OK, so it’s 2010, and everybody who knows what’s what about state-of-the-art education is talking multi-media. But go back some 20 years ago, and how many of us realised what directions personal computing was heading in, and how important multi-media was going to be? Well, Roger Wagner was one of those rare people. And not only did he have a good sense of what the next two decades were going to bring, he developed his own application for them.
That application was HyperStudio, a multi-media/project authoring tool, which rose out of the ashes of Apple’s much-loved HyperCard, and which was hailed through the 1990s as one of the leading-edge Mac programs. And while things on the HyperStudio front went quiet for a few years subsequently, the application – and Roger – are now back on the scene with a vengeance.
Roger presented the opening session in the CUE Educate stream at MacWorld, and he spoke to Ian and Allan afterwards. During his presentation Roger showed us some mighty impressive examples of what can be done with HyperStudio in a K-12 environment, and demonstrated how seamlessly the application can pull together a range of different media formats. You can see some demos for yourself, and link into all the news and information from HyperStudio users, through the HyperFest Central group on Facebook. Below here we have embedded a simple example of output from a HyperStudio project. This one was done by a 7th grade student. Find lots more on YouTube. These are relatively simple, yes, but powerfully dynamic for learning and teaching purposes.
Of course, there is a challenge to be met here. In fact there are two of them. For as much as Allan and I have nostalgic memories of the visionary HyperStudio of the 90s, we have to admit that in 2010, when it comes to multi-media project authoring, there are more than a few applications out there that might seem to present as worthy competitors to it. So Allan and I have grabbed a couple of fully functional licenses for the latest version of HyperStudio, and when we get home after MacWorld we are going to put it to the test. We’ll report the results in this blog in a few weeks time. In the meantime, if you have tried it out, please comment below and let us know.
And of course the second challenge is the degree to which this application, much celebrated in the K-12 context, might be of benefit in the higher education sector. Immediately we can see some real pluses – the neat way it manages sources and attributions (and thus makes copyright management that much easier), the intuitive drag-and-drop approach that means you don’t have to have a PhD in file format conversion, not to mention its potentially powerful transmedia communication uses. But again, we will put our initial enthusiasm to the hard empirical test, and will get back to you with the results. Watch this hyperspace!
Written by Ian