Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Multimedia Package Sparks Students' Imagination

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Multimedia Package Sparks Students' Imagination

Article excerpt

Andy Zeigler, first grader, is like so many of today's children; he requires more than a textbook and chalkboard to spark his interest in learning. Luckily for Andy a multimedia learning experience provided that spark.

As computer coordinator and a first-grade teacher at Indian Creek Elementary School, a science and technology school in Indianapolis, I have seen a great change in recent years in the experiences that children bring with them to school. Whether we think the effects of MTV and Nintendo are positive or negative, many students are no longer content to learn passively from a book.

In response I looked for a tool to author multimedia courseware, and I found LinkWay. Using an IBM PC, PC-compatible or PS/2 computer and the IBM LinkWay software, a student or teacher can create customized multimedia programs to reinforce what is being done in the classroom. Very little technical background is needed and the resulting programs can combine vivid colors, text, images and sounds-all helping subjects come alive on the computer screen. LinkWay can also control peripheral equipment found in classrooms: videodisc players, CD-ROM drives, musical synthesizers and speech devices.

* Field Trip by Computer

For my first LinkWay application, called a folder, I created Tours of Indiana, a program that takes children on "field trips" via computer. Using the fourth-grade textbook Indiana History as a guide, I acquired or took photographs of many of the places mentioned.

Tours of Indiana begins with a menu of five broad-based themes: Indiana Forts, Indiana Counties, Indiana Pioneers, Indians and Battles, and Lincoln and Statehood. Students make their selections via point-and-click. Clicking on the Forts of Indiana, for example, reveals a map of the United States to show the state's relative location; next is a map of Indiana only, with three forts indicated. If a student selects Fort Wayne, a digitized picture taken from my photos shows what it looks like. Along the bottom of the same screen is a timeline. By clicking on a specific date, text pops up detailing the history of Fort Wayne at that time.

* Students Take Charge

One day Andy was watching as I demonstrated Tours of Indiana for guests. …

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