approach that provides much greater scope for children's creativity.

Geoff has just prepared a tutorial on how to animate shapes in the way shown in the entry here much lower on Art and Music.

A second one shows how to add music.

We'll keep you posted (Contact me on gd at tygh.co.uk if interested!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Waking The Witch

I stumbled on the excellent all female group 'Waking the Witch ' at my local club that has live music every month - they are on tour at the moment and could be coming to a pub near you!

You will hear two very different songs on their web site one cheerful, one dreamy.

I thought that with a title like that their music might lend itself to wonderful animations of flying witches, maybe riding or/and playing their guitars.

For an excellent Youtube video click here!

What do you think, or am I out of touch with youngsters' tastes?

I understand Kate Bush had something to do with the name of the group . . ?

Monday, 31 December 2007

It's assessment time

Looking back and forward!

How are we doing?

How have we done?

Your comments will encourage more from me!


Thursday, 27 December 2007

What I love about Flash!

Group learning taking place.

Who needs a teacher?

You can see there's some hard thinking going on!

Look around the classroom when they've got a challenging project to do and theirs a lot of consultation and thinking going on

Are they enjoying themselves?

Are they fully engaged?

Are they thinking?

Are they learning?

It gets kids co-operating!

This is what I call education!

Monday, 24 December 2007

Worldwide Christmas Greetings

This group project went very well.

It was great to have so many teachers and children involved and they all seemed to enjoy it tremendously.

It was great for me to feel again the buzz of excitement in the classroom with actual children and teachers doing a Flash project.

Twiss Green with Chris Beedham was very special. To hear the children explaining to me how the animation worked made me realise that they were just one step away from changing the way it animated.

Geoff Davies in Swansea, Wales, is doing what I had hoped would happen and that is for my templates to be used in different ways. This will happen more and more I'm sure and I'm looking forward to working with Maggie in Thailand to adapt this template to respond and accompany Music of different kinds at the suggestion of Mark,'the music teacher'.

Then again to see the results of Angela Lee's class with those spontaneous drawings in Martindale Primary School, Hertfordshire, North of London was exciting.

What will really make my day is when teachers from one school start to suggest and implement ideas from another school - ideas sparking off each other.

When this starts to happen then we will know this blog has really taken off.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Christmas At Sandaig

Today at the Computer club the children made some Christmas Greetings:

The Children used Geoff Dellow's Christmas template from Video Tutorials for Macromedia Adobe Flash.

Or see the animations in their own window

I posted this on the school blog too: Sandaig Otters » Christmas animations I am sure the children would appreciate any comments.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Photos to relax with - Flash slow motion

Here are Linda Water's photos which I persuaded her to part with accompanied by music I chose!
Leave her a comment if you enjoyed them and we might get together and do some more !

A personal message concerning teaching with Flash

I asked permission to include this as Joan expresses the frustration many are feeling at this time.

"Thanks for the update and for all the work you are doing with the tutorials. It is much appreciated. I think Flash is one of the best programs around and I can't wait to get back to experimenting again. I have been really busy at school, so it has had to be put on the back burner for the time being. We have just had 'Anti Bullying Week' in school and it would have been great if the pupils could have used something like the 'Talking Heads' template to create an effective presentation. I have a lot of good ideas on how Flash could be used in the classroom, it is just finding the time to implement them. Our next whole school initiative is 'Healthy Eating Week' and it would be great if we could create a movie with moving and talking fruit and vegetables. Am I getting too carried away?

Kind regards

Art with Flash

As you see, I've been experimenting with what I call animated art!

It's great fun and very relaxing - next thing is to add suitable music.

Click the title for the flash file and go to my web site for guidance on how to do this yourself.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Something to brighten up a winter's evening

Click the title to hear Mark Robinson's Jam Machine created many years ago when he was at Ambleside Primary School.

Geoff added the animation as a separate file.

Something for a Computer Club!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Some new tutorials - walking figure

The walking figure in the link from the title was made by extending one that Chris Beedham did originally using the figure.fla file.

Those that know Flash will enjoy learning how to make a figure hurdle with a stick in one hand, even with his head bobbing up and down ! - here

Then after this amazing feat he walks up and follows a bendy path into the distance.

What may impress, is that as the sun goes behind the hill the landscape gets darker and so does he - here, this time .

Stuff to amuse you on a rainy day or entertain and challenge your brightest students.

I will sit back and be enthralled by what you will now show me that you can do.

Contact Geoff at: gd at tygh.co.uk if you're interested in using Flash with your students or would like to discuss possible projects.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Breakthrough in video creation

Have found out with prompting from John that I can add a scrollbar at the base of the videos which then provides a lot more control. See the Christmas project!

This scroll bar is also in place on the videos that have been done see Talking heads and the walking figure

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Visit to Warrington

Had a great time sitting in on Chris Beedham's lesson.

