School Web of Instructional Media Database
SWIM Principal Investigator:
Thomas W. Speitel, Ph.D. speitel@hawaii.edu

What is SWIM?

The School Web of Instructional Media (SWIM) is a Web-based searchable database that allows for easy access by students and teachers to different instructional media. As long as you have Internet connectivity, access to a Web browser, and a username and password, you can use SWIM.

The purpose of SWIM is to enrich and enhance a learning experience with its quick textbook-media connections. For example, in addition to reading about whales, a teacher or student can access pictures of different whales, see diagrams of whale anatomy, hear the songs of whales, listen to a whale expert explain migration patterns, or watch a video clip of their feeding behavior to complement the reading.

What is media? And, what kind of media can I find in SWIM?

Media can be images, pictures, video, sound or text presenting examples, translations, definitions, quizzes, further explanations, and interactive animations.

Where does the media come from?

The media comes from the Web or from a CD-ROM that you might have in your CD-ROM drive in your computer. The original location of the media file is also listed in SWIM, so a teacher or student can go back to the original reference.

What do I need to view the media files in SWIM?

What you need depends on what you are looking at or listening to. With just your Web browser alone, you will be able to access thousands of media pieces. To view some movie files, you will need the Quicktime Plug-In for your Web browser.

Why the "I" for Instructional?

In addition to providing access to different media, SWIM is considered an instructional tool because it contains direct links to activities or teaching concepts and units. Currently, media referenced in SWIM are linked to specific pages in The Fluid Earth and The Living Ocean, part of the Hawaii Marine Science Studies Project (HMSS), an award-winning multidisciplinary science course set in a marine context for grades 9 -14. However, the media can be used outside of these textbooks too. For example, an image of a whale breaching may be directly related to page 99 in the HMSS texts, but the image is not limited for use in this respect. There are numerous other lectures and presentations that can benefit from that particular image. The same can be said of all the media referenced in SWIM. Educators who have media that they would like to share can also add media to the SWIM database.

Why use SWIM? What does it do for me? Why not just use the Web?

The World Wide Web is a great resource, but sometimes that specific piece of information that you are looking for is elusive. Educators and experts have associated all the media in SWIM to specific concepts. An individual using SWIM does not have to wade through non-useful information like he or she would on the World Wide Web.

Educators have already made the connections.

The searching has already been done.

SWIM can help save you time!

It is curriculum specific.

And, it is directly applicable to the classroom.