Nic SinghDecember ?96 A Discussion on MultimediaMultimedia, or mixed-media, systems offer presentations that integrateeffects existing in a variety of formats, including text, graphics,animation, audio, and video.
Such presentations first became commerciallyavailable in very primitive form in the early 1980s, as a result of advancesthat have been made in digital compression technology– particularly thedifficult area of image compression. Multimedia online services areobtainable through telephone/computer or television links, multimediahardware and software exist for personal computers, networks, the internet,interactive kiosks and multimedia presentations are available on CD-ROMs andvarious other mediums. The use of multimedia in our society has it benefitsand it’s drawbacks, most defiantly. Some of the more computer-related uses ofmultimedia, such as electronic publishing, the internet, and computers ineducation will be discussed in depth thought this paper. Electronic publishing is the publishing of material in a computer-accessiblemedium, such as on a CD-ROM or on the Internet.Order now
In a broader sense of theterm it could also include paper products published with the aid of a desktoppublishing program, or any form of printing that involves the use of acomputer. Reference works became available in the mid-1980s both in CD-ROM format andonline. Increasingly, in the 1990s, magazines, journals, books, andnewspapers have become available in an electronic format, and some areappearing in that format only. Companies that publish technical manuals toaccompany their other products have also been turning to electronicpublishing. Electronic books have been recently introduced to the world as a whole.
Thisnew concept is the use of internet or otherwise computer technology toelectronically convert books to a digital, readable format viewed on atelevision set or computer screen. This would most likely be done by scanningin individual pages in a book, arrange them in orderly fashion, and haveusers be able to cycle back and forth between the photo-identical pages. Thismethod would be very quick, and very easy to accomplish- that is- scanningpages as opposed to re-typing millions of words is preferred. This brings usto another method in electronic book production- the interactive method. Indigital format, the book’s pages can only be viewed, just like a book.
If areader would want to take notes from a book, he/she would have to write downthe notes by hand, or would be forced to photo-copy the page(s). If the bookwas typed out entirely as would be done by an electronic word processor suchas Microsoft Word, users would greatly benefit. The ability for the computerto recognize the words on the screen as actual words as opposed to merebitmaps is often unrealized to the computer non-familiar. This recognitionallows the page to be edited with complete interactivity and ease- again likeMicrosoft Word. Books can be updated or corrected in real time, withouthaving to re-upload corrected pages, or compensate for unalignment in wordsand page breaks.
Perhaps the most beneficial to the user is theinteractivity- the ability to interact with the words in the book. Byhighlighting letters on the page, copying them, and pasting them in personalclipboards or other word processing programs, the tedious task of note-takingcan be eliminated. This idea, on the other hand, can raise issues with theauthor and publisher of the book. Plagiarism, already a problem, would runwild in this area. Users would theoretically be able to copy entire books ormagazines to their personal files, and be able to use them as their ownreports or writings. Additionally, the ability to view a book and it’scontents at no charge obviously will not agree with some publishers.
Thisalso brings up the idea of charging people for time ?online. ? Users could becharged money for use of electronic books/magazines on a time basis. This,however, will not go over well in the public domain. We would rather take onthe trouble of taking manual notes than be charged for something that isotherwise free at a library.
In a very short time the Internet has become a major vehicle of worldwidecommunication and an unrivaled source of information. One of the Internet’sfascinations is that its resources are limited only by the number ofcomputers participating in the World Wide Web and the imaginations of theirusers. The Internet is an international web of interconnected government,education, and business computer networks- in essence, a network of networks. From a thousand or so networks in the mid-1980s, the Internet had grown toabout 30,000 connected networks in mid-1994. By mid-1995 the number ofnetworks had doubled to more than 60,000, making the Internet available to anestimated 40 million people worldwide. The Internet owes its unusual design and architecture to its origins in theUS Defense Department’s ARPANET project in 1969.
Military planners wanted todesign a computer network that could withstand partial destruction (as from anuclear attack) yet still function as a network. They reasoned thatcentralized control of the data flow through one or a few hub computers wouldleave the system too open to attack. Every computer on the network should beable to communicate, as a peer, with every other computer on the network. Thus if part of the network was destroyed, the surviving parts wouldautomatically reroute communications through different pathways. Because manyfactors–power outages, overtaxed telecommunications lines, equipmentfailure–can degrade a network’s performance, the ARPANET solution was alsoattractive to networkers outside the military. The Internet is also a repository of information for businesses.
