Bits & Bytes
LOOK, DICK. LOOK, LOOK, JANE. IT'S MORE FUN WITH MULTIMEDIA
After playing Nintendo games and watching MTV, today's children may find the relatively static teaching materials used in most schools quite boring. Jostens Learning Corp., a San Diego subsidiary of yearbook and class-ring maker Jostens Inc., wants to change that with a teaching system called InterActiveMedia.
Based on a network of IBM PC-compatible computers, the system can deliver prepackaged "multimedia" lessons to every child in K-12 schools, combining video clips, audio, and text. At the heart of the system is a powerful, Intel i486-based computer that can store compressed video information on an array of hard-disk drives. With a connection into the local cable-TV network or to a satellite, teachers can customize the curriculum by recording news broadcasts, say, and editing them into Jostens' lessons. Jostens officials say the system is undergoing testing at several schools around the country and will be officially launched in January.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG