December 1997

Multimedia Authoring
in Our Schools

Multimedia Authoring

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HyperStudio software offers HyperExcitement as students create multimedia stories in the classroom

By Kate Vanderhorst and Rod Rychliski

Paper and pencil were once the primary communication tools of young authors. Today, our students have a new set of tools.

They’re accessing information and creating presentations in a very powerful way, using an ever-increasing variety of computer-based multimedia sources, including encyclopedias, databases, simulations and instructional software, as well as the Internet.

HyperStudio, licensed by the Ontario government for use in schools, is a robust, multimedia application. As teachers who use HyperStudio in the classroom, we offer these tips and techniques.

Grade 4 Projects

On a weekly basis, as part of the language arts curriculum, students learn painting, importing clip art, the effective use of text fields and linking components with buttons, while incorporating transitions and sounds.

All About Me
Students create a five-card stack and main menu. The cards are then linked to each other. The children paint their name on a black background, draw their picture, import clip art and add a text box with personal information.

101 Dalmatians
We form production parties of four. They create animation backgrounds with paint using cut and paste techniques for the animation stages. The students make model Dalmatians using black and white plasticine which are then incorporated into the finished product using stop motion video. Freeze frame video captures the "animal skins" so borders can be created for card decorations, titles, and form fitting dresses for "Cruella." Viewers can manipulate the costumes, much like a paper doll.

Class Yearbook
Teachers and students digitize art samples, photographs of classmates, parents, the school building and special days to create a yearbook. Title cards are created using all the "HyperTricks" learned throughout the year.

We capture the yearbook, together with a Grade 1 yearbook, on video and interlace it with music.

Grade 1 Projects

All About Me
Students create a five-card stack and a main menu with buttons that link the cards to one another, similar to the Grade 4 class. They paint their name on a black background, draw their picture, import clip art, and add a text box with personal information.

Teeny Weeny Classroom Pets
A "HyperPlanning" sheet is designed for classroom use. The children research an insect and write some text. They design the layout of the card and include detailed drawings, incorporating the text into the design. After the text is written, students read the words into the computer for playback. A Grade 4 student assists in connecting each of the stacks and makes a title card using animation and a menu card for easy navigation.

All of these projects demonstrate how collaborative learning and sharing is paramount for success. The result of multimedia authoring leads to the realization by students – and teachers – that the computer is simply a tool, like the pencils, markers and crayons inside their desks.

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 can be contacted by e-mail at