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Directorate general XIII
Task Force "Multimedia Educational Software"


Educational Multimedia: first elements of reflection


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Executive Summary 
Introduction

PART ONE:

CURRENT SITUATION AND PROSPECTS

1. Multimedia educational software in 1995 
1.1 The emergence of a mass market 
1.2 The institutional demand: a major potential market 
1.3 Strengths and weaknesses of commercial suppliers

2. Prospects, future trends 
2.1 The spread of "off-line" and "on-line" services 
2.2 Education and training methods will need to adapt to new requirements

PART TWO:

SUGGESTIONS FOR A COMMUNITY ACTION PLAN

  1. The RTD "Telematics Applications" programme
  2. The RTD "Information Technologies" programme
  3. The RTD "Targeted Socio-economic Research" programme
  4. The RTD "Training and Mobility of Researchers" programme
  5. Primary considerations for the fifth RTD framework programme
  6. The SCRATES and LEONARDO DA VINCI programmes: actions for vocational training and education
  7. Contribution of the MEDIA II programme
  8. Contribution of the Structural Funds, Trans-European Telecommunications Networks and Cooperation Funds with third countries
  9. Contribution needed to help safeguard intellectual property

Annexes


Foreword

The Task Force Research - Industry on Multimedia Educational Software, set up on the initiative of Commissionners Mrs Edith Cresson and Mr Martin Bangemann, began its work in March 1995 and will present its conclusions at the end of the year.

The Task Force has a dual mandate:

In the information society, the need to continue learning throughout one's life is becoming essential for each and every citizen of the European Union. The divisions between education, training, culture and leisure activities are becoming blurred. In a similar fashion, the digital revolution is bringing about the convergence of technologies which used to be separate, such as the telephone, television and computers. The Task Force's field of interest therefore concerns educational and cultural products and services which can be accessed via television sets or microcomputers, whether or not connected to telematic networks, and which are used either in the home, in institutions or at work.

This first working document of september 9th, 1995 has been produced on the basis of information collected from three hearings of fifty representatives of users and organizations providing multimedia educational software (see Annex 7) and complementary review work conducted by the Task Force.

Executive Summary

This first working document can be summarized through 7 statements about the current situation of educational multimedia and 20 suggestions for a possible Community action plan.

1. Statements

Statement No 1

The mass market for multimedia educational products, whether on optical disks (CD-ROM and CD-I) or in the form of services accessible via telematic networks, is destined to develop swiftly.

Statement No 2

Primary and secondary schools are insufficiently equipped. Potentially, however, they are the biggest segment of the market both for multimedia educational products and for services. Needs are highly fragmented and quality requirements high. Commercial and non-commercial suppliers exist side by side for this segment.

Statement No 3

As a general rule, universities produce internally and for non-commercial reasons multimedia educational products for high-level training. It is rare for the needs of undergraduates to be taken into account.

Statement No 4

Many large firms have recourse to multimedia educational tools, mostly "custom-made", to train their managers. For the training of other categories of staff, however, and for training in SMEs in general, the use of technologies is not widespread at all.

Statement No 5

European suppliers of educational multimedia software are made up of a few large industrial groups and a myriad of small enterprises. The main weakness of the Europeans is the absence of major software producers. Producers are devising alliance strategies in attempt to extend their market which is often a local one.

Statement No 6

The two modes for accessing and distributing educational software - offline and online - will both be stepped up within the next few years. European producers must therefore aim for both markets.

Statement No 7

Re-engineering of education and vocational training methods is required by a new environment, the one of the information society. Multimedia should integrate into the general framework of these adapted methods.

2. Suggestions for recommendations

Suggestion No 1

Given what is at stake, should not Europeans set themselves goals to be achieved by the Union by the year 2000, as a minimum:

Suggestion No 2

In order to strengthen the chances of the European industry's in the field of educational multimedia software by better taking into account the users requirements, producers should work more closely together and with a stronger participation of users in these activities.

Suggestion No 3

Should not the European Union encourage the networks it supports in the context of its various programmes to list the software available on the market or outside the market to inform potential users of its technical and educational quality or value and in order to certify the best products among the software available?

Suggestion No 4

The context of the European Year of Life-long Learning in 1996 provides an opportunity to draw on the possibilities available in the various European programmes in order to encourage the production of quality multimedia educational software.

Suggestion No 5

Should not the European Commission design instruments adapted to the domain of "educational multimedia" like: crossprogramme projects; possibility for consortia of SMEs to submit spontaneous proposals?

Suggestion No 6

An estimate should be made of the financial resources that industry and universities are ready to devote to applied research in the domain of educational multimedia in order to determine what is the most appropriate effort which could be contributed by the European Union.

Suggestion No 7

From now on, emphasis should be placed on supporting the development of authoringtools which are easy to use for teachers who wish to adapt, to their teaching methods, multimedia resources originating:

Suggestion No 8

Since they constitute an operating area for professional publishers of multimedia learning materials, should not emphasis be put henceforward on the development and validation of European telematics systems which make it possible to pool pedagogical resources and to facilitate cooperation at a distance?

Suggestion No 9

Should the "Telematics Applications" programme encourage the development and validation of local and trans-European experimental services for schools, universities, vocational training bodies and home learners, so that the manufacturers and operators of European services as well as all potential users can get ready to derive maximum benefit from these new opportunities?

Suggestion No 10

Should not research, development and demonstration activities be supported by a widespread publication and dissemination of the results obtained? The "Awareness and dissemination of results" Programme could put a special emphasis on the multimedia educational materials sector.

Suggestion No 11

Should the following priorities, whose impact on multimedia educational materials is direct, be incorporated in the "Information Technologies" programme:

Suggestion No 12

Should a specific activity concentrating on innovatory aspects of teaching methods facilitated by multimedia be undertaken as part of the "Targeted socio-economic research" Programme?

Suggestion No 13

Should a specific action of the Programme "Training and mobility of researchers" be undertaken for the benefit of fundamental and applied research teams involved in the field of multimedia educational software ?

Suggestion No 14

In order to support the Commission orientating its R&D activities and to define a strategy for the 5th Framework Programme, a pluridisciplinary group of leading educationalists, producers of educational multimedia and research laboratories should be set up.

