Friday, June 24, 2011

The HTML5 Canvas in Education

I've been playing around with the HTML5 canvas element lately. In fact, I even got a whole book on the canvas element and it has been fun to see how similar this element is to the Processing language. It was nice to be able to wrap up Processing sketches into applets and post them for the world to see.

Applets, though, are sooooo 1990s. Sure, I've played around with processing.js and it works pretty well. Still, it removes you one more step from the real thing. Now I'm not saying I'd like to go back to programming assembly, but sometimes it's hard to find the core language that you're using when it's wrapped in so many levels of libraries, conversions, etc.

Reminds me of  a past staff meeting that failed miserably because teachers were expected to access a shared Google document for collaboration's sake. Oh boy, what a mistake. Teachers make horrible students, for the most part.

Anyway, the Google docs collaboration activity failed when many of the teachers present were asked to visit a specific Google docs url.  About half the class was lost there, for various reasons.  Some made typos in the url.  Many simply used the default Internet Explorer, which has never been known to play nicely with internet standards.

I helped as many as I could, as did a few other tech-savy teachers.  During the chaos, one of the other helping teachers had a little laugh with me.  Apparently a teacher she was helping had not only used IE, but had done so via connecting to her Citrix thin client because that was the only way she ever used her laptop.  We had fun trying to describe just how strange that was--what a convoluted process to simply visit a web address.  The first thing that popped into my mind was:

That's like kissing a robot that then goes over and kisses your lover, rather than you doing the kissing yourself!

Made sense to me at the time.

So anyway, you can see the result in the image, but why not see the real thing: Link to the HTML5 File. Please, use Chrome or Firefox or Safari or Opera to view this--and not through some kissing robot proxy!

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