The proliferation of camcorders has made novice video producers out of many fam- ilies. Video segments can illustrate an event or a procedure so that learners feel as though they were actually there. With the help of some special equipment, videos can easily be inserted into multimedia presentations.

Using Video Clips. Like clip art in still graphics, prerecorded video is available for purchase on disk or CD-ROM. In addition, search portals at,, and help you find videos on the  web.

The quality of these clips is often high because they are professionally produced. They are often copyright-free and so can be used for educational purposes. These types of premade clips are ideal for presentations on topics that you would have no way of viewing personally, such as of exotic wildlife or historical events. Google images is a good way to collect images from the web and there are several websites that special- ize in royalty-free images if there is a concern on copyright issues. PowerPoint allows you to embed videos directly into the PowerPoint slide by using the “insert” Movies and Sounds command. This makes the video a seamless part of the presentation. Streaming video is viewing video over the Internet (Ross, 2005). There are many streaming video libraries with education-related content. (See the list of streaming video websites provided in the companion website at Streaming video can enhance any lesson or presentation.

FIGURE 14.5      (a) Samsung SSC-410N digital still camera. (b) A digital camera.

Digitizing Prerecorded Video. Once a video clip is chosen from a videotape using a standard VCR or a camcorder, it must be transformed into digital form in order to be incorporated into a multimedia program. Digitizing applications can be used to perform this process and to produce as a result a movie in one of several formats, including QuickTime movies and AVI files (see Figure 14.6). The platform operating system you have will dictate what movie format is required. Once the video is dig- itized, it can be edited and saved using digital video editing equipment. The ability to digitize video allows personal experiences, such as a family trip or a school event, to become part of a presentation. Moviemaker for PCs and iMovie for the Mac are popular programs for editing video.

FIGURE 14.6      Computer   Eyes frame grabber.

Recording Digitally. Digital video cameras record directly into digital form. Although these  cameras  remain  relatively  expensive,  they  allow  the  video  segments  to  be  dropped directly into a multimedia pre- sentation without the need for other preparation.


From voice-overs to sound effects to background music, the addition of audio elements has the potential to create any learning atmosphere you or your stu- dents can imagine.

Using Sound Effects and Music. Digitally recorded sound effects, such as nature or other environmental sounds, are readily available on CD-ROM or as part of many authoring programs. Regular music that is digitally recorded on CD can also be used. Simple    sound-mixing programs, some that come packaged on computers and others available as part of CD-ROM sound effects packages, al- low you to easily record and edit clips of the music as you play it through the computer’s CD-ROM drive. Experi- menting with the combinations of lifelike sounds can help ensure a learner-friendly environment.

Recording Sounds. Simple recording applications let you use a microphone to record voice-over narration or the read- ing of a favorite story. What is recorded can be saved and then manipulated using a sound-mixing program (see  Figure 14.7). Adding your own voice to a presentation personalizes it as well as allows complete customization of what is being said.

FIGURE 14.7      Sound   Recorder recording
application, available with Microsoft Windows.

Creating Sounds. Computer music synthesizers combine a piano-like keyboard with music synthesizer and computer software. When using a synthesizer to create mu- sic, musical issues such as pitch, amplitude, special effects, tempo, note sequence and duration, and other important elements of music can be considered. During and af- ter the composition process, music can be played back through the computer and, in some cases, through stereo speakers. Compositions can be stored on diskettes and played and retrieved at any time.