Multimedia in the Classroom:
Getting Started with Mac or PC

Ron Schultz and Steve E. Stevens
1994 Woodrow Wilson Biology Institute


Technology information is changing as you read this module. We are convinced that technology is and will continue to transform the way teachers and students learn. This transformation involves much more than merely changing paper work sheets to computer ones or providing advanced calculus to rural students through distance learning. Technology will change the nature of the learning process from a passive endeavor to an active one as students, young and old, access information and work with others from around the world.

This module has been developed for those teachers who are inexperienced at fusing various software and hardware components to a computer for use in multimedia presentations. Our intent is to give the teacher (user) an appropriate shopping list of components necessary to set up an adequate multimedia production vehicle that will allow utilization of video-still camera, VCR, laserdisc player, and video scanner.

Most people realize that the term multimedia refers to the combination of video, sound, animation, graphics, and text with a computer that will tie these various components together. Why use multimedia as a classroom tool? Many reasons exists for using this technology. One is that this approach will reach all levels of learning, whether visual, auditory, physical or a combination of the three. A second reason is that students gain a feeling of ownership when they complete an assignment. Using multimedia also increases communication between students and, possibly the most important aspect in today's society, it's fun to do!

Actual data on whether using a multimedia approach improves instruction is still inconclusive. However it is our contention that multimedia is just as effective as other methods of teaching and learning and in many cases more effective. The information provided in this module is not intended to be all inclusive of the vast multimedia software and hardware on the market today. Prices for software and hardware are subject to great variation due to the great number of variables affecting this market. Nor do we feel the need to endorse one format over another. It is our intention to provide baseline information for setting up or adding to an existing system.



(minimum) $2300 (maximum) $3500
386SX/25 Mhz 486DX2/66 Mhz
8 Meg RAM 16 Meg RAM
212 Meg Hard Drive 540 Meg Hard Drive
SVGA monitor/ 640x480 SVGA 1024x780 True color
256 colors 16.7 million colors
1 serial port 2 serial ports
Largest cache available Largest cache available
Sound-Blaster 16 ($150) Sound-Blaster 16 ($150)
512k VRAM 1 Meg VRAM
CD-ROM Drive (2x) CD-ROM Drive (2x)


  • LinkWay Live 1.1 ($150)
  • ToolBook for Windows ($200)

This software utilizes a mouse/menu interface to include motion video, sound, and digital movies to create multimedia presentations.



(minimum) $2500 (maximum) $3500
Quadra 660 AV PowerMac 7100 AV
8 Meg Ram 16 meg RAM
640x480 monitor 1024x780 monitor
256 colors 16.7 million colors
1 serial port 2 serial port
Largest cache available Largest cache available
Built- in sound card Built- in sound card


  • Hyperstudio ($100)

This software is the Apple counterpart to IBM LinkWay Live, a multimedia authoring tool.

Both platforms will utilize the following interface hardware and software:

  • Canon RC-360 Still Video Camera System (includes basic kit and accessories)
  • Computer Eyes/RT Video Digitizing Card w/software. ($2000 for camera, card and software.)
  • Pioneer Laserdisc Player LDV-2200, CLD-V2400, CLD-V2600 (includes RS232 Port and computer specific cable. ($700-$900)
  • Video Editing Software (IBM)Storyboard Live, Video Toaster (MAC) Video Spigot / Video Chisle / Dazzle Draw ($100-$200)
  • Koss HD-6 Amplified / Shielded Speakers ($90)
  • HP ScanJet llcx Color Scanner / cable specific ($980)


The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 1787 Agate St., Eugene, OR 97403-1923

The Interactive Multimedia Association (IMA) 800 K St. N.W., Washington, DC 20001 (202) 408-1000

IBM Multimedia Solutions / Multimedia Today 4111 Northside Parkway H04L1, Atlanta, GA 30327

Multimedia World - PC World Communications, Inc., 501 Second St., #600, San Francisco, CA 94107

PC Connections 6 Mill Street, Marlow, NH 03456 (800) 800-5555

Computer Shopper One Park Ave., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10016. Subscription Information (800) 274-6384

Policy Briefs, Report 3,1994 North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 1900 Spring Road Suite 300, Oakbrook, IL, 60521-1480

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