May 1997

Reviews
Reviews

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HyperStudio

Roger Wagner Publishing Inc.

Reviewed by Kate Vanderhorst and Rod Rychliski

The new generation of computers being introduced for education is placing the power of computer-based multimedia design into the hands of students, teachers and administrators. It gives us the potential to blend text, graphics, animation, video, and sound into high-impact, interactive presentations.

But there are a limited number of classroom teachers who have a multimedia background, leaving many curriculum applications to be investigated.

The Ministry of Education and Training is currently negotiating a license for HyperStudio. This licensing will open the door for all educators to introduce the skills of multimedia into the classroom.

Roger Wagner, a former classroom teacher, developed this multimedia writing tool. He recognized that electronic technology for writing is as essential a skill as writing with pen and paper. These are students’ tools for the future as we move toward the next century. HyperStudio was designed for the real classroom, where students learn by doing. HyperStudio is a multimedia authoring tool that lets one quickly and effortlessly incorporate graphics, video, animation and text in a project that may have traditionally been created with pen and paper.

With this software, students can access data on the Internet. QuickTime movies can be easily created and edited. It provides direct camera access for QuickTake, Kodak DC-40 and video cameras. The software imports virtually all file formats such as PICT, TIFF, EPS, or JPEG, and it’s PC and Mac compatible.

An attractive feature of HyperStudio is the "student use home" disks that are provided with a multiple-user license. Students can use these disks for both PC and Mac platforms to work on projects at home.

HyperStudio doesn’t require the use of elaborate hardware. Students can create dazzling projects on the most basic machine. The software is minimalist and the language is not technical, so teachers and students can spend time using the program, rather than trying to figure it out.

The advantage of using HyperStudio in the classroom is that it gives students the opportunity to become engaged learners who have acquired authentic knowledge because they have been actively involved in the design, planning, creation and production of their work. The traditional skills of reading, writing, listening, viewing, and speaking can be seamlessly interwoven throughout the school day with the use of this exciting software.

Kate Vanderhorst and Rod Rychliski teach Grades 4 and 1 respectively with Waterloo County Board of Education. They incorporate computer technology into their programs by instructing students, parents and teachers in the use of multimedia. They were awarded the 1997 ECOO (Educational Computing Organization of Ontario) Award for their outstanding contributions in promoting the integration of computers into the classroom. Kate and Rod present workshops and computer camps for school boards across Ontario. They can be contacted by e-mail at kandr@hyperpeople.com . Visit their website at www.hyperpeople.com.

 

KidPix

Broderbund Software Inc.
Distributed by Core Curriculum
Technologies/Software Plus

Reviewed by Lilli Kenna

The new KidPix software package licensed by the Ministry of Education and Training is a fabulous paint program for children of all ages. They love using it.

Children quickly become comfortable with the KidPix toolbox – which is always present on the screen - and enjoy exploring the possibilities of the different tools.

Because the tools are graphic, no reading is required for younger children. KidPix is ready to use right away, and children enjoy the many sound effects that go along with the various tools.

KidPix allows children to create their own pictures using the toolbox or to alter pictures provided by the program. They may choose to draw with the pencil that has variable lead widths or to use the circle or the rectangle tool. There is also an extensive colour palette to choose from.

Students can choose from three different sets of stamps. The stamp editor allows them to change a stamp or to create their own and teaches pixel editing, which may come in handy with other programs.

The paint brush paints rainbows, dice, trees, and much more. The paint can fills in spaces with anything from a solid colour to a texture or even flowered wallpaper. The mixer allows users to add interesting effects - even to animate.

KidPix allows you to import other graphics or text done in ClarisWorks Draw. You can import pictures taken with a Quick Take camera. Once in KidPix, the children can use the toolbox to alter the pictures by adding features or changing the background. Imagine the fun of changing a Quick Take picture of your face into an endangered species!

