HS Teacher Needs Information About Writing Education Apps

I am high school business education teacher. I want to build interactive learning applications for my students something along the
lines of the video professor programs you see advertised on TV but with graphics and the feel of PowerPoint but without the slide transition feel PowerPoint has.

I want my students to be able to read information, but also be able to
input information from a mouse and keyboard, in order to receive an answer to a specific problem they may be working on.

I want the program to load tables, such as a table in MS Word, or Excel on various pages as the lesson progresses in order to teach the student as well.

I remember one of the great things about working with VB/Excel was the ability to write a program where the user could input information, click buttons to go to different sections, etc. I am quite rusty writing in VB/Excel and will need to re-teach myself if this might be one way to accomplish this task.

What other programming languages would help me accomplish this. I am not an artist but I learn quickly and would like to be able to include graphics, characters in the programs I write.

Also when I am done writing the programs I want to be able to burn them onto cd's so they are portable within the classroom and so I may be able to work on the program at home.

Any suggestions are welcome as well as other software which may help me accomplish this.

Thanks for any suggestions.


  • : What other programming languages would help me accomplish this?

    C++ is the most powerful language which would enable you to accomplish the task but it can be quite difficult to learn and become experienced with at first - especially if you want to do complex stuff quickly. Seeing as you have VB experience why not learn VB.NET. (I personally don't like VB but it'd be suitable for the task) - this would only be compatible on the windows platform though - but at least you'd be able to pick it up quickly.

    If you do decide to go the C++ route, look into Qt or wxWidgets, these will enable cross-platform development and are quite easy to work with - remember there's more to the world than just windows (I'm a linux fan!)

    Alternatively if you don't want to use a 'real' programming language consider using Authorware for example Macromedia Flash or Director. You can achieve the same effects as PowerPoint with it and it has the power of the scripting language ActionScript behind it so you could easily write interactive applications. I'm not sure about the loading of Excel tables though, but it does support database connectivity so you could store info in a DB and load it with a flash app. I believe macromedia also do another package called Director which is like flash. It uses a scripting language called Lingo (I'm not too sure about Director though - look into it).

    Although I've mentioned C++, VB.NET and Flash, I've only done this because they are 'industry-standard', remember there are a lot of other languages out there which might be suitable - browse this site!

    Another option might be if the computers are on a network you could create a web app which would run on the school server/intranet. If that was the case, use a scripting language/technology (PHP, Perl, Python, ASP.NET) to write the code.

    Hope this helps.

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