Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title Developing Multimedia Courseware to Reflect a Philosophy of Learning
Originators Shirley Veenema and Howard Gardiner
Department Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 321 Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Tel. +1 617 495-4342

An example of the innovative educational use of multimedia is provided by Veenema & Gardner (1996), who have developed a CD-ROM for students of the American Civil War. The authors argue that students must be challenged to understand multiple meanings of events, and that multimedia can be a powerful medium for doing this. Building on Gardner's earlier work on the concept of 'multiple intelligences', they suggest that since "the mind is neither singular nor revealed in a single language of representation, our use of technologies should reflect that understanding.

"Building on this philosophy, they approached the design of the CD-ROM with the principle that students should be introduced to multiple perspectives of a famous battle. They achieved this by providing information recorded by a number of different contemporary observers of the battle, and by providing four 'guided paths' to help students navigate this material. Among the materials included on the CD-ROM relevant to geographers is information on the role played by terrain and weather.


Veenema, S. & Gardner, H. (1996) Multimedia and Multiple Intelligences, The American Prospect, 27 (July-August), pp.69-75. (Also available on the Web at:


Multiple intelligences

This is one of the case studies which appears in the GDN Guide "Teaching and Learning Geography with Information and Communication Technologies"

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