Multimedia Titles: Educational CD-ROM and Videodisc Choices Abound

By Greenfield, Elizabeth | T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), February 1993 | Go to article overview

Multimedia Titles: Educational CD-ROM and Videodisc Choices Abound


Greenfield, Elizabeth, T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)


No one can doubt the impact multimedia has had on instruction. Usage of both CD-ROMs and videodiscs has skyrocketed. Data from the 1993 Videodisc Compendium for Education and Training, published by Emerging Technology Consultants, Inc., indicates that the numbers of videodisc titles available for seqence instruction alone is over 350.

Nearly everyone is itching to introduce CD-ROM and videodisc technology to their students. Both formats' capacity to house reams of information make them ideal research and reference tools as well as supplementary materials for just about every discipline.

* Multimedia Resources

One popular use of CD-ROM or videodisc materials is video term papers. These projects boast live action and sound, making their dry, text-only counterparts pale in comparison.

Two students at Andrew High School in Tinley Park, Ill., worked together on a video term paper about Martin Luther King using CEL Educational Resources' The Video Encyclopedia of the 20th Century, a video archive series comprised of 42 videodiscs--83 hours of video materials-plus historical text. They juxtaposed scenes from a Ku Klux Klan march with the civil rights leader giving a speech on non-violence. "I think it's one thing to read about dogs attacking the civil rights marchers and another thing to see it actually happen,"comments Diane Stanojcic, one of the video's authors.

The discs' original video gives students the opportunity to see historical events as they happened, which improves understanding and brings the immediacy of groundbreaking experiences home. Newsreel footage, tape from television newscasts and specials, and film from presidential libraries are a few samples. The discs' licensing agreement gives schools the ability to repurpose video materials, so teachers can align the video to their curriculum or students can create their own documentaries.

Recently named CD-ROM product of the year, The New Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia from Grolier Electronic Publishing contains 33,000 articles and 10 million words. The entire text and numerous pictures from the 21-volume print version of Grolier's Academic American Encyclopedia reside on one disc; 7,000 of those articles are new or revised.

The 1992 version boasts digitized video of historical events, famous people, NASA missions, major sports events and more. Animations explain aircraft technology, weather, the human body and the solar system. Audio segments include speech excerpts and musical compositions; 250 high-resolution color maps are also highlights.

* Foreign Language

CD-ROM is a superior format to teach language skills because of its high-quality audio and storage capabilities. At least two companies offer foreign language or ESL CDROM products.

The HyperGlot Software Co., Inc. publishes many CD-ROM products. First there's LinguaROM II, a complete, three-CD-ROM collection comprised of 30 foreign language products. Five programs each for Spanish, French and Russian instruction are included, as are six for German, three for Chinese, and two each for Italian and Japanese. Learn to Speak Spanish and Learn to Speak French are also included in this bundle.

Berlitz Think & Talk CD-ROMs, based on the Berlitz Method, are available from the same firm in Spanish, French, German and Italian. Seven to nine discs per language are filled with sound effects, music and audio cues. Over 1,000 words are taughtin the 50-lesson program, which also boasts an online, bilingual dictionary.

An interactive storybook for MPCs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears from Syracuse Language Systems is available in Spanish and English versions. Language instruction is built into each page; games help children learn story vocabulary through color, animation and native speakers' audio cues.

The company also offers their Playing With Language series on CD-ROM and for Tandy's new VIS platform. …

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