Class Outline

Thinking Multimedia

What is Multimedia?

Tutorials and Small Groups


Administrative Details

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Thinking Multimedia

The story of writing

Phaedrus, 274c, Thamus and Theuth

Is writing a recipe for memore and wisdom or for forgetfulness?

Who decides about technology?

From Writing to the Press to the Internet

Do changes in information technology change how we think?


Digital Media, New Media

With the networked computer we have a new class of media

Computer games, Web sites, digital art, courseware ...

What do we call the types of entertainment, art and instruction we consume through computers?

Are they one class of media or just extensions of others?

Is a computer game just another type of game or is it a new type of media?

What is common to all these digital things?


Interactive Multimedia

Computer-based and often network aware

Multiple media

Time-Independent: Text and Images

Time-Dependent: Animations, Sound, Video

Rhetorical artifact

Designed to entertain, instruct or delight

An artifact is something made by human art and design


Designed to respond in some fashion to input by user


Multimedia View


How is computer-based media different?

How does the computer constrain new media?

What can we not do with the computer?

What is lost when we communicate with computers?

What does the computer make possible?

What can we do with the computer that we couldn't do before?

What can we do with programming?

Is programming code another medium?


Are digital media just new forms of old media?


Topic Web Pages

Due in tutorial the week of Oct. 13

First part of Web Assignment

Follow typical Web project

Do research and develop content

Single HTML page

2 - 4 pages of print content (One Web Page)

Topic Title, Credit, Introduction, Explanation of Topic, Relevance, and References


What makes a good Topic?

Person, event or technology that is important to the development of multimedia


People: Vannevar Bush, Douglas Englebart, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee

Events: When Netscape went public, when Windows 95 was released

Technologies: Eniac, MITS Altair, Apple II, IBM PC, Macintosh, QuickTime, HyperCard

Thinking about the topic

Don't chose something too obvious like MP3

Don't chose something too big like Windows

Don't chose something trivial

Make sure you can argue it is relevant to the development of multimedia


Small Groups

Small Groups to be formed in Tutorial by TA

Each SG should find a time to meet and complete Worksheet 1 by second Tutorial

Group Work in Multimedia

All significant multimedia works are made in groups

Therefore we try to help learn to work in groups

How to survive groups

Organize early

Get into the habit of meeting

Appoint a leader/convenor

Don't try to be friends - treat this as work

Challenge those who do not contribute


What to do if you think you will get bored?

Volunteer to be a peer-tutor in your tutorial

Anyone helped by a peer should send the TA a note to recognize the help.

Learn and use some of the extra-credit technology for the Topic Web Page

CSS, XML (and CSS), Dublin Core metatags, Photoshop for graphics

Propose to me a participation project


Created by Geoffrey Rockwell, September, 2003