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Although Dabbler works great for my students, there are things I wish it
included: an ability to scale objects, and make multiple
selections/stencils, not to mention the use of LAYERS!!
If your students are comfortable with Photoshop (a professional level
program), then perhaps you want the full-blown Painter product from
Metacreations. It is likewise professional.
Anything from Adobe is going to cost a pretty penny, and they are
becoming less and less friendly with whom to work. (I prefer FreeHand
for drawing anyway, by Macromedia. Perhaps if drawing is what you want,
you might be able to get it for less money than its competitor product,
Illustrator, from Adobe). Illustrator is Adobe's vector-based drawing
program, and I believe it now has features that allow you to
incorporate creations into web design, but I don't know if the
application can be used solely to design web pages.
In our middle school, we have not found a need for Wacom Tablets. I have
one at home (a 6x8) that I find more awkward than the mouse. I've been
doing graphic design and computer imagery long before the tablets. It's
a matter of choice. I think, if money is an issue, and decent sized
tablets are over $200 each, I would buy other peripherals: epson color
printer(s), scanner(s), digital camera(s)--the Sony Mavica Zoom is a
It sounds like you need to clarify what you want: web design software,
painting software, drawing software, or some combination. Then there's
page layout programs, too. How deep did your school/district plan to
dive into technology? An overlooked component is the upkeep of equipment
and upgrading of software--I hope someone is monitoring those issues.
With regard to level of sophistication, you know your students best.
Look into how many features they can operate with PhotoShop... whether
they are really into it and use it for a variety of tasks, or just using
it for easy stuff, such as managing scanned imagery, or letting all the
bells and whistles do the work, rather than the student doing the choice
making of the right features for the appearance they want their image to
become. There's computer art made by humans, and computer programmer
"art" that humans kick into gear.
Ann Carolan wrote:
> Does anyone have a good idea for software that would enhance our Middle School
> art program. Our lab director wants something with multi licenses. He thought
> Adobe Illustrator was too expensive and "professional". We have Adobe photoshop
> and Claris Paint programs but I feel we need something more advanced. Like a
> Web design or inexpensive paint program.
> ann carolan