Trying out various forms of media is nothing new to students who use multimedia in their classrooms. But now, students have the opportunity to take their creative presentations and publish them on the Internet.
Take the age-old assignment, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation." Using computer multimedia, even third grade students have jazzed up their presentations with sound, pictures, animation, drawings, and brightly colored text. This year, with the introduction of new software like Claris Home Page, those imaginatively constructed multimedia reports are operating as Home Pages on the Web with links to resources for further learning on the Internet.
Children design, write, and illustrate their home pages, sharing their experiences and ideas with classmates; and with teacher participation via the Internet, with kids in Australia or England. And with the Claris Home Page, there's a big advantage - no complicated, time-consuming HTML codes to set up! Even a nine-year-old can use it. This summer, Mark used Claris Home Page in summer school to write a story about how his cousin hit a high pop-up in a family baseball game and knocked a hornet's nest down to the ground. On his home page, this fourth grader scanned in a picture of himself, wrote a story about the downfall of the hornets which included sounds and images, and added links to other pages on the Internet to learn about hornets. "It was fun and easy to do," says Mark. "I just experimented with stuff like sound and pictures, and found branches to other sites that I could use." Seventh grader Jessica has a passion for the violin. She built a Home Page around her favorite classical pieces -- played by her. She hotlinked it to variety of violin and classical music sites and shared her review of her performance. "It's easy to bring Internet technology into the classroom.
Claris Home Page is so friendly that students just got started and kept going," says elementary school teacher Joanne Davis. "Now our children are authoring for a wider audience than they have ever been able to approach before."
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