It was great to watch someone else handling the project and being back in the classroom with enthusiastic children and teachers.

I loved the way she got the children to think about what they were seeing from the word go.

In 50 minutes we had a romp through the Christmas project which is covered on the tygh site together with tutorials and supplementary templates.

I'm getting very helpful feedback on whether these tutorials work and have already modified the first with the ability to skip forward. Please keep the comments coming.

The next thing I can do is improve the clarity by better quality jpeg settings which although increasing file size can be counteracted by zipping the files for download.
John has also offered me advice on how to better access the video with a controlling menu - great.Hope to add more sophisticating control buttons as well - using scripting that is out of my depth!

I've also done a tutorial for Talking Heads projects which I'm beating into shape and will tell you about when ready.

Flash Ideas for Christmas

I'm exploring the idea of making a Christmas cracker or present which will open with all the razzmatazz of the fireworks poem and from the inside will appear a Christmas message or poem. Any ideas for starting off?
Geoff Davies

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Wish me luck!

Hello Fellow Flashers!
I have my first lesson this Friday (16th Nov) and am intending to use Geoff's Circle_square template with 2 year 5 classes. I will let you know how I get on. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Some people won't blow their own trumpet

Some I'll do it for them!

Look what Emma did a while back - fed up waiting for her to brag about it!

So here goes!

Two songs for the severely disabled - the monkey and the frog!

What a voice! Fantastic drawings. What happened to Miss Mousey? Next verse please.

- Dying to see what she's up to now!

Cracking eggs has something to do with it!

Brilliant new project from Swansea

Geoff Davies has only access to two computers with Flash 4 running - very close to his classroom.

This is his second project working I think with year 3 and 4 - the idea:

Fireworks in Flash for Bonfire Night - with a poem - see the children's work in the title and here

This is the beauty of using Flash - the teachers can create their own projects to suit their class - starting from the square circle file and adding a space for a poem.

Previously Geoff 'Taffy' D prepared his first very own template for:
Exploration of Space - Mission Earth and Mission Mars

"Thought you'd like to see two examples of work from my class" he writes -

"Conversation between myself and Dylan, a Year 4 boy.

Dylan: My movie's running a bit too fast

Me: What can you do about that?

Dylan: I could always add some more frames


Idea for Blog - children's quotes/observations

Lastly - as I understand it - a talented year 4 student produced the phases of the moon himself - with a little help from teacher!

Brilliant - or have I said that before!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Star wars

This is what big kids get up to when they're older - done with Flash 4.
Full of ideas of what can be done!

Good to show as a treat in the classroom - the whole series is there if you look.

Make a great sixth-form collaborative project!

Monday, 29 October 2007

John Davitt

Many of you will know John as a keynote speaker on Creativity, Regular Journalist for The Guardian, Author of New Tools for Learning . . .

He was one of the first people I taught Flash 4 to, over the phone!

He said recently

"I applaud the use of Flash 4 because of the challenge it offers and the creative problem solving that it provides - something that has been sadly missing in many curriculum uses of ICT.

In Geoff Dellow's class one day an eight year old turned to me and said "This is a struggle - but it's worth it" and I thought
Hallelujah - low threat and high challenge in action!

The structured use of templates also helps to free up the teacher from having to start from scratch and allows children of all abilities to achieve.

Monday, 22 October 2007

I am Emma!

As I have disgraced myself by forgetting my Flash lesson this afternoon, I thought I'd better post on here to make up for it! I am completely new to blogs so you will have to forgive me for not knowing anything at all about blog etiquette.
I am a teacher of a class of 7 children with profound and multiple learning difficulties. I love using ICT in the classroom as I believe that it enables pupils to create products that they can really be proud of, and provides a way of showing off pupil's achievements in the best possible light.
My aim is to use Flash to make single switch activated games for children to play, and to build opportunities for choice making into these. I am better at starting things than finishing them though - but am determined to finish off a weather activity for my morning circle very soon!

Needed - Creative solutions - exercise and ICT

How can we promote exercise while doing ICT?

Kine - ICT - a difficulat nut to crack

Come on you guys - Don't we have the cream of the problem solving ICT world visiting this site?

Here I approach a problem like this using the 'brainstorming' approach:

You list as many crazy ideas as you can - one of which will lead to a possible globe shattering concept!

Idea 1 - Click title - needed Flash4 in pencil mode , Ghetto blaster, interactive white board finger on F6 or better? F7 result a time line that looks like this.

Idea 2 Cameras given out to orienteering runners to take photos of themselves (in date/time recording mode) at the check points. They then write a report - in Flash of course, about their fun run - This should appeal to Doug Dickinson Who's he and why? - Kate knows the answer!

Who's Kate? - She will come out of the shadows shortly I'm sure!