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Web/Interactive Media Elements

Animated Narratives | Audio & Video | Discussion Environments
Games | Illustrated Essays | Interactive Images | Interactive Maps
Interactive Simulations | Interactive Timelines | Polls & Provocations
Resource Banks

Animated Narratives

These graphic features reveal information progressively or along a user-determined path. They can be used for storytelling or to explain a phenomenon graphically. They employ plug-ins such as Flash.

Cyberchase Animated Narratives
View Cyberchase "Webisodes"

Cyberchase: How It All Started "Webisodes"
Traces the "back story" of the Cyberchase adventures

NOVA: How Cells Divide (from 18 Ways to Make a Baby)
Provides an explanation of mitosis and meiosis, the two types of cell division

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Audio & Video

You can make audio and video clips available on the Web using plug-ins such as RealPlayer, QuickTime, or Windows Media. Second for second, audio files are smaller in size than video, so it may be possible to use audio with still images to save on bandwidth. Since these files take a while to download, they may only be useful to users with higher-bandwidth Web connections, such as cable modems or DSL.

(To learn more about shooting video for the Web, see the Video Production for the Web section of this guide.)

Poetic License video clips
View Poetic License video clips

Poetic License: Clips
Showcases young performance poets through QuickTime video clips

Africa: Africa for Kids: Swahili Folktale
Plays a Swahili folktale in Real Audio

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Discussion Environments

These provide a sense of community for Web users. In some cases, users can share their submissions with the larger audience, but this requires moderation on your part. It's also possible to simulate submissions for non-moderated use.

Poetic License: Poet-to-Poet
Matches two classrooms together and allows students to share and critique each other's poetry.

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These features are fun, and there may be a way to "win," even though an educational agenda may be lurking within!

Cyberchase Logic Zoo game
View Cyberchase Logic Zoo game
(Flash required)

Cyberchase: Games Central
Dozens of fun, interactive games that allow kids to play with and explore a variety of mathematical concepts

Building Big: The Bridge Challenge
Challenges users to figure out the best type of bridge to build for each location

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Illustrated Essays

These "standard" Web pages of HTML text and graphics can serve as an effective way to get information across, as long as text is properly "chunked" to make the content digestible to users. Various graphic layout options can add interest. They are the least expensive type of Web page to produce.

Africa Photoscope: Women
View Africa photoscopes

Africa: Photoscope
Examines contemporary Africa in these five photo essays by photographers from around the globe

Culture Shock: Flashpoints
Explores works of art that have crossed the boundary of what was acceptable in their time

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Interactive Images

These graphic features let users roll their cursor over or click on an image to provide greater text or graphic detail, or panoramic views. They may require a plug-in such as Flash or QuickTimeVR.

Wide Angle info-graphic
View Wide Angle info-graphic

Wide Angle: Info-graphic: Profits & Principles
Allows users to click on areas of an image to explore the context behind the social policies of six global corporations

A Biography of America: Image as History: City Planning
Allows users to learn about city planning and the Columbian Exposition by exploring details of a photograph

1900 House: Virtual Tour
Explores a Victorian house room by room and item by item

NOVA: See Inside a Submarine (from Submarines, Secrets, and Spies)

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Interactive Maps

These features add a temporal axis to a geographic map or allow users to overlay thematic elements on a map. These require the Flash plug-in.

Africa: Explore the Regions
View Africa: Explore the Regions
(Flash required)

Africa: Explore the Regions
Takes users on a region-by-region virtual tour of Africa, allowing them to zoom in for detailed country reports

A Biography of America: Slave and Free Soil
Traces the geographic patterns of legalized slavery in the United States

Masterpiece Theatre: Oliver's London (from Oliver Twist)
Traces Oliver's route through London

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Interactive Simulations

These computer-assisted explorations allow users to simulate real-world situations, often allowing them to experiment with variables. They generally employ plug-ins such as Flash or may be programmed in languages such as Java.

Building Big Materials Lab
View Building Big Materials Lab
(Flash required)

Building Big: Labs
Lets users experiment with the factors that influence whether a large structure stands or collapses

Evolution: Sex and the Single Guppy
Allows users to set up their own virtual experiment to explore how coloration and predation affect adaptation

Misunderstood Minds: Experience Firsthand (Graphomotor Activity)
Lets you experience what it may be like to have difficulties in writing

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Interactive Timelines

These features present historical information in the context of other events of the period, organize events thematically, and allow users to read synopses and view images of people or artifacts. These require the Flash plug-in.

Evolution Revolution
View Evolution: Evolution Revolution
(Flash required)

Evolution: Evolution Revolution
Presents the development of the theory of evolution in the context of society's response

Mysteries of Deep Space: Interactive Timeline
Traces the development of the universe, beginning with the Big Bang

Presumed Guilty: Interactive Timelines
Explores the detailed chronology of two legal cases brought before the San Francisco Office of the Public Defender

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Polls & Provocations

These features engage users in a controversy, requiring them to consider both sides of arguments before registering their opinion. They may include a cumulative user-opinion poll.

Culture Shock: Kara Walker
View Culture Shock: You Decide: Kara Walker

Culture Shock: You Decide: Kara Walker
Asks users to consider art that deals with issues of race, sex, and stereotypes, and reports results online

Cyberchase: Weekly Poll
Allows kids to vote on questions related to the series, then reports sortable results online

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Resource Banks

These annotated collections let users browse or search through carefully selected topical resources, which can include text documents or essays; visual, audio, or video artifacts; and interactive features. It's usually helpful to track content and production of these using an internal database, even if the final material is formatted as standard HTML pages. Resource banks can be incorporated into online digital libraries as long as their database fields and content specifications are compatible.

Building Big Wonders of the World Databank
View Building Big: Wonders of the World Databank

Building Big: Wonders of the World Databank buildingbig/wonder/index.html
Presents facts and descriptions of notable large structures

Africans in America: Resource Bank
Exposes high schoolers and general audience to people and events, primary sources, and interview material about slavery and resistance

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In this section:


        Types of

>      Web/Interactive
        Media Elements

        Web Production
        & Distribution

        Web Budgeting
        & Scheduling



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