Back to the book analogy, its as if the book will not open and let itself be read unless you can prove to the publisher that you are keeping the book in a locked room so no one else will ever read it. And it is Microsoft who has enabled this, by providing the the tools to do so in their operating system. Remember the fallout from Sony putting spyware, err copy protection, in their CD's -- turns out that that event was just a dress rehearsal for Windows Vista.
As Rosoff's statement implies, many of Vista's DRM technologies exist not because Microsoft wanted them there; rather, they were developed at the behest of movie studios, record labels and other high-powered intellectual property owners.
"Microsoft was dealing here with a group of companies that simply don't trust the hardware [industry]," Rosoff said. "They wanted more control and more security than they had in the past" -- and if Microsoft failed to accommodate them, "they were prepared to walk away from Vista" by withholding support for next-generation DVD formats and other high-value content.
Microsoft's official position is that Vista's DRM capabilities serve users by providing access to high-quality content that rights holders would otherwise serve only at degraded quality levels, if they chose to serve them at all. "In order to achieve that content flow, appropriate content-protection measures must be in place that create incentives for content owners while providing consumers the experiences they want and have grown to expect,"
Nope, no arrogance here.
Matt Rosoff, lead analyst at research firm Directions On Microsoft, asserts that this process does not bode well for new content formats such as Blu-ray and HD-DVD, neither of which are likely to survive their association with DRM technology. "I could not be more skeptical about the viability of the DRM included with Vista, from either a technical or a business standpoint," Rosoff stated. "It's so consumer-unfriendly that I think it's bound to fail -- and when it fails, it will sink whatever new formats content owners are trying to impose."
Multimedia is typically defined as an electronic document that can include text, sound, graphics, animation, video, and interaction. National standards require students to exhibit substantial multimedia literacy skills by grade eight. Even elementary students are expected to author in multimedia. For example the ISTE National Technology Standards expect students completing second grade to "create developmentally appropriate multimedia products with support from teachers, family members, or student partners." Students completing fifth grade are expected to "use technology tools (e.g., multimedia authoring, presentation, web tools, digital cameras, scanners) for individual and collaborative writing, communication, and publishing activities to create knowledge products for audiences inside and outside the classroom." These national standards may seem high, but they reflect the important educational outcomes that multimedia authoring produces.
As any educator quickly discovers, the surest way to learn something yourself is to teach it to others. Students, who produce multimedia projects designed to teach something to others, have worked through the content at a much higher level and will retain much more than those who have been simply taught the content. The higher level of understanding and retention is a result of having interacted with the same content from four different perspectives:
- as researchers, students must locate and select the information and resources necessary to understand the concept
- as authors, students must consider the intended audience and decide what type and amount of information is necessary to teach the concept to their intended audience
- as designers, students must select the most appropriate media to share their content and decide how to structure their material to communicate it effectively
- as producers, students must think carefully about how they can use the media's capabilities and features to represent their content and then they must interact extensively with the material as they build the final product
Additional benefits flow from such project based learning. Not only have students mastered the content, they have also practiced 21st century skills such as communication, self-direction, and problem-solving. Many students are also highly motivated because they are creating something for a wider audience than the audience-of-one-teacher a traditional term paper is written for.
To create effective multimedia projects, students and teachers will need access to a rich storehouse of information and multimedia elements. The Internet can provide much of what is needed. State agencies and other institutions can also contribute by building repositories of copyright-free artifacts and other learning objects that can be freely used by students and teachers alike.
Guiding principle: Students and teachers must have access to rich multimedia resources to:
- extend their world and life experiences
- engage their senses
- incorporate into their own multimedia projects
- provide building blocks of instruction