Suggestion No 15

Should the SOCRATES (education) and LEONARDO (training) Programmes provide, as a priority, a basis for the following actions:

  1. Promote better information on products and services available and on ways of assessing their content for users of multimedia software in education and training (libraries of software, cataloguing systems, promotion of evaluation activities);
  2. Foster associations between users, producers and service providers to facilitate the production, use and a better incorporation, into existing educational materials, of multimedia educational software;
  3. Encourage training courses, in multimedia educational software, for teachers and trainers and for those who train teachers and trainers;
  4. Stimulate training activities aimed at the creators of educational software (educational engineering, training in pedagogy, taking into consideration the different types of users and their needs);
  5. Support the development of an environment which favours creation of multimedia educational software (efficient and user-friendly methodologies);
  6. Encourage the recognition of qualifications which are acquired through the use of services incorporating multimedia educational software;
  7. Pursue medium and long-term actions, such as:

Suggestion No 16

In the frame of the MEDIA Programme, should training modules on multimedia educational materials and the cultural adaptation of existing titles, not be developed for creators interested in entering the multimedia educational software market?

Suggestion No 17

Should the MEDIA programme not support co-productions and encourage firms presenting common development projects of international importance in the multimedia educational sector to set up networks?

Suggestion No 18

Should a more significant proportion of the resources available in the framework of the European Social Fund (ESF), be directed towards training programmes using multimedia materials? Should a more significant part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and of the Trans-european Telecommunication Networks (TEN) be allocated for necessary investments in infrastructure (telecommunication networks, equipment for education and training centres) required for the use of advanced pedagogical tools, particularly multimedia software?

Suggestion No 19

Should not a significant proportion of resources available on budgetary lines for international cooperation (Lomé Convention countries, Central and Eastern Europe countries, etc) be directed towards actions enabling these third countries to benefit straightaway from the potential offered by multimedia educational materials?

Suggestion No 20

It is necessary that the management of the rights involving intellectual property evolves and adapts to the new environment in such a way that, in particular, the creation of multimedia materials which use, at the same time, music, text, photography, films, etc, are not blocked by long and expensive procedures of acquisition of rights. The beneficiaries and the managers of rights are invited to envisage the setting up of "one-stop shopping" in order to facilitate access to the works and to the benefits.


Introduction

Educational software began to emerge in the early 1980s. At that time, most European States, caught up in the rapid spread of microcomputers in businesses and in households, undertook to equip schools with microcomputers and educational software. The legacy of this pioneering period is the enthusiastic commitment by a large number of teachers and, above all, pupils, but at the same time a certain disenchantment as regards the true educational value of the software products available and the numerous difficulties experienced by teachers in integrating these new tools effectively into their daily working life. At the end of the 1980s, the number of computers and internal and external communication facilities in schools was still small and software use was often restricted to mastering computer skills (word-processing, spreadsheets).

In a parallel fashion, firms and bodies responsible for training were pursuing a similar approach as regards vocational training. But here too, the use of training software on an ongoing basis was confined to a few large firms operating, more often than not, in the advanced technology sector only. The reasons which are most frequently put forward are the reluctance of trainers to change their working methods, the continuing high costs of technologies, putting them out of the reach of small and mediumsized firms, and the fact that these obstacles were made worse by the too swift succession of generations of equipment, each new technological wave rendering obsolete the investments already made.

By the middle of the 1990s, however, a new trend seemed to be emerging. Thanks to affordable prices, more user friendly interfaces and optical disks (CD-ROMs) players, personal computers have become commonplace. The true convergence of telecommunications, television and computer technology, thanks to the widespread digitalization of data, is ushering in a new era, that of multimedia telematics. User-friendly interfaces and navigation tools in this area too, such as those available via the Internet's WorldWideWeb have boosted the rapid rise in telematics services. Such recent progress and the prospect of a significant drop in the cost of computer hardware and software, or in the price of telecommunications, are restimulating an interest in the use of multimedia educational products.

Being aware of such promising perspectives, the European Coucil has confirmed in 1995 that education and training must be considered as priority domains for information and communication technology. The elements of reflexion which are proposed in the second part of the document aim at presenting suggestions for a community action plan promoting the production and use of educational multimedia in the European Union.



PART 1:

CURRENT SITUATION AND PROSPECTS


1. Multimedia educational software in 1995

1.1 The emergence of a mass market

The most dynamic of the markets is the mass market of households. Benefiting from developments in the multimedia market, particularly in the leisure field, in "edutainment" and games, nowadays it represents the best outlet for retail products on optical disks, CD-ROM and CD-I. Parents, and especially parents of schoolchildren, appreciate the multimedia educational and cultural products offered as an alternative to the passive consumption of television programmes or video games.

With 19% of families owning a microcomputer on average, Europe is in second place behind the United States (27%) and ahead of Japan (10%). Where this segment is concerned, the rate of possession of multimedia equipment grew extremely rapidly from 1994, passing from 2.7 to 9 million CD-ROM drives between 1994 and 1995. This acceleration is explained in large part by a reduction in the cost of hardware whose capacity and userfriendliness had increased at the same time.

In this market, the most widely sold titles in Europe range from encyclopedias and cultural works (for example, Encarta from Microsoft, Le Louvre produced in France by the Réunion des Musées Nationaux (National Museums network)) to works of discovery for young children (for example, The ways things work by the UK company Dorling Kindersley, Math Blaster by the American company DavidsonADI by the French company Coktel-Vision).

However, this market is not yet however profitable for private publishers - far from it. According to the Wall Street Journal, 96% of multimedia software producers in the United States failed to make a profit in 1994. In addition, technical incompatibility among the hardware products available on the market can make the use of multimedia materials an extremely hazardous experience for the uninitiated consumer.

What is more, the current cost of equipment is still hindering market expansion. The average price for a multimedia computer in 1995 is approximately ECU 2 000, and to that must be added 50 to 80 ECU in order to acquire a CD-ROM. These prices remain a disincentive for a large number of households. Finally, the high price of telecommunications in Europe does not facilitate access by families to online education and training services.

Nevertheless, the interest of private individuals in telematic networks is increasing rapidly, while services with an educational and cultural purpose are multiplying on these networks. The number of families possessing a modem enabling them to connect their microcomputers to telematic networks such as Compuserve, Internet or ItaliaOnLine is still low (3% in the United Kingdom, 8% in the United States). However, the growth rate of subscriptions to on-line services in the United States is very high (80% in 1994) and Europe has also seen the launching of a great number of similar services this year.

Right now, a number of observers are betting on the swift development of educational applications on this market segment around 2000. By this time, as a result of the reduction in cost of equipment and telecommunications, high-speed networks will be able to satisfy the two key conditions for multimedia telematics to be successfully spread amongst the public as a whole: namely, services which are easy to use at affordable prices. The appearance of education services, still free of charge in 1995 on World-Wide-Web, is part of this movement. Commercial services like "Class-on-line" are also emerging in 1995.

