Bright Light Studio -- ThinkingStudio


Oracle Million Dollar Educational Challenge Grant


.T h i n k i n g S t u d i o tm


 Produced and Directed by

Jane Beaumont Hall
Richard A. Doyon, PhD

Software Engineering by

Richard A. Doyon, PhD


     Media Resources and Video/Film Production by

    Jane Beaumont Hall


    T h i n k i n g S t u d i o tm  is a multimedia software development tool designed to be used in the classroom as a supplement to the standard classroom curriculum.

    T h i n k i n g S t u d i o  is designed to help children in the 4th through 12 grades practice critical thinking skills.  It does this by encouraging the students to think critically about their selection of multimedia -- text, movies, photos, maps, and charts -- while they create a multimedia presentation on a controversial issue.

    T h i n k i n g S t u d i o  allows students to learn by doing. They experiment with creating pursuasive arguments on controversial issues.  In doing this, they also learn the skills of creative storytelling.

    T h i n k i n g S t u d i o  consists of two components:  ThinkingStudio software and the ThinkingStudio Militmedia Library.

    ThinkingStudio Software

    The ThinkingStudio software is a tool for creating multimedia presentations on a controversial issue. The students are encouraged (by the software and by their teacher) to take a stand, pro or con, on a particular issue.  Some students may take a pro-immigration position, for instance, while others in the class take the anti-immigration stance. When a student already holds a strong view on an issue, teachers are encouraged to have the student argue the opposite position.

    The software guides the students through the process of developing an outline of their presentation. It also provides them with access to the ThinkingStudio Multimedia Library which serves as their primary source of media. This library can be supplemented by media provided by the teacher, created by the student or downloaded from the Worldwide Web.

    Features include:

    Ease of use

    Navigation is achieved using icons and other selectable images. There are no menus or special commands to learn.

    Simple navigation

    The program is designed using the metaphor of the ThinkingStudio Tower. Each floor represents a different task. The users move from task to task using the Tower's Elevator. They enter the building in the Lobby. The top floor is the Theater where their presentations and the presentations of other students can be viewed.
    Top Floor:
    Select from the Theater Marquee to view the students' multimedia presentations.
    Seventh Floor: Sound Studio Create and edit narration, musical background and sound effects.
    Sixth Floor: Editing Room Select the multimedia componets and build the presentation. Control transitions and display time.
    Fifth Floor:
    Script Room
    Create the outline for the presentation. A "smart assistant" helps the student organize the presentation and offers suggestions of issues of ideas. The students write the script but the assistant helps them organize their ideas.
    Fourth Floor:
    Private Stacks
    Multimedia created by the students is accessible in their Private Stacks.
    Third Floor:
    Class Stacks
    Multimedia created by the teacher is accessible in the Class Stacks.
    Second Floor:
    Public Stacks
    Multimedia on the CD-ROM is accessible in the Public Stacks.
    Lobby Entry to the program. Access the Sign-In area and the elevator.
    Teacher's Lounge
    Teachers' aids, information on critical thinking and reading lists. Also password and file maintenance.
    Security Access is password protected -- students' files are secure.
    Expandability Adding new topics is as simple as inserting another ThinkingStudio Library CD-ROM. Also, teachers can create their own media and make it accessible to the students via the Class Stacks. Students can create their own media (or download from the Web) and save it in their Private Stacks.
    Student Resources Students can learn about the topic using the "About ...." feature. They are also offered suggestions on issues and ideas which helps them to create an outline of their presentaion and organize their thoughts.
    Teacher Resources In Teacher's Lounge, teachers find useful information about critical thinking and child development, suggested readings and other useful tips.

    ThinkingStudio Militmedia Library

    The ThinkingStudio Multimedia Library consists of movies, photos, text, charts and statistics, and maps about the Topic Issue. This media is accessible in the Public Stacks.

    The first Topic Issue is Immigration.

    Other topics will follow. Topics under consideration are Gun Control, the Environment, War, Drugs... topics which allow the students to research and discuss controversial issues. Most of all, these topics encourage the students to think.

    To insure that ThinkingStudio Library topics fit into the curriculum, topics are selected with input from teachers and educational organizations.

T h i n k i n g S t u d i o tm was built in Oracle Media Objects

        under a grant from the Oracle Corporation


   Bright Light Studio, Inc.