Summary (Max. 200 words in English, German, Spanish, French or Italian)
The project submitted here is an innovative course in multimedia creation centred around the Macromedia Flash software and with strong societal ties. Emphasis is placed upon teaching students to program using the Actionscript programming language of Flash, Actionscript being the foundation of any complex multimedia design when using Flash.
Computer programming is made more appealing to students by engaging them in a simple game construction and programming. Games are simply the perfect way to teach programming. Creating even a straightforward game is a demanding task but entertaining at the same time and it keeps the student focused and interested. Manipulating graphics and sound is also a creative practice well suited to capture the imagination of students in a productive way, appealing to girls as well as boys.
The course is a serious attempt to interest students in the creative art of computer programming by combining entertaining game programming and participation in a socially relevant project. This is accomplished by strong associations with the school Special-Ed program. The students learning during the course culminates in an ambitious final project which is designing and programming a learning material to be used in the school Special Ed division.
Summary of benefits and transferability (in English, German, Spanish, French or Italian)
The combination of creative multimedia and strong societal connection with disabled students makes this course very unique. Students are engaged in learning programming knowing the product of their effort is relevant and makes a difference. The fact is that one of the largest problems when using ICT in special education in Iceland is the almost total lack of appropriate software. This course is a great opportunity to tailor software to the needs of our disabled students and at the same time introduce other students to the world of disabled people in a very special and rewarding way. It's a win – win situation. To be able to create learning material for the disabled you must delve into their world and get to know them and respect in a way most students otherwise never would have.
This special way of approaching multimedia is easily transferable to other countries. This semester is the second time the course is taught this way and of course it's being refined and worked on. The results so far have been extremely promising and I have no doubt that would be the case elsewhere.