Statement No 1


The mass market for multimedia educational products, whether on optical disks (CD-ROM and CD-I) or in the form of services accessible via telematic networks, is destined to develop swiftly.


1.2 Institutional demand: a major potential market

1.2.1 Schools: between the commercial and non-commercial sectors

With its 61 million pupils, 4.5 million teachers and 350 000 schools, the institutional sector of education potentially represents, both in quantity and quality, the main market for multimedia educational products.

However, a large section of this potential demand is not shaping up. Several factors are hampering its development. Despite efforts made by states and regions, the level of equipment in schools in terms of personal computers remains low. In 1994, there were three computers for every 100 pupils in France and the Netherlands, as opposed to 11 in the United Kingdom and the USA and only 2 in Japan.

What is more, demand in the institutional sector is highly fragmented. Syllabuses, teaching methods and environments vary from one country to another, even from one region to another, such as in Germany or Spain. As a result, only a part of the educational needs of the European Union can be covered by the provision on a commercial basis of standard products such as software for learning foreign languages. Another factor preventing this market from expanding is the fact that the predominating approach in education is still not commercial. In addition, there is a whole panoply of operators, buyers and consumer motivators standing between the supplier and the end user. These include ministries, the principals of training and educational establishments, trainers, teachers and parents. For those on the commercial supply side - the constructors, publishers and providers of services - the institutional sector of education appears a complex market to which, in 1995, it is difficult to gain access.

For want of anything better, administrations often have to equip educational establishments with multimedia products which private publishers have mainly designed for use by families, since the mass market of households is the only one that offers the possibility of making a profit. This is what has happened in France and the United Kingdom: among the 400 CD-ROMs destined for primary schools that were questioned, the results being analysed by the National Council for Educational Technology in the UK in 1995, the majority of software products were designed for the British or American public, and are products of theedutainment type. They are treated with scepticism by teachers who often consider them as technically interesting but not sufficiently adapted to the task of teaching or to the needs of their pupils.

Alongside the commercial source of supply from private publishers, there is a non-commercial supply which takes into account the special language and cultural features of countries and sometimes of regions. The source of this is most often teachers themselves who participate either as actors, script writers or advisers in the design and production of multimedia educational products as members of mixed groups of people supported by public authorities. It is especially in the Nordic countries that such structures exist. For a number of years now, the producers, who themselves originated in the sphere of education in each of these countries, have been cooperating with teachers to design and exchange educational products which can be used in class. This network, of which the Danish Orfeus is the most prominent member, can lay claim to a wealth of experience in taking into consideration differences of language, culture and educational systems, for pooling resources and making co-productions.

However, the use of multimedia educational products in schools is marred either by a lack of hardware or by hardware that is already obsolete, educational software which is inadequately adapted to requirements in terms of both quantity and quality, a lack of teacher training and a shortage of information for teachers, together with the difficulty which teachers experience in integrating multimedia tools into their classroom teaching. Unlike in the United States, where 49% of secondary schools and 30% of primary schools have access to the Internet, even though only 3% of classes are actually connected, the connection rate of European establishments is still extremely low today, apart from rare exceptions such as Finland.

Statement No 2


Primary and secondary schools are insufficiently equipped. Potentially, however, they are the biggest segment of the market both for multimedia educational products and for services. Needs are highly fragmented and quality requirements high. Commercial and non-commercial suppliers exist side by side for this segment.


1.2.2 Universities: between supply and demand

The diversity of requirements is blocking the development of a commercial market for multimedia software in the field of higher education. The need for such products exists however, as illustrated by the fact that structures producing software have been set up in a number of universities, specifically designed for their students and, in some cases, for other universities, most frequently on a non-commercial basis. But this scenario does not apply to all disciplines.

At the same time, institutions for distance learning, and the open universities in particular, have been playing the role of pioneers for several years both in the use of educational software and telecommunications networks and, where innovations in teaching are concerned, experimenting with technologies or cross-border cooperation. The Open University in England, the Centre National d'Enseignement à distance in France, the Universidad Nacional de Education a Distanciain Spain and the Open Universiteit in Holland produce a mass of educational materials, printed matter and video films for the most part, but also multimedia educational software.

Finally, we must mention university laboratories which are exploring the techniques of simulation or virtual reality in fields as diverse as physics, biology or algebra. Thanks to the technical and financial support of an important computer manufacturer, a group of ten universities or engineering schools have thus been working together since 1987 to develop scientific simulation modules for their students.

Nowadays a large number of universities figure on the World-Wide-Web. They make available on it free of charge - in 1995 at least - educational multimedia servers. It is true that in most cases these are illustrated courses which are only slightly interactive. While German universities are very active in the field of biology and British ones in commercial sciences, it is nevertheless North American universities which offer the most developed services, particularly in medicine. Among the most well known, there are: Virtual Hospital (multimedia medical manuals from the University of Iowa), Oncolink (multimedia training in cancerology from the University of Pennsylvania), Nuclear Medicine (University of Harvard) or Slice of Life (multimedia educational materials on the human body from the University of Utah).

Finally, in the United States, as in several European countries, high-speed networks (Super Janet in the United Kingdom or Renater in France) connect universities and research establishments by fibre optics, thus facilitating multimedia applications in various fields of activity. These include distance teaching of surgery, distribution or retrieval of selected images by satellite, video-conferencing or display of the results of calculations by super computer for educational purposes.

Statement No 3


As a general rule, universities produce internally and for non-commercial reasons multimedia educational products for high-level training. It is rare for the needs of undergraduates to be taken into account.


1.2.3 Enterprises: between "standard" and "custom-made" products

Every company has its own training requirements which standard products can rarely satisfy, apart from a few exceptions in areas such as learning languages, marketing or management. Even in those fields, differences between languages and cultures limit the market for the products on offer.

That is why large companies make use of custom-made products, the most technically evolved of which are simulators and virtual reality tools. In order to do this, they call upon service companies or set up their own specialized internal departments. Companies also turn to multimedia telecommunication services to lower the costs of the internal training of staff, sometimes to a considerable extent. Thanks to the intensive use of telematics tools, Hewlett Packard was able to bring down the daily cost of training a manager from $3000 to $2000. As for Olivetti, this firm succeeded in transferring the training of its 12 000 maintenance technicians from training centres to their own homes.

Since small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) employ more than two thirds of Europe's workers, they seem to represent a strong potential market for training products. For financial and internal organization reasons, however, SMEs devote very few resources to training in general and even less to multimedia educational tools.