Thousandsof discussion groups with specialized interests–in topics ranging fromaeronautics to molecular biology–share data across the Internet. The USgovernment posts more and more information, such as Commerce Department dataand new patent filings, on the Internet. Additionally, many universities areconverting large libraries to electronic form for distribution on theInternet. One of the most ambitious examples is Cornell University’s ongoingproject to convert 100,000 books, printed over the past century, on thedevelopment of American infrastructure- books on bridges, roads, and otherpublic works. Some businesses have also begun to explore advertising and marketing on theInternet.
Thus far results have been mixed. Protection of copyrightedmaterial is a problem, because anyone can download data from the Internet. Some companies have explored encrypting data for sale on the Internet,providing decoding keys only to buyers of the data, but this scheme will notprevent the buyers from repackaging and reselling the data. However, thecompanies are very reluctant to deny the lure the internet generates. Anycustomer from around the world could log on to a company site, getinformation in seconds, and even order directly through the company’s server. The recent development in modem speeds have also allowed businesses toelaborately cram web sites with spectacular multimedia effects, drawingsurfers in young and old.
Advertising on the internet is relatively cheap(compared to television) and is very specialized and often more effective. Companies can choose to advertise on certain high hit rate sites that pertainto that company’s field. This makes the advertisement seen by more of it’starget audience, and as a result, the advertisement will be more effective. The explosive growth of the Internet has been fueled by individual userswith modem-equipped personal computers. Most of these users subscribe tolocal networks that provide a connection to the wider Internet.
As well, alot of users (including myself) choose to use direct-connection serviceproviders. Unlike separate networks like AOL, the direct service providersoften have less users, thus increases the speed of the T1 connection. Manyusers, as well as businesses, can create their own “home pages”- points ofaccess that allow anyone on the Internet to download information from thepersonal computer. The prime cause of the Internet explosion, however, hasbeen the development of the World Wide Web service: a collection of severalthousand independently owned computers, called Web servers, that arescattered worldwide. Using software programs such as Mosaic and Netscape,individuals can enter the World Wide Web and “browse” or “surf” the Internetwith increasing ease and rapidity through a system of hypertext links. Thisis perhaps the most exiting part about the internet.
You can visit anywebsite you like, wherever it is located at no extra charge, and downloadfiles and view great multimedia effects at any time. Though greatlyover-hyped as the ?Information Superhighway,? the Internet will becomeincreasingly more interactive and will play a much more significant role inthe future. Since their introduction in schools in the early 1980s computers andcomputer software have been increasingly accessible to students andteachers–in classrooms, computer labs, school libraries, and outside ofschool. By the mid-1990s there were about 4.
5 million computers in elementaryand secondary schools throughout the United States. Schools buy Macintosh andIBM-compatible computers almost exclusively (though mostly Macs, dang it!!),although nearly half of their computers are based on older designs such asthe Apple IIe. Students spend on the average an hour per week using schoolcomputers. Though this depends on the studentComputers can be used for learning and teaching in school in at least fourways. First, learning involves acquiring information.
Computers- especiallylinked to CD-ROMs and video disks that electronically store thousands ofarticles, visual images, and sounds- enable students to search the electronicequivalent of an encyclopedia or a video library to answer their ownquestions or simply to browse through fascinating and visually appealinginformation. Second, learning involves the development of skills like reading andmathematics- skills that are greatly learned on computers in basic forms. Software called computer-assisted instruction, or CAI, asks questions tostudents and compares each answer with the single correct answer- a verybasic program. Typically, such programs respond to wrong answers with anexplanation and another, similar problem. Sometimes CAI programs are embeddedin an entertaining game that holds student interest and yet keeps studentattention on academic work.
Most CAI programs cover quite limited material,but some larger-scale reading and mathematics programs have been developed. Third, learning involves the development of a wide variety of analyticunderstandings. Computers help students reach these goals through softwaresuch as word processors , graphing and construction tools, electronicpainting and CAD programs, music composition programs, simulations of socialenvironments, and programs that collect data from science laboratoryequipment and aid in analysis. Finally, a large topic in learning is communicating with others–finding andengaging an audience with one’s ideas and questions. Several types ofcomputer software can be used in schools for communications: desktoppublishing and image-editing software for making professional-quality printedmaterials, computer programming languages such as BASIC or Pascal or C forcreating interactive computer exercises, and telecommunications software forexchanging ideas at electronic speeds with students in other classrooms allover the world.
The computer in education can pose great benefits to the student, but to alimited extent. The computer must be used as a tool, and not as a teacher. Itshould be thought of as an educational assistant (in the school setting) andnot a game machine. Computers have unlimited possibilities, and we shouldincorporate them into our schools. But in doing this, we must realize thatcomputers should not be the main focus, education and the quality of theteachers should be.
For any case, without solid teaching and instruction,computers and other such resources become useless. Nicholas SinghPICARDesign Graphics-http://members. aol. com/picdesign/-Serving all your graphical needs.