Students can develop for Silverlight 2 in the following FREE ways
Silverlight Control Pack
Silverlight is releasing with a control pack that provides an extensive set of drag and drop controls including TreeView, DockPanel, WrapPanel, ViewBox, Expander, NumericUpDown, AutoComplete and more.
Additionally, Microsoft is providing funding to a project called Soyatec which is an Eclipse plug-in for Silverlight development.
Learning Silverlight 2
I’m going to punt to ScottGu on the learning section, he has listed some great getting started resources. From his blog:
The best way to learn Silverlight 2 is to visit the www.silverlight.net web-site. You can find free online tutorials, videos and training available there. The site also hosts an online forum system where MVPs and Microsoft Silverlight team members will be able to help answer technical questions. Also make sure to subscribe to the Silverlight Community RSS Feed, Jesse Liberty's Blog, and Tim Heuer's Blog for a daily dose of great Silverlight content.
Scott has a Digg-client tutorial updated for the Silverlight 2 release. It provides an end to end walkthrough of a Silverlight 2 application, and helps explain the different programming concepts behind it (controls, layout management, networking, data-binding, styles, user controls, control templates, etc). If you are brand new to Silverlight or WPF development, walking through the basics is a great place to start.
- Part 0: Introduction
- Part 1: Creating "Hello World" with Silverlight 2 and VS 2008
- Part 2: Using Layout Management
- Part 3: Using Networking to Retrieve Data and Populate a DataGrid
- Part 4: Using Style Elements to Better Encapsulate Look and Feel
- Part 5: Using the ListBox and DataBinding to Display List Data
- Part 6: Using User Controls to Implement Master/Details Scenarios
- Part 7: Using Templates to Customize Control Look and Feel
- Part 8: Creating a Digg Desktop Version of our Application using WPF