In order to meet the needs of large enterprises as well as SMEs, training organizations are more and more exploring training systems based on "open and flexible distance learning" exploiting multimedia and telematic networks. A network of resource centres in their vicinity and closely associated with local training bodies is one of the possible responses to the problem of training in SMEs. An approach governed by sector of activity rather than by firm can also prove suitable in certain cases; thus, large manufacturers in the automobile sector were able to coordinate their training experiences for all their subcontractors, which were mainly SMEs.

Statement No 4


Many large firms have recourse to multimedia educational tools, mostly "custom-made", to train their managers. For the training of other categories of staff, however, and for training in SMEs in general, the use of technologies is not widespread at all.


1.3 Strengths and weaknesses of commercial suppliers

1.3.1 Some major industrial groups

A few large companies or institutions capable of serving the whole of Europe are active in the multimedia education market. They originate in four main industrial activities: publishing, electronics and informatics, audiovisual, telecommunications.

Among the major operators from the publishing field, there are groups such as Matra-Hachette in France, Bertelsmann in Germany, Macmillan in the UK andGiunti in Italy. Major industrial companies in the electronic and informatics fields are not very representative, with the exception of the Italian firm Olivetti or the Dutch firm Philips, which is very active as the producer of titles in the CD-I standard and which it is seeking to see widely adopted. Computer service companies confine their intervention in the vocational training sector to developing large custom-made applications for industry. Operators from the audiovisual sector have only recently shown interest in this sector but television companies such as the British BBC, the Italian RAI or the French La Cinquième seem eager to penetrate this market.

Major telecommunications operators such as France Télécom, British Telecom and Deutsche Telekom, but also the operators of cabled networks, are paying more and more attention to the education and training sector. Telecommunication tools such as teleconferences are used for vocational training and primary and secondary schools are beginning to be interested in the possibilities being opened up by networks. The prospects opened up by advance communication networks are also inciting these operators to explore the possibility of new services for households, including those of culture and education; pilot projects have been launched in the UK (Colchester and Ipswich), in France (Multicâble in Paris) and in Germany (Stuttgart). Anxious not to remain ignorant of the content of data circulating on their networks, some telecommunications operators are starting to purchase in the contents sector.

1.3.2 A large number of small firms

The fact remains that most European multimedia educational software is produced by a multitude of very small firms, scattered throughout Europe and dependent to a large extent on the quality of their location. They are estimated to number about 500. Many are specialized developers or publishers operating in the institutional education market or in various niches of the vocational training market.

Producing multimedia educational materials requires numerous skills and significant levels of investment. Training the creators of multimedia products will take several years. If we compare the situation to the history of the cinema, we are just about at 1915!

On the production side, the costs of producing multimedia software are such that the main problem of small producers is first of all an economic one. Rarely capable of investing for any length of time in the production of several titles, they have to appeal to public, national and European sources of finance for support. It sometimes happens that some of these small producers are bought out by larger groups seeking to gain a foothold in the market or to strengthen their position in it.

1.3.3 Crucial stakes

The fragmented nature of the European market is perceived by small European manufacturers both as an advantage, since they feel that they are in the best position to take account of the specific cultural flavour of their local market and, in turn, as a drawback, since, confined to markets that are too narrow, they cannot offset their high production costs.

Among the factors which conspire to fragment the market should be cited differences between the various legal systems of the European countries, notably those dealing with copyright. These laws are often perceived by manufacturers as an additional obstacle to creating and distributing products. Provided that it has been well adapted to the particular features of multimedia materials, however, the protection of copyright is an effective stimulus for creativity. Member states legislation must be harmonized in this domain. The announced Council Directive on the legal protection of information data bases should be carefully considered because it aims at introducing a new economical legislation for the protection of manufacturers investment, among others, in CD-ROM and CD-I industry.

In contrast with the European situation, North American manufacturers benefit from a huge internal market which is culturally and legally more homogeneous, making it possible for them to recoup major investments. Microsoft is the most well known. But where educational and game/educational software is concerned, companies such as BroderbundDavidson or Voyager have already cornered positions in the European market.

The European industry is therefore confronted with a problem of scale: how is it to maintain the advantages of being close to its users without cutting itself off from bigger markets in Europe, Japan and the United States? How is it to react, given the dynamism of American industry when it comes to exports? Cooperation between European producers, whatever the size of their company, whether they are operating in the mass market or education or training is generally perceived as their main advantage. Cooperation would enable them to acquire the technical skills or business skills they lack or to extend their market. Small firms above all feel the need to associate themselves with publishers or distributors to spread their products beyond their local markets.

To withstand the offensive of the North American producers, therefore, the European industry must rely on a network of small creative enterprises, well-established in their local market, and a few large firms, in the field of publishing, informatics and telecommunications. The major weakness of this industrial support structure is the fact that there are not enough major operators in Europe, from the sector of standard software, who are well placed to anticipate technological change, aware of the technical quality of products, and who have high performance tools and development methods at their disposal.

Statement No 5


European suppliers of educational multimedia software are made up of a few large industrial groups and a myriad of small enterprises. The main weakness of the Europeans is the absence of major software producers. Producers are devising alliance strategies in attempt to extend their market which is often a local one.


2. Prospects, future trends

The mid-1990s are a major turning point for the distribution of multimedia educational software in European society. The following observations support this hypothesis:

Uncertainties remain, however, as regards the speed with which multimedia educational materials will penetrate the various segments of the potential market: households, educational institutions and vocational training establishments. In this context, two significant trends have to be reported.

2.1 The spread of offline and on-line services

Spectacular progress with digitalization and data compression has meant that the cost of accessing multimedia educational tools, whether on-line or off-line, has been considerably reduced while data storage, processing and transmission facilities have been vastly increased.

For example, the digital disks CDROM or CDI can now contain 74 minutes of video or 200 000 pages of text. From 1996, two new optical media, still under development, will make it possible to stock seven times more data, and will, at the same time be able to record and erase data.

As regards networks, digital compression makes it possible to access multimedia educational materials by transmission over simple telephone lines and nowadays reduces by a factor of 10 and no doubt by 100 tomorrow - the cost of interactive services delivered by satellite or by terrestrial networks. What is more, new generations of navigation tools on the World-Wide-Web can only become more advanced, which will boost even more the current explosion of on-line educational services.

The question of the complementarity of the two methods of distribution (on-line and off-line) must therefore be raised now. The way in which these two dissemination channels relate to each other is a key factor in the development of this market. For publishers, the alternative offered by the distribution of multimedia products and services on highrate networks is foreseeable only in the future, which varies, according to opinions expressed, from three to ten years. Producers nevertheless agree that a large part of the market for educational software will require distribution and use on networks. Bertelsmann in Germany and Matra-Hachette both defend this analysis, all the more vigorously since they have taken up key positions on both the CDROM and the networks markets.

