Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Roger's sticky theory of learning

We have been at NECC08 for three days and have taken heaps of notes on a Google doc but haven't stopped to post any of it. However we have just been to the most fantastic session and had to write about it for all you Hyperstudio buffs out there. Thanks very much to Luke from Summerland who sent me an email with a tip-off to go to the Hyperstudio booth (the main keynote was about how we should listen to the wisdom of the crowd, but more about that later) and I am glad I followed up on it.
We rolled up at the Hyperstudio booth in the exhibit hall and bumped into Roger Wagner, Himself. Anyone who knows Hyperstudio knows Roger because his name is splashed all over it as the creator of the best piece of multimedia ever. So we grilled him about it before he even had a chance to do his presentation and he very cheerfully answered our questions and gave us a flash drive to take away with a legacy player on it. This player means that all those oldie-but- goodies Hyperstudio stacks kids have made over more than a decade can be opened and played successfully on our newest Macs.
So a few notes about the new Hyperstudio that caught my eye:
It has a shell that feels familiar with cards, buttons, links, layers, animations etc. It looks like you would pick it up like it was yesterday that you last used it. BUT it incorporates the feel we have all become used to in programmes like Keynote with inspectors and tool bars functioning in an 'iLife' kind of way.
A major is that all the drawing functions are there, but enhanced and made easier. Remember creating animations over dozens of cards and exporting them one at a time with a newcard.01 etc naming system? Now it's all done for you. Export the lot at once. A whole period of work done in a flash :)
Photos and other images drag and drop from the desktop, iPhoto, anywhere you have them saved- including straight from a web page.
It totally integrates with iTunes, iPhoto and Quicktime in the way we expect now.
The Mac's built in camera records straight in to Hyperstudio5.
Layers look so simple that I would expect junior kids could pick it fairly quickly.
And the problems with sharing the finished stacks we had in the past are over. Export as pretty much anything you like; Quicktime, iPhone, YouTube, web and even podcasts. We are going to love this.
It even appeared to import Keynote.
And the lasso - do you share memories of the lasso being tricky? It now has a tolerance slider so you can have it cling wrap to whatever degree you select.
Never heard a word about a Windows version.
This report wouldn't be complete without a couple of gems from Roger (no space to tell his stories though!). First, Roger's sticky theory of learning - or why kids should draw and not use clip art. He says you need to spend time in a subject to learn about it, and showed a volcano a kid had drawn as an example. A kid who draws the volcano is going to learn a lot more in the process than a kid who pastes some clip art. He says it is like a dog running through a field of bidibidis; he collects a lot of them in his fur as he runs through.
And at this point he asked me to stand up and tell the crowd about the Pt England culture of banning clip art and helping kids to draw right from when they first start school.
The other Roger quote I noted was about why he always has multiple ways of doing something in Hyperstudio. He says "Intuitive is whatever YOU think it should be" and hopefully we all think differently so there needs to be a variety of options.
There's lots more but the big question was shouted from the crowd, "When are we getting it in our schools!" and he refused to commit and let us down. Soon.....
BubbleShare: Share photos - Find great Clip Art Images.


  1. Thanks for the report. I have been a fan of Hyperstudio since my apple IIGS days. I looked at the new Hyperstudio in Monterey at the ADE conference last summer and was impressed with what I saw. They were projecting then that it would come out last fall. Doesn't sound like it is ready for the masses yet. Hopefully soon!

  2. Sounds like exactly what I am looking for but can't use on my PC!!

  3. Wow! Now I want the new Hyper Studio! :)
    It's great to hear that others promote "no clip art". I never let my children use clip art - I always make them create their own using Paint, Fresco, etc. Unfortunately it isn't a school wide policy where I teach, but I hope that by promoting it with my children that they'll continue to create their own as they get older.

  4. You will be able to use it on your PC eventually. The Mac OSX version is almost done, but the programmers are working on the PC version as we speak.

  5. @karen It sounded like there were some over-optimistic predictions made last year about when Hyperstudio would be ready. Probably because there are so many loyal (and desperate!) fans out there.
    @ Marnie you will see from the 4th comment, which I think was left by Roger, that a PC version is being developed
    @keamac It makes such a difference to a school culture having a 'no clip art' policy. Kids who start doing original graphic art at the same time as they are starting out with pencil/crayon/paint drawings (which are usually pretty unidentifiable too) find it so much easier as they get older to use graphic art tools than those who start later in life. You need some very forward thinking junior class teachers to make it happen though.
    @Roger Thanks very much for that very important snippet of information. It will make some PC users very happy. We appreciate your comment

  6. Just fyi for anyone that happens to be reading this. I'm posting this now in May, 2010, and HyperStudio 5 for both Mac and Windows have now been available for a while, and work continues for ongoing development for both.
    - Roger Wagner
    Designer, HyperStudio

  7. @Roger Thanks very much for the Hyperstudio update here. We continue to enjoy using HS in our school, so I am pasting in a quote from one of our Yr6 girl's writing "My favourite multimedia programe is Hyperstudio and I like using it to create animations of the things I write about. Then I publish them on my blog for the whole world to see and give me feedback."
    We are enjoying all the features that keep appearing. It truly is a one-stop-shop for multimedia.