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Professor Sam: the biology classroom of the future.

Professor Sam: The Biology Classroom of the Future

Professor Sam is an interactive video computer software program that includes 17 chapters of biology text and is designed to be integrated with the Principles of Biology videodisc.

This videodisc, by Optical Data Corp. of Warren, N.J., can literally bring to biology to life. Professor Sam takes the disc's 3,000 slides, 165 short movies, 400 computer graphics and 800+ questions and answers and combines them with touch-sensitive bar codes for a dozen biological models.

A Touch-Sensitive Model

Touch-sensitive interactive video employs a bar-code system. When a light pen is passed over a bar code, the image of the line is reflected back into the pen. A computer interprets the code, acts upon it and then passes the message to the videodisc player.

Coupled with the ability to call the slides, films, computer graphics and quiz questions to the screen within four seconds, the bar-code technique provides students without computer training relatively quick access to helpful visual aids.

The light pen is used to identify parts of biological models labeled with bar codes. Students, with a light pen, sweep the bar code on a specific part of the model to either learn about that part or to answer a quiz question.

Q&A With Remediation

The key feature of interactive technology is the remediation factor. A student must know the correct answer to every question before he/she can move on to the next question, level or subject.

In Professor Sam, if students answer correctly the first time, they are awarded ten points and moved on. If they answer incorrectly, remediation is automatically provided and the question is asked again. This continues until the student answers correctly, although fewer points are awarded for repeated tries.

Students are forced to review the materials, through computer or video remediation, until they understand well enough to answer correctly.

Inner-Class Competition

One criticism of interactive video in general is that videodisc players cannot operate on a network. It's difficult to justify the cost of interactive video when it can only serve one student at a time.

At Riverside Community College, we have resolved this problem by using multiple monitors in the classroom and using inner-class competition as a means of providing remediation for the entire class.

The interactive video-based biology class is held in a regular biology laboratory equipped with five monitors capable of projecting both video and computer images on the same large screen. All five monitors receive their signals from one computer/videodisc player system.

The large laboratory benches in the room form teams naturally. During inner-class competition, each table decides as a team the correct answer to the question posed by the computer and shown on the monitors. A representative of the table is sent to the computer to type in the answer.

When material is presented in the form of a competition, both the students' involvement and their retention of the material increases.

Aid for Dissections

The familiar laboratory frogs shouldn't feel any less threatened, at least not yet. Students still need the experience of doing hands-on experiments and dissections.

The excitement of laboratory work cannot be substituted, but those complex experiments which require costly materials, weeks of preparation, time-lapse photography and other technology cannot be done practically in the school lab. That's where interactive video becomes even more useful.

Professor Sam and the videodisc help students by allowing them to view the individual steps of a dissection on the monitor with slides and labels of what they are supposed to see.

Required Hardware

The Professor Sam program requires an IBM XT or compatible with 640K, a 20MB hard disk and an EGA graphics card. The system is also fitted with a keyboard light pen and bar-code labels. These labels are posted onto existing physical biological models.

Other equipment utilized includes a Pioneer LD-V4200 or LD-V6000 videodisc player and a Sony KV 1300 monitor modified to switch from video to the RGB computer monitor automatically.

Professor Sam was created with Authology software donated by CEIT Corp. of San Jose, Calif.

Although Professor Sam is not yet commercially available, it is planned to be marketed as a generic biology program customizable through the use of Authology software.

The possibilities for touch-model interactive video in education are endless. At Riverside Community College, a touch-skeleton interactive video program for teaching anatomy is under development.

Today's students are very much at home with the computer as well as with video. Touch-model interactive video provides both--perfect for the classroom of the future.

New Activity Seen in

DVI Technology Arena

Intel Corp. announced an agreement with IBM Corp. to develop Micro Channel architecture board products that will bring Intel's digital video interactive (DVI) technology to IBM's PS/2 computer family.

DVI technology provides full-screen, full-motion video and high-quality audio capabilities to microcomputers.

As part of the contract, IBM will work with Intel to help define new DVI-based products including boards, software and ingegrated circuits.

In addition, the agreement established a Technology Center to facilitate DVI acceptance, solicit customer requirements, disseminate technical information and support application development. The facility, located at Princeton University, will open this year.

Related to the recent activity in DVI, Intel has also introduced its Pro750 Application Development Platform for DVI. The system is a 386-based micro with three add-in boards, four add-on modules, system software and the authoring and production software tools necessary for DVI application development in the C programming language. Intel Corp., Santa Clara, CA, (408) 765-4758.

Contributors Sought

For Medical Videodisc

The University of Utah's medical center is seeking non-copyrighted images pertaining to all clinical areas and the basic sciences for an update to its award-winning medical videodisc, Slice of Life.

Now in its fourth edition, the disc already contains 26,000 images from over 100 contributors at 40 institutions. A total of 54,000 images are planned. Slice of Life II won a merit award for databases at the Nebraska Videodisc Symposium.

The cooperative endeavor creates a generic videodisc suitable for teaching material covered in the first four years of medical school. In addition, the neuroscience data will be used to make a second disc called Slice of Brain.

Pre-mastering will be done during the Summer of 1989; Slice of Life IV is scheduled to be released at year's end.

Possible contributors should write for instructions and an agreement form to Suzanne S. Stensaas, Ph.D., Dept. of Pathology-5C124, University of Utah Medical Center, 50 North Medical Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84132, or call (801) 581-8851.

'Green Book' for CD-I

Available to Licensees

The Full Functional Specifications for the Compact Disc-Interactive (CD-I) were completed in November 1988. Otherwise known as the Green Book, this document is now being made available to CD-I licensees worldwide.

The release of the Green Book should accelerate the introduction of CD-I software and hardware products. Sony Corp., Teaneck, NJ.

Bar Code & Videodisc

Brings Life to Books

Taking publishing into a new phase, the new LaserBarcode System allows books and other documents to be enhanced with audio and video sequences from a videodisc, automatically.

In operation, users simply scan a special pen across bar codes printed in a book and a related video segment appears on the monitor. Everything is automatic--no buttons, no commands.

Instructional applications of the system are far-ranging and wide open.

A tool kit is available for creating bar codes that will print them immediately or send them to a printer to be added to manuscripts. Bar code-generating software for micros is planned.

The LaserBarcode System also utilizes a specially designed Pioneer LD-V2000 Series Industrial LaserDisc player. Pioneer Communications of America, Upper Saddle River, NJ, (201) 327-6400.

Product Lets Students

Explore Career Options

Over 95 percent of the most popular careers, both military and civilian, are included in the Passport To Your Future videodisc.

The product is a comprehensive career guidance system featuring touchscreen input. One version addresses secondary students, another post-secondary students and adults, and a management system is provided for counselors.

Version 2.0 of Passport includes the capability to assess scores from eleven different aptitude surveys and tests, and has 11,000 trade, technical and business schools added to its database.

The package contains a 12" videodisc, Passport software, a start-up kit of 100 student Passport covers, printer paper, installation instructions and hotline technical support.

Hardware requirements for the product are an IBM PS/2 Model 30, an InfoWindow display, an IBM Pro-Printer II and a Sony Model 1500 videodisc player.

Site licenses are available on a yearly or 60-month basis. Hardware acquired through a designated vendor may also be leased on a 60-month time payment contract; after that period the hardware can be purchased for one dollar. South-Western Publishing Co., Cincinnati, OH, (513) 271-9970.

Board, Software Team

Handles Video Overlay

The new V:Link 1910 is an interactive videodisc controller board that overlays VGA, EGA and CGA graphics on analog RGB video.

Generating VGA graphics that are hardware- and BIOS-level compatible with IBM's standards, the V:Link board's graphics capabilities are resident--no separate graphics card is needed.

All 200-, 400-, and 480-line graphics modes can be overlaid on a videodisc's image and the 16-bit board provides a variety of extended VGA modes as well.

Accompanying the new board is new system software, V:EXEC 3.2, which supports all MS-DOS functions and a wide range of authoring environments, and adds a set of development tools for creating graphics and digitized images. Applications can also be made totally hardware independent with V:EXEC.

In addition, the manufacturer offers an VXP Upgrade Systems package that provides all the necessary components to upgrade an IBM AT-compatible to an interactive videodisc workstation. Visage, Inc., Framingham, MA, (508) 620-7100.
COPYRIGHT 1989 1105 Media, Inc.
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Title Annotation:from Optical Data Corp.
Author:Huang, Samuel D.; Mahoney, William; Briskin, Paul
Publication:T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)
Date:Jun 1, 1989
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