Ontario Ministry of Education Seeks Multimedia Authoring Software

Just came across this RFQ looking for software in an educational setting (Ref # 115781 and Sol # OSS-072822). Here’s the requirement:

 The Ministry seeks products that will run on Windows (98- XP) and/or Macintosh (9.2 – OSX) or commonly available browsers. Consequently, the Ministry seeks to obtain the following:
(i) Multimedia Authoring Software Grades 5 – 12 in English and French for Windows and Macintosh computers for publicly funded Educational Institutions in Ontario.
(ii) The Respondent’s product should provide a rich environment for students to create linked multimedia products that can easily be opened and navigated by other students and parents. It should allow for the easy creation of a variety of navigational tools, buttons, hyperlinks, animations, and embedded graphics, movies and text objects. Easy placing, sizing, and moving of all objects is essential.
(iii) The Respondent should provide 5 CD-ROMs in English and/or French for use on Windows (98 – XP) and/or Macintosh (9.2 – OSX) to be considered.

Off the top of my head I can think of OpenOffice and Gimp as FREE and OPEN SOURCE software that does not require a ($)license. Can anyone name and link to some others?
I’m sure I could find some better ways to spend tax dollars for education – let me count the ways …

5 Responses to “Ontario Ministry of Education Seeks Multimedia Authoring Software”

  1. Brian

    Re: Ontario Ministry of Education Seeks Multimedia Authoring SofI see that they are at it again. We were doing this with HyperCard back in the early 1990’s. You are of course right, but I fear it will all fall on deaf ears. With a 30% frop-out rate in high school you would think that would be more of a focus.

  2. Mark Federman

    Actually, this RFP is to help satisfy the new curriculum requirements for media literacy that have just been added to the Ontario K-12 syllabus. These requirements are the result of extensive collaboration with the Association for Media Literacy and the Media Education Working Group at OISE/UT (disclaimer: I play with both groups). Because of the curriculum addition, there is also funding and impetus to provide in-service and pre-service training for teachers for program design.

    It’s not about teaching students to be web designers or movie producers, but rather to learn to create persuasive pieces using alternative (to literate) forms of expression. In doing so, students will begin to gain an critical appreciation of what is being done to them (and the rest of us) throughout the massmedia.

    The initiative is a good one; I just hope that the Ministry doesn’t screw it up, exclusively substituting form for substance.

  3. Christopher Mackay

    Yes. But then, no.I agree; kids don’t need to know how to become web developers or movie directors. God knows we already have enough of those (yes, I’m a web developer). Kids need to know how to spell, how to think and how not to beat the shit out of each other.

    I recall the HyperCard version of this model, too. And the early HTML version. We teach kids that finding text, pictures, videos and sounds they can “borrow” off the web is not only okay, it’s educational — and then we get to scream at them (or sue them) when they “borrow” MP3 files, Hollywood blockbusters and warez versions of Adobe Photoshop a couple of years later. It’s actually a fascinating lesson in how “adults” tell them one thing and then do another.

    And I disagree; OpenOffice and the GIMP might be great software, but _multimedia_ software, they’re most definitely not. The RFQ might as well have gone directly to Macromedia and no one else.

  4. Harold

    Multimedia as a skillset?Yes, thinking is THE critical skill for today. Here’s an interesting post, and accompanying paper, by Mark Federman, on "Why Johnny and Janey Can’t Read, and Why Mr. and Ms. Smith Can’t Teach: The challenge of multiple media literacies in tumultuous times."  Mark states that literacy is over-hyped today and we need to focus on thinking in the electric age. The paper is a good read.
    I guess my main point about the software RFQ was that there is enough free software for kids to use to develop basic skills. We could then take the money and use it to work on the development of thinking skills, like sifting through over 100 blogs and finding themes and inconsistencies 😉


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