Statement No 6


The two modes for accessing and distributing educational software - offline and online - will both be stepped up within the next few years. European producers must therefore aim for both markets.


2.2 Education and training methods will need to adapt to new requirements

Europe's entry into the information society will give rise to a need for significant changes in educational and training systems and methods.

It is a fact that modern society demands better trained individuals who react faster and are more open to change. Traditional teaching methods cannot always satisfy these new requirements.

Multimedia educational products are instruments of choice for active teaching based on discovery and experimentation. They have already been used in practice - sometimes for several decades - but often in a marginal way. The introduction of new technologies into educational establishments or firms is unavoidable. It presupposes, however, a reform of the ways in which education and training are organized. Such a trend would imply a better combination of the components of education and training: face-to-face teaching, distance learning, individual or group study, with the aid of traditional or multimedia resources.

Such a movement towards renovation and the integration of multimedia tools in education would however necessitate that a new approach to teaching be welcomed at the institutional and social level. Practically speaking, it is necessary to adapt methods of education and training encouraging teachers, trainers and learners to participate in defining how training should be carried out.

Economic as well as pedagogical imperatives have to be reckoned with. Training and education are expensive, and technology must not increase this burden without offering something in return, whether it be a reduction in unit costs or a significant improvement in the quality and the performance of the system as a whole. The choice of multimedia tools and the way in which they can be integrated into the educational environment play a decisive role here. The distribution of multimedia educational software in Europe will only succeed if such logic is applied.

Statement No 7


Re-engineering of education and vocational training methods is required by a new environment, the one of information society. Multimedia should integrate into the general framework of these adapted methods.



PART 2:

SUGGESTIONS FOR A COMMUNITY ACTION PLAN



The future of Europeans - and of their jobs - depends on education and training methods being suitably adapted to new requirements as regards qualifications and the new technological, economic, social or cultural environment of the information society. This adaptation will be facilitated by the introduction and use of interactive multimedia products and services in education or training activities. This is a major challenge, not just for European hardware producers, network operators or contents designers, but also for national and Community policies. It is the task of industrialists to provide at affordable prices products and services which are easy to access and use, taking fully into account the requirements of their users. National and Community policies, on the other hand, are needed to create conditions favourable for the design, acceptance and as wide as possible distribution of these new multimedia products and services in individual or collective education or training activities.

Mobilizing objectives

A key condition for success is the involvement of all the partners concerned: teachers, trainers, the institutions to which they belong, industrialists and service operators, public authorities, whether regional, national or Community. Such an involvement should focus on quantified objectives spaced in time. As an illustration, in January 1994, VicePresident Gore announced that the United States had set itself the objective of connecting all American classrooms, libraries, clinics or hospitals to the national telematics network. At that moment in time, 49% of all public schools already had access to the Internet or to other networks such as Compuserve, American On Line or Prodigy. At first sight, the starting position of the European Union seems less favourable, even if countries such as Finland have already succeeded in connecting all their schools to the national telematics network.

Suggestion No 1


Given what is at stake, should not Europeans set themselves goals to be achieved by the Union by the year 2000, as a minimum:


The European Union could contribute to a greater degree of public awareness in order to achieve consensus on these four objectives, by expanding, for example, the debate engendered by the publication in November 1995 of the White Paper on "Education and TrainingThe keys to the year 2000", or by seizing the numerous opportunities offered by the European Year of Life-long Learning,(1996).

Boosting increased cooperation at the supply and demand level

Market success depends on the quality of the product or service supplied and its suitability with regard to users' requirements. For these to be taken properly into account, it is essential for the producers and users of multimedia educational products to cooperate.

First of all, producers' networks are beginning to spring up, permitting the pooling of teaching modules or raw educational materials and facilitating manufacture of a cooperative nature, which is the only one capable of opening up large markets in Europe. Secondly, networks of users could be formed to promote information exchange on the educational quality of products or on examples of good practices. Finally, mixed networks consisting of users and producers would enable end users - pupils and students, teachers and instructors - to participate in the design and production of multimedia educational materials. These multiple networks will above all be human networks and they will gain by being based on telematic technologies for the simple reason that they are dealing with digital resources.

The European market as a whole can only benefit from a similar dynamic of cooperation between producers and users, which could first of all benefit the institutional market and then indirectly the mass market, thanks to the role played by the educational institutions in influencing the purchasing habits of families.

Suggestion No 2


In order to strengthen the chances of the European industry's in the field of educational multimedia software by better taking into account the users requirements, producers should work more closely together and with a stronger participation of users in these activities.


Mobilizing all European programmes

The European Union for its part should mobilize in a coordinated manner the multiple instruments at its disposal in respect of multimedia educational materials. As the following chart shows, the key to success lies in the development of experimental services integrating multimedia educational software into the education and training processes.

In the first place, human networks, supported by European programmes in the field of education and vocational training such as SOCRATES or LEONARDO da Vinci, will be able to furnish precious expertise on matters of common interest for the various countries of the Union. A network of faculties could help create multimedia instruments in the field which is concerned. The same principle could be applied to other networks in which industrialists are already involved, such as certain science faculties. All these human-based networks could also play a key part when it comes to exploiting and disseminating the results of research.

The cost of developing multimedia courses very often constitutes a hurdle for the validation of experimental services. Coordination with European multimedia content support programmes such as MEDIA 2 or INFO 2000 should make it possible to validate experimental services better and in return, keep producers and publishers informed about the requirements of students, teachers, trainers and the institutions to which they belong.

Possible synergies between Research Programmes and Structural Funds should be explored. These funds, as instruments of the Union Regional Policy implementation, can be exploited for supporting telecommunication infrastructure, training, transfer of technology, projects of demonstration. The deployment of educational multimedia projects in the spirit of subsidiarity and decentralisation could contribute to the strengthening of the scientific potential in disadvantaged regions.

Suggestion No 3


Should not the European Union encourage the networks it supports in the context of its various programmes to list the software available on the market or outside the market to inform potential users of its technical and educational quality or value and in order to certify the best products among the software available?


Suggestion No 4


The context of the European Year of Life-long Learning in 1996 provides an opportunity to draw on the possibilities available in the various European programmes in order to encourage the production of quality multimedia educational software.


Finally, a convincing body of demonstration projects, accompanied by a widespread distribution of recommendations for their implementation, should make it possible to deploy the research results thanks to financial aid from the European Social Fund, European Regional Development Fund or the Trans-European Telecommunications Networks.

