Return to MAIN Page

EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE

One of my prime interests has always been the development of educational software. Almost all of the pieces on this page feature a number of highly-customized hands-on interactive activities. In the projects below, I did most of the programming, and also had a hand in many other aspects of the development process.


Welcome to YOUville!
Gyro Creative Group

This CD-ROM uses a variety of hands-on experiences to teach concepts of community to second graders. I programmed all of the interactive activities in this project and also was highly involved in its planning and other aspects of it's construction.

 

Our Great Region!
Gyro Creative Group

This CD-ROM uses a variety of hands-on experiences to teach the concept of region to third graders. I programmed all of the interactive activities in this project.

 

Wayne RESA Geometry CD-ROM
Gyro Creative Group

This CD-ROM teaches geometry topics geared towards a variety of levels. I am responsible for most of the programming on this, as well as the design of the activities.

This interactive kaleidoscope is used to teach children about geometric shapes and symmetry. The user is provided with a large variety of pictures and kaleidoscopic effects to work with. In a game mode, the user tries to match their kaleidoscope with a randomly generated one from the same image. Custom images can be loaded by the user, and created patterns can be printed.

This activity uses 3-D objects that can be rotated in real time. A user answers questions about solid geometric shapes in a "Who wants to be a millionaire" style format. The game starts with simple objects such as cubes and cones, and advances to complex shapes such as the Rhombitruncated-Cuboctahedron.

 

Fetal Ultrasound Simulator
Fetal Imaging Resources

The Project: This cross-platform CD-ROM is a medical educational tool, used to educate doctors in the examination and diagnosis of fetal abnormalities. This program was built for Fetal Imaging Resources, an educational technology company which specializes in medical applications.

The simulator consists of several components. In the Research Library and Technical Bulletin, users can peruse a large-scale quantity of information, including hypertext links that produce items such as ultrasound videos, images, commentary, bibliography information, and audio discussions. Some images can be zoomed in on, and many of the videos can be toggled to display associated diagrams. Using the Exam Room, users can test their skill at diagnosing patient cases from a randomized or chosen assortment. Using an ultrasound video accompanied by patient data, the user is given two chances to correctly diagnose the case. A mini-directory of related medical terms is provided to help with spelling. The user is provided with discussion feedback after making a diagnosis.

The head content editor, Dr. Wesley Lee of Beaumont Hospital, uses a set of FileMaker databases to assemble all of the content. A new version of the CD can be compiled as needed, wherein all of the data is automatically put into place and all needed video, image, and audio media is automatically gathered from a variety of source locations.

My Role: I did a majority of the Director programming, much of the Director construction, much of the sound work, created some of the graphic elements, and built the databases that the content is entered into.

Of Technical Interest: Here are some images from one of the FileMaker Pro databases that the content is written into. Most of the content entry and editing needed to occur on Macintosh computers. FileMaker was chosen because it was the best database platform to work on Macs and perform consistently cross-platform.



The content text needed to be kept easy to read in the database. Therefore, we had to avoid the use of markup code to define the hypertext links. Instead, a second field is used to describe the hypertext information associated with each block of text (see image above). A variety of commands can be used to define information about a text link and apply a variety of different actions to it.

 

Wayne RESA "From Concept to Open Road"
Gyro Design Group

A CD about the building of automobiles. This highly-interactive experience shows 5th-8th graders the processes of design, manufacturing, and marketing.

I did most of the programming on this, plus played a variety of other roles in the planning and construction of this project.

In this activity, students design their own car, altering its shape, color, wheels, and accessories.

In this complex simulation, students can experiment with the complete process of supply and demand manufacturing. Parts must be ordered, which are delivered to a warehouse with limited space. The piece must be strategically placed on the assembly line, so as to be built into cars that are desirable. Finished cars wait on a lot, and must be delivered to either of 2 dealerships where they may ultimately be sold.


 

Personal Author
Biography Software Corporation

Personal Author is an autobiography writing tool that allows a user to compose text and collect movies and images. It includes a variety of tools that assist with the creative process. The composition tools were built with Microsoft Visual Basic, and the multimedia interface worked as a Shockwave ActiveX control that ran in a VB shell. I worked on the programming of the multimedia interface portion of this project.

 

The Cultural Collaborative for Learning

This series of 12 CD-ROMs was produced by Gyro Design Group and Wayne RESA. Each CD features a Detroit institution. I played a number of roles in this project that included:

  • Supervising and training a production staff of both experienced professionals and college interns.
  • Programming behaviors and other automation to simplify tedious tasks.
  • Programming a series of interactive activities that would be re-usable across several of the CD-ROMs.
  • Programming several unique interactive activities specific to each CD.
  • Composing documentation that would be used by other parties working on this CD series in the future.

The quantity of activities and content in each CD was quite extensive. The examples below represent only a tiny amount of my involvement in each of these.



Cultural Collaborative for Learning:
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra
"Mozart, Math & Music"
Gyro Design Group

Specialized aural-centric activities shown here include:

  • Composing activity - notes of various lengths can be placed on the staff and played back as a song.
  • Monochord - a single-string instrument is manipulated and strummed to produce different pitches.
  • Musical phrasing - a familiar Mozart piece can be manipulated and played back to demonstrate how different passages relate to each other.

Cultural Collaborative for Learning:
Cranbrook Art Museum
Gyro Design Group

Specialized activities shown here include several creation-based activities in which the user can explore concepts in tessellations and patterns.


Cultural Collaborative for Learning:
CranBrook Science Museum
Gyro Design Group

Specialized activities shown here include:

  • Simulated archeological dig - The user excavates terrain in search of objects that will reveal information about the culture that left them. A budget only allows for a limited amount of digging, so strategy must be used based on how objects are typically scattered in a site. This activity is randomized each time it is used.
  • Word search - Word search is randomly generated with each use. This mechanism was reused in several other projects.

Cultural Collaborative for Learning:
Detroit Public Library
Gyro Design Group

Specialized activities shown here include Timeline, which catalogs a few hundred events. Users can move forward and backward in time, can zoom in on specific time periods, and can turn on/off different categories of events.


Cultural Collaborative for Learning:
Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts
Gyro Design Group

Specialized activities shown here include:

  • Stage direction game - a user tries to follow spoken stage directions by positioning a character correctly on the stage.
  • Stage your own performance - a user selects and positions characters, props, backdrops, and music. A corresponding script is automatically written.

Cultural Collaborative for Learning:
Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum
Gyro Design Group

Specialized activities shown here include:

  • Word search - Word search is randomly generated with each use. This mechanism was reused in several other projects.
  • The entire CD had a time-machine theme to it. All of the content and activities were duplicated for 5 different time periods that the user could jump to at any time.
  • This CD also featured jigsaw puzzle pieces scattered amongst the content that could be collected and assembled in a special section.

Cultural Collaborative for Learning:
Michigan Opera Theater
Gyro Design Group

Specialized activities shown here include:

  • Composing activity - onscreen synthesizer/sequencer lets user record and playback music using a variety of instruments.
  • Matching game - given 4 random operas, the user must match the correct titles and composers with the librettos.
  • Stage your own performance - user selects and positions characters, props, backdrops, and music to create their own opera.

Cultural Collaborative for Learning:
The Detroit Zoo
Gyro Design Group

Specialized activities shown here include:

  • Mad-libs style game - user selects various words from pull-down lists and a story is generated based on the selections.
  • Identify the animal - subtle clues are provided one by one, and the user scores based on how quickly they guess the animal.

Cultural Collaborative for Learning:
Detroit Historical Museum
Gyro Design Group

Specialized activities shown here include:

  • Word search - Word search is randomly generated with each use. This mechanism was reused in several other projects.
  • Timeline - catalogs a few hundred events. Users can move forward and backward in time, can zoom in on specific time periods, and can turn on/off different categories of events.

Cultural Collaborative for Learning:
The Detroit Institute of Arts
Gyro Design Group

Specialized activities shown here include:

  • Symbol matching game - user must match symbols with their meanings. Several levels range from the obvious to the not-so-obvious.
  • Stamper's workshop - users are presented with a biography for one of several fictional characters. They must then design the perfect cloth for that person.

Cultural Collaborative for Learning:
Detroit Science Center
Gyro Design Group

 

Wayne RESA "H2O University" CD-ROM
Gyro Creative Group

A CD-ROM about water quality and conservation issues targeted towards 5th-8th graders. I did programming for many of the interactive activities in this.

 

 

 

Return to MAIN Page