KidPix allows you to create slideshows. It is so easy! You can use saved pictures, the wacky movies that come with the program or even import Quicktime movies made with a Quick Cam into the slideshow. There are transitions to choose from as the slideshow goes from one picture to the next. You can choose sound effects from the program or record your own.

Children love narrating their slideshows. The slideshows are good for second language learning and can also be copied onto video to send home for parents to see.

KidPix is a program that can be incorporated into all areas of the curriculum.

Some quick ideas to get you started:

  • use it for mapping
  • use the stamp editor to teach flips, slides and turns
  • stamp 100 objects for the 100th day of school
  • teach basic geometry shapes
  • use stamps for initial sound recognition
  • use stamps to create find-the-hidden-object books
  • teach foreground, middle ground and background
  • create shape poems using the alphabet tool
  • create animation using the slideshow, for example, how a seed grows
  • make a slideshow of a research project.

The Ministry’s licensing of KidPix was an excellent choice because it allows all children access to a fantastic program on all machines at all times. It is such a versatile program. With KidPix, the sky is the limit. Enjoy!

Lilli Kenna has taught for 23 years with the Waterloo County Board of Education and is currently teaching Grade 4 at Franklin Public School in Kitchener. She enjoys using a variety of computer programs with her class.

 

Rethinking Educational Change
with Heart and Mind

Edited by Andy Hargreaves
Association for Supervision and
Curriculum Development 1997 ASCD Yearbook

Reviewed by Linda Grant

Teachers who are wondering if they really do have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their students or who are asking themselves how they can grow as educators will find support, encouragement — and some good ideas — in Rethinking Educational Change With Heart and Mind.

The book is published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, which links educators throughout the world. Although the issues the book addresses are universal, Canadian teachers will be pleased to find that the authors or co-authors of three of the 11 articles are based in Ontario.

The editor is Andy Hargreaves, Director of OISE/UT’s International Centre for Educational Change and one of Canada’s best-known writers on education. He urges educators to rethink educational change by going wider and deeper.

Hargreaves’s message will strike home with teachers coping with the overwhelming pace of change in our school system. He begins with the premise that, “We should be concerned not with how teachers should commit to other people’s changes, but with how we might make schools into the kinds of places that stimulate and support teachers to make changes themselves.”

Focusing on students bring teachers together to talk about learning - both their professional learning and student learning. In their article, Rethinking Assessment and Accountability, Canadian Lorna Earl and Paul LeMahieu describe the extremely powerful forms of professional learning that may evolve when teachers collaborate in the context of student assessment.

Each of the 11 articles reinforces, in a different context, both the importance of professional learning and its link to student learning. The contributing authors stress that the driving force in teacher education reform must be the teachers themselves.

As a group, they write with passion about the need to pay attention to the context in which teachers do their work. To support professional learning in teaching, we must begin from teachers’ real situations.

The teaching profession for the 21st century must look very different from the profession as we know it today. Rethinking Educational Change With Heart and Mind places the teacher at the core of educational reform - complete with both heart and mind.

Ontario teachers have the opportunity to shape our profession as we move with our students into the 21st century. This book offers support, encouragement, and focus for self-directed professional learning.

To obtain copies of the 1997 ASCD Yearbook, Rethinking Educational Change With Heart and Mind:

  • Call toll free 1 800 933-2723 and press 2 for customer service;
  • fax 1 703 299-8631 "Attention Order Processing";
  • mail your request to ASCD, 1250 North Pitt St., Alexandria, Virginia, USA 22314-1453.

ASCD will accept Visa, Mastercard, purchase order or a personal cheque made payable to ASCD. Price: ASCD Member $19.95 US; Non-Member $23.95 US; Stock Number 197000.

Linda Grant is Manager, Standards of Practice and Education in the College’s Professional Affairs Department. She is the former OPSTF executive assistant responsible for co-ordinating the federation’s Supervisory Officer’s Qualifications Program, and PAR and Curriculum and Research Committees.