This multiplicity and the diversity of these programmes does not make the task of universities and firms, particularly the SMEs, any easier, even if they do wish to cooperate among themselves at European level on multimedia educational tools. What is more, while spontaneous proposals are accepted in the context of technological research and development programmes (RTD), this congenial arrangement is not offered by any of the other programmes.

Suggestion No 5


Should not the European Commission design instruments adapted to the domain of "educational multimedia" like: crossprogramme projects; possibility for consortia of SMEs to submit spontaneous proposals?


1. The RTD "TELEMATICS APPLICATIONS" programme (1994-1998)

Provided with ECU 843 million for the period 199498, this programme has been devised to promote the development and dissemination of telecommunications and computer applications in nine areas of common interest to society. The main area for educational multimedia is "Telematics for Education and Training" (ECU 60 million) which, by its nature, is devoted entirely to the validation and demonstration of experimental multimedia services to promote education and training.

Two other areas of the Programme are partly concerned with educational multimedia:

This field of applied research has aroused the interest of a great number of firms and universities in all countries of the European Union, as is revealed by the analysis of the results of the first call for proposals which closed on 15 March 1995. What is more, the request for Community financing was twenty times greater than the amount of funds available. Out of a total of 230 proposals put forward for the "Education and Training" sector of the "Telematics Applications" programme, only 23 (one out of ten) could be selected. Annex 3 gives a list of examples of projects accepted by the Commission. These results show that European universities and industrialists have clearly grasped the importance of RTD activities in the field of multimedia educational products and that they are also ready to make substantial investments, in concertation with the European Union, in applied research activities.

Suggestion No 6


An estimate should be made of the financial resources that industry and universities are ready to devote to applied research in the domain of educational multimedia in order to determine what is the most appropriate effort which could be contributed by the European Union.


Such an increase in funds should concentrate as a priority on the development, validation and demonstration:

User-friendly tools to devise multimedia educational programmes

Attempts to develop tools to create multimedia educational programmes ("authoring tools") have focused up to now only on the needs of specialists in multimedia publishing.

Suggestion No 7


From now on, emphasis should be placed on supporting the development of authoring tools which are easy to use for teachers who wish to adapt, to their teaching methods, multimedia resources originating:


While it is true that the teachers who are motivated by the design of educational multimedia are still limited in number, they have a powerful persuasive effect on their colleagues.

Suggestion No 8


Since they constitute an operating area for professional publishers of multimedia learning materials, should not emphasis be put henceforward on the development and validation of European telematics systems which make it possible to pool pedagogical resources and to facilitate cooperation at a distance?


Developing and validating experimental services

Focus in this field should be placed on the development, validation and demonstration of experimental educational services, notably teleservices. As from 1995, the market for educational teleservices has focused on programmes which are only slightly interactive and with a limited multimedia content. In the longer term, these programmes will be overtaken by highly interactive "high-end" programmes which offer a rich multimedia content, thanks to the success of multimedia teleservices.

Suggestion No 9


Should the "Telematics Applications" programme encourage the development and validation of local and trans-European experimental services for schools, universities, vocational training bodies and home learners, so that the manufacturers and operators of European services as well as all potential users can get ready to derive maximum benefit from these new opportunities?


The next call for proposals, for June 1996, could give a boost to the following actions:

Experimental services with local, regional or national coverage

Experimental services with European coverage

Suggestion No 10


Should not research, development and demonstration activities be supported by a widespread publication and dissemination of the results obtained? The "Awareness and dissemination of results" Programme could put a special emphasis on the multimedia educational materials sector.


2. The RTD "Information Technologies" programme

(1994-1998)

The "Information Technologies" programme, the total budget for which is ECU 1 932 million, has three spheres of action which could help, by providing generic solutions, to improve the performance of multimedia educational software:

Of the 141 proposals received in 1995 in response to the "Software Technologies" call for proposals, 53 have been selected. The "Multimedia Systems" sector received 90 proposals, 32 of which were selected. In only three proposals are applications to the field of education and training mentioned explicitly.

21 proposals of general interest, however, could be applied in some way to the field of multimedia educational materials by:

It is noteworthy that the technological development of standard tools and platforms on/with which the majority (more than 80%) of multimedia educational software products and uses are made indirectly benefit the latter.

The call for proposals published in June 1995 also referred to "Multimedia Support Centres". These centres will be an advice and support infrastructure which could be used, for example, by SMEs producing multimedia educational materials.

Suggestion No 11


Should the following priorities, whose impact on multimedia educational materials is direct, be incorporated in the "Information Technologies" programme:


3. The RTD "Targeted Socio-Economic Research" Programme (1994-98)

Allotted ECU 105 million for the period 1994 to 1998, this programme includes a line of ECU 25 million for research on education and training. Two of the ten activity themes are involved with new technologies in education and the dissemination of innovatory pedagogical materials.

Following the call for proposals which closed on 8 June, 195 proposals were examined under heading II "Methods, tools and technologies: innovation and quality in formal and informal education and training". Around 10% of the proposals (9 research projects and 3 thematic networks) were selected. Of the 10 priority proposals which will be financed in 1995 and 1996, three concern innovation and only one is specifically focused on the theme of technologies.

The disparity between the number of proposals submitted under the title of innovation and the single proposal selected which dealt with the use of technologies can be explained by the selection criteria which eliminated projects that could be assimilated, not to research but to the development of products. A complementary list of 24 projects of this type, judged to fall more appropriately under other programmes such as Telematics Applications, SOCRATES and LEONARDO, was compiled by the assessors. Within them, a majority contain a large component of research devoted to the use of technologies.

Suggestion No 12


Should a specific activity concentrating on innovatory aspects of teaching methods facilitated by multimedia be undertaken as part of the "Targeted socio-economic research" Programme?


4. Programme RTD "Training and Mobility of Researchers"

The aim of the TMR Programme is to promote training and the research workers' mobility while enabling them to benefit from the best frameworks and research infrastructures which exist in the European Union.

Endowed with Million ECU 744 over the period 1994-1998, this programme provides for the constitution of 300 transnational research networks, the granting of several thousand pre-doctoral and post-doctoral research grants, the opening to all the research workers of the Union of the large facilities essential to R&D of quality and financing of the access of the young scientists to the best conferences as well as to the best summer courses and workshops organized in Europe.

The TMR Programme covers all the fields of exact, natural sciences, economic and of management as well as the social and human sciences which contribute to the objectives of the 4th Framework programme. Multimedia educational software can concern directly two of these fields : mathematics and information sciences ; economic, social and human sciences. No specific training or research target is predefined, laboratories and the researchers having all freedom to submit the projects which appear to be the most interesting ones or the most useful ones to them (a bottom-up approach).

Suggestion No 13


Should a specific action of the Programme "Training and mobility of researchers" be undertaken for the benefit of fundamental and applied research teams involved in the field of multimedia educational software ?


5. Preparation of the fifth RTD framework Programme

(1998-2003)

Future research in the field of multimedia educational sofware is to be underpinned by the general principles concerning the Commission R&D and industrial policy. This area is extremely well suited to align social demands with industrial and research policy. Indeed in the upcoming Information Society, a well trained workforce will be an essential ingredient of successful technology transfer and will enable the creation of a virtuous cycle of sustainable growth and development. Industries, as providers and users of advanced learning methods, materials and services can seize the opportunity and play a leading role in the steering of education and training by undertaking, in close cooperation with the users, new research tasks in this field.

Some of the topics which could be investigated relate to the experimental use of combinations of broadband networks and new generation multimedia systems to deliver on-line and/or off-line education and training services in innovative ways, enabling learning to take place in a much more customised way, adapted to different learners' paces and needs, giving shape, experimenting and demonstrating the future telematics-based "open university" for industry and education in general.

The above would entail research and experimentation of new learning methods capable of fully exploit the benefits of these upcoming technologies and integrating them into the daily practice of the education and training systems, in all the curriculum areas and levels of education (primary, secondary, university, professionals, industrial training, etc) in all circunstances and for all kind of users (on-the-job training, home learning, classroom school or campus-based learning, etc).

Research on the optimal ways to use in a learning context the new tools and systems for design, production and navigation which are to be common place in the upcoming new generation of multimedia. How to facilitate access to learning materials and services distributed all over the world in a learner-friendly way, how to facilitate interactivity, learning by doing in those global and high-tech contexts.

Suggestion N°14


In order to help the Commission orientating its R&D activities and to define a strategy for the 5th Framework Programme, a pluridisciplinary group of leading educationalists, producers of educational multimedia and research laboratories should be set up.


6. Vocational training and education actions: the SOCRATES and LEONARDO da Vinci programmes (1995-1999)

These two programmes now encompass activities formerly covered by COMETT, EUROTECHNET and FORCE. They should play a key role in stimulating the distribution of multimedia educational materials throughout the whole of Europe, notably through the intervention of human networks already set up thanks to the programmes which preceded them.

Suggestion No 15


Should the SOCRATES (education) and LEONARDO (training) Programmes provide, as a priority, a basis for the following actions:

  1. Promote better information on products and services available and on ways of assessing their content for users of multimedia software in education and training (libraries of software, cataloguing systems, promotion of evaluation activities);
  2. Foster associations between users, producers and service providers to facilitate the production, use and a better incorporation, into existing educational materials, of multimedia educational software;
  3. Encourage training courses, in multimedia educational software, for teachers and trainers and for those who train teachers and trainers;
  4. Stimulate training activities aimed at the creators of educational software (educational engineering, training in pedagogy, taking into consideration the different types of users and their needs);
  5. Support the development of an environment which favours creation of multimedia educational software (efficient and user-friendly methodologies);
  6. Encourage the recognition of qualifications which are acquired through the use of services incorporating multimedia educational software;
  7. Pursue medium and long-term actions, such as:

Contribution of the SOCRATES programme

Allotted a budget of ECU 850 million for the period 1995-1999, the SOCRATES programme encourages cooperation between the Member States in the field of education. Specific activities to promote the use of multimedia materials in education could account for approximately ECU 6 million in 1995 and ECU 6 million in 1996.

The promotion of open and distance education calls for the following horizontal measures:

Such measures would be a top-up to those already planned:

Contribution of LEONARDO da Vinci (1995-1999)

Allocated ECU 620 million for the period 19951999, the LEONARDO programme is capable of giving support to actions favouring multimedia educational software whether in the form of pilot projects, supporting European networks, jobs and exchanges, surveys and analyses or dissemination activities.

LEONARDO can, for example, contribute to the development of multimedia educational software by financing a limited number of transnational pilot projects, for which the financial contribution of the Community is authorized to amount to 75% of the project's total expenditure (with a ceiling of ECU 100 000 per year and per project, and with a maximum duration of three years). What is more, LEONARDO can also finance accompanying activities in favour of the improvement of the skills and knowledge of the creators and publishers of multimedia educational software products in order to facilitate the development of software which effectively meet the needs of users within the field of professional training.

In a more general way, LEONARDO will be able to lend its support for the following:

  1. Stimulating training activities aimed at the creators of educational software. Among other things, such an action could comprise training for the writers of educational software on educational themes and the psychological profiles of possible users. It could be conceived in such a way that it also fosters closer cooperation between writers and those involved in training, thus integrating "pedagogical engineering" experts into the teams responsible for producing software.
  2. Fostering associations between users, producers and service providers (writers producers - firms - universities - institutes and training centres - schools, etc.): The aim of such an action would be to produce software which satisfies user requirements and enables multimedia software to be integrated more effectively into the training methods used.
  3. Promoting better information on the products and services available and ways in which their content can be evaluated: This action could be undertaken using a European information system with a database on existing multimedia products, with the creation of a catalogue of international products and by stimulating the setting up of libraries of educational software for training purposes.
  4. Encouraging training courses for trainers and for those who train the trainers: This could include stimulating the design and development of training courses for trainers in using educational software by means of familiarization campaigns or in-depth training courses.
  5. Boosting the development, translation and cultural adaptation of multimedia educational software by supporting, for instance, the setting up of European networks.
  6. Supporting surveys and analyses in fields relevant to multimedia educational software: among other things, these could cover the recognition of skills acquired thanks to software, its use in the training of workers in SMEs or pedagogical questions concerning the design and use of training software.
  7. Analysing the feasibility of using multimedia educational materials in innovatory vocational training programmes such as "teleplacements", a concept which would combine the advantages of residential training periods with the possibilities of distance counselling or working offered by telematic technologies.

7. Contribution of the MEDIA II Programme (1996-2000)

Allotted a budget of ECU 310 million, this programme aims at stimulating and developing the audiovisual programmes industry in Europe by supporting it in the fields of training, creation, programme development (preproduction) and distribution (cinema, television, video, CDROM, CDI, etc.).

This programme will take over from MEDIA I (19911995), which has supported up to now the publication of 100 or so interactive multimedia titles on CDROM or CDI (of which approximately 40% are educational titles and 15% reference works - see annex 4), which represents at least a third of European output for use in the home. Among the educational titles there is software for teachers on subjects as different as philosophy and mathematics. About 100 students have also been able to benefit from specific training in the techniques of multimedia production instituted under the programme by six poles of European training such as the Master of Arts in Multimedia in the 9 countries of the Union.

The MEDIA II programme has two main parts, one focusing on training and the other on development and distribution, under which multimedia educational software projects could be supported, mainly in the domain of cinema and audiovisual culture.

The MEDIA II Training Programme, allotted a budget of ECU 45 million, is designed to improve the skills of creators and producers in the audiovisual industry as regards economic and commercial management and the use of new technologies.

In this precise instance, the aim is to increase the ability of professionals to use advanced creation techniques, especially in the fields of computer graphics, multimedia creation and interactivity, which should have a significant impact on the quality of multimedia products produced in Europe, notably in the educational sector. Special attention will be given to the new professions to which these techniques are giving rise: virtual image designers, multimedia and interactive programme designers and new technology project leaders.

The proposed operations are:

Suggestion No 16


In the frame of the MEDIA Programme, should training modules on multimedia educational materials and the cultural adaptation of existing titles, not be developed for software creators interested in entering the multimedia educational software market?


The MEDIA II Development and Distribution Programme, allocated a budget of ECU 265 million will aim, by means of technical and financial assistance, to promote the development of production projects that make use of new creative techniques and to support companies capable of developing such projects and encourage them to set up networks. Action undertaken in this context will directly affect the pre-production of multimedia programmes and interactive television applications, especially those with an educative purpose.

Suggestion No 17


Should the MEDIA programme not support co-productions and encourage firms presenting common development projects of international importance in the multimedia educational sector to set up networks?


8. Contribution of the Structural Funds, TransEuropean Telecommunications Networks and cooperation programmes with third countries

As can be seen from Annex 2, the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the TransEuropean Telecommunications Networks (TTN) all have large budgets. They constitute a considerable resource which could stimulate the distribution of multimedia educational materials in Europe. Where the ERDF is concerned, for instance, ECU 1 600 million available for Community initiatives have not yet been allocated in 1995. Some of these appropriations could finance actions to support the infrastructures needed to enable the less-favoured regions to benefit in the same way as the more advanced regions from the potential offered by multimedia educational tools. In addition, these infrastructures will also benefit small and mediumsized enterprises at local level, whether they use or produce educational software, which could in turn strengthen the competitiveness of these regions and create jobs locally.

Suggestion No 18


Should a more significant proportion of the resources available in the framework of the European Social Fund (ESF), be directed towards training programmes using multimedia materials? Should a more significant part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and of the Trans-european Telecommunication Networks (TEN) be allocated for necessary investments in infrastructure (telecommunication networks, equipment for education and training centres) required for the use of advanced pedagogical tools, particularly multimedia software?


As Annex 2 also shows, every year the European Union allots several hundreds of million ecus to support training or education programmes in third countries with which it has concluded cooperation agreements: the countries of the Mediterranean Basin, signatories of the Lomé Convention, countries in Central and Eastern Europe, etc.

Suggestion No 19


Should not a significant proportion of resources available on budgetary lines for international cooperation (Lomé Convention countries, Central and Eastern Europe countries, etc) be directed towards actions enabling these third countries to benefit straightaway from the potential offered by multimedia educational materials?


9. Contribution needed to help safeguard intellectual property

The European Union has already defined a basic legal framework as regards protection of the intellectual property by adopting 4 directives on on certain problems of copyright and related rights. These adopted directives, as well as the future directive on the legal protection of the databases, makepossible to apprehend a number of questions and show the way to be followed to lay down the future intellectual property policy relating to the multimedia products and more generally in the context of the information society.

The green Paper of the Commission entitled "the copyright and the related rights in the information society" (COM (95) 382 final of 19.7.95) examine in details the possible incidences of the development of the new technologies and of the emergence of new products such as the multimedias, on the arrangement of the copyright and of other related rights.

This involves a vast exercise of consultation which should make possible to define the work programme of the Commission for the future in the field of the copyright and of the related rights. The interested parties are invited to expressed themselves, concerning the multimedias, on the problems of acquisition and of the management of the rights.

Suggestion No 20


It is necessary that the management of the rights involving intellectual property evolves and adapts to the new environment in such a way that, in particular, the creation of multimedia materials whichuse, at the same time, music, text, photography, films, etc, are not blocked by long and expensive procedures of acquisition of rights. The beneficiaries and the managers of rights are invited to envisage the setting up of "one-stop shopping" in order to facilitate access to the works and to the benefits.


Annexes



ANNEX 1: DATA AND STATISTICS

1. Estimation of the global multimedia market (Europe + USA)

B$

Sources:

Hardware représents today the main part of the multimedia market (about 70% in 1993 in US), but a rapid growing (60-70% yearly rate) of the software part is expected for the coming years.

2. The multimedia European market

Global volume : 2.5 B$

Source :

3. Equipment of households with PCs in 1994

The sector of households knows a rapid growth in Europe: sales on the domestic market have grown rapidly in 1994 (2.5 millions PCs sold, ie 20% of global sales of PCs in Europe).

Equipment rate of European households could reach 33 to 50% by 2000. Only Japan knows a slower development of its domestic market with PC, CD-ROM and Modems.

Percentage of the total number of households

Source :

4. Equipment rates for households (through platforms)

Source : Inteco, 1994

On-line platforms:

Off-line platforms

5. CD-ROM players in households

Millions of units

Source :

6. Production of CD-ROM titles for large audience in 1993

Source:

With a volume of sales that reach 200 millions $ in 1993 and a production representing more than 50% of the titles produced in the world, US are the first market and the first producer of CD-ROMs for large audience.

In Europe, the UK market is growing rapidly and the production of titles is the most dynamic in Europe.

7. Eight US publishers leading the US mass-market of CD-ROMs

Parts de marché (esimé à 317 millions de $ en 1993)

8. Categories of CD-ROM titles for large audience in 1993

The domestic market is nowadays dominated with reference titles and games but the share of educational titles is growing.

SOME SIGNIFICANT ACTORS OF EDUCATIONAL MULTIMEDIA

USA


                                          Incomes in                        Companies             Remarks        1993                 Titles              ($                         millions)                                            Bought by                             Where in the        Broderbund        Electronics Arts,     95.6            world is Carmen     Software          publisher of video                    San Diego?                            games (CA 93 : 397                                                          millions $)                                                 Davidson &        Company created by a  59.7            Math Blaster        Associates        group of teachers                                           Compton's         Leader on the         41              Interactive         Newmedia          encyclopaedia                         Encyclopaedia                         segment.                                                    Learning Co.      Leader on the         27.5            Reader Rabbit,                        schools market.                       Treasure                                                                    Mountain              Maxis             This a one-product    20              SimCity                               company.                                                    Knowledge         S.Spielberg has got   18.5