My school is a 20:20 funded school. This means there has been extra funding to run special projects. I was hoping to get funding from the final last bits of funds.
The initial plan was to get five iMacs and set up a separate classroom for media/video work that could be booked by anyone in the school.
We were also hoping to get Adobe Web suite or Design suite. The idea was that I could teach pupils using industry standard software. This would be incredibly valuable for pupils to have on their CVs.
I was told that there maybe enough funds left for this. Later, howver, was told there wasn't enough for the macs and I would only have £2000 for software.
I went away and thought lots and reseached lots. I found three free animation packages, but all drawing based rather than object based like Flash. I don't think my drawing skills are good enough to rely solely on this and I could see kids being turned off animation if their drawings couldn't match their imagination.
There is also the issue that the SQA Animation unit seems to require Adobe Flash (although it doesn't say so). There isn't anything comparible to Flash. The closest I could find was Toon Boom, but the cost is nearly the same so I'd rather go for Flash. Walter McCrorie at Stevenson did tell me about a really cool Toon Boom feature though: you can import video and then draw on top of it, so you could use live action video to turn your friend into a cartoon!
So, my plan was to get 11 copies of Flash, 11 copies of Microsoft Expression Studio (It's not Adobe Web or Design but it has the advantage of free pupil copies for home use) and 10 Bamboo graphics tablets (to use with the free drawing-based animation software).
I've now been told there's maybe only £700 left in the budget so I can have the graphics tablets but that's it.
I think I'd be better getting as many copies of Flash as possible. The pupils could do more as group work, pulling together video, images and sounds that they source or create. The difficulty is initially teaching the application when sharing computers, however I'm working on discussion with Stevenson College and I probably still know a few of the Telford lecturers from when I taught there. Hopefully I should be able to arrange a day or two based at college for the pupils to learn the application (and while I learn too!)