Educational Generic packages enable teachers and pupils to design and produce multimedia projects on computer and if desired on paper also . Technical know how is not as important for these productions as teaching ability and sound pedagogical ideas . When computers were first introduced into primary schools a lot of the software was of the drill and practice type . Teachers and pupils were confined to answering what was proscribed in a particular programme. Authoring/GENERIC programmes enable teachers and pupils to dictate the content ,presentation and design of their own software . Pedagogy leads and the technology follows !
Hyperstudio is such a package and may be used in the Primary classroom at many different levels.Hyperstudio uses the stack analogy like a chapter or book. A stack contains so many cards(pages) . A stack on Birds might have one page on the cuckoo, another on the robin etc. A very important part of the Hyperstudio stack is the button. The button allows the user to navigate from card to card, from card to index, or from one stack to another stack.The button may also start some action such as a sound, or even play an animation.
For example a very simple stack could be a picture of each infant on a card with the use of a digital camera. A button could them be put on each picture which when activated would say : "John/Mary is my name ". This could be done using the recording microphone which comes with every multimedia computer. Hey presto a multimedia stack !
a. Commercial stacks could
be read and studied by pupils and there are some which are commercially available
. Stacks from other schools could also be read.
b. Stacks/Books could be adapted by pupils to incorporate their own ideas and projects.
c. Stacks/Books could be designed and made as originals by a class, a group or by individual pupils.
d. At a deeper level some teachers or pupils might go into the programming of stacks/books but this would certainly be a minority sport !
I would strongly contend that the development of a stack/book by a class or group would be far more educationally beneficial than using other predeveloped stacks.Children get far more benefit from producing their own multimedia than from browsing through commercial multimedia.
By developing their own multimedia projects children get to:-
(ii) Do creative writing.
(iii) Plan and design a project.
(iv) Draft and redraft and synopsise.
(v) Use art packages.
(vi) Learn how to collate and index work.
(vii) Work responsibly on their own or within a group.
(viii) Develop a pride in their collective work.
(ix) Produce resources to reflect their own culture and the Irish language.
Hyperstudio has the following features:
Ability to receive text files .
Ability to receive picture files.
Ability to resize graphic files once received.
Ability to incorporate sound files.
Ability to draw within programme.
Ability to paint within programme.
Ability to create links using buttons etc. to navigate within the project you have designed.
Ability to script within
programme.(Programming). Hyperstudio includes a Hyperlogo programming script
language but most people who use Hyperstudio never use it.
Ability to make standalone stacks/books so that you may send a copy of your project to someone else who may not have purchased the programme you are using.
Provision of a Hyperstudio player which allows one to distribute a file to be read without the original program.