Around the end of last term I came across Mike Highfield’s excellent SPB Helper for DiDA (here’s his demo). I was so impressed with the quality of Mike’s screencasts that I immediately approached him to produce a short series of screencasts explaining Yacapaca.
The original plan was that these would simply be freebies would help promote the system but, one thing led to another and what we ended up with was a massive project containing no fewer than 74 separate little movies talking you through every detail of the system (example 1, example 2).
What I’m hoping is that people will use it to introduce Yacapaca across a whole school. From experience of running Yacapaca INSET days, I think there’s about three days-worth of material here, if you are starting with novices. It will be interesting to see who uses it in formal day trainings, and who puts it on a school network so teachers can access it as and when they need.
By the time we’d done all this, the project had cost too much to just give away. Actually, this solved a problem. I want as many people as possible to be able to use Yacapaca, and charging money for using it gets in the way of this. At the same time, we have to do something to keep a roof over hour heads. The solution was to make using the system entirely free, bundle the screencasts with a support contract and sell that to schools. Give away the product, but sell training & support to those who want it. It’s the classic ‘open source’ model.
In the nature of projects that grow beyond their original scope, this one also grew beyond its original schedule. Finally, I’m pleased to say, it’s ready, and the first disks are going out this week to customers who pre-ordered it.