18th May 2001 at 01:00
SEVEN TO ADULT. HyperStudio 4.1. Single user pound;99.95. Five user (network) pound;299.95. TAG Learning Ltd, 25 Pelham Road, Gravesend, Kent DA11 0HU; tel: 01474 357350.

Minimum specifications: Windows 95; Pentium 100; 32MB Ram; 120MB (full install); 4 x CD-Rom. Macintosh OS 8.1; PPC 601; 8MB Ram; 120MB (full install); 4 x CD-Rom

No longer merely "multimedia you can make", the latest version of HyperStudio 4.1 is an updated and thoroughly modern "multimedia thinking tool for interactive learning". This easy-to-use program is all you need to create customised learning material to support all areas of the curriculum, and gives pupils the opportunity to exceed the QCA requirements for multimedia authoring (KS2 Unit 6A; KS3 Unit 1). Children will enjoy combining graphics, animations, video, sound and text on to "cards" and linking them together with buttons to produce interactive presentations.

The CD contains a vast collection of multimedia resources, so children can access page elements quickly, without losing focus on the content of their work or wasting time off task; you can use your own resources too.

Those who know the program well will appreciate the improvements: you can now apply font styles to buttons; new actions allow you to "go to url" and to select enhanced transitions.

he media library offers more than 1,800 new graphics and 125 sounds. New effects - including transparency, emboss and texturise - can be applied to text and graphic objects, and there are 25 new fonts, 16 upgraded patterns and a 256-colour palette. You can drag and drop graphics from a media window on to your card or access the programming tool, HyperLogo, from the menu bar. A text to speech facility is now available for Windows and Macintosh users.

This UK edition incorporates an Anglicised spellchecker and a teachers' guide, which includes 32 resourced lessons and projects for maths, sciencegeography, English and PSHE. Worksheets, lesson plans (PDF and RTF) and links to other sites and resources are also included on the CD. The program comes bundled with Morph 2.5 - which allows you to transform one image into another to create magical effects or to illustrate processes, such as the formation of a crystal or the growth of a plant.

Stacks can be published on the web or saved "to go" so that work can be viewed on any computer, even if the program or player isn't installed. An updated website features demo stacks, clip art, ready-made cards, downloads and a HyperStudio newsletter (

Claire Johnson is studying for an MSc in computer-based learning at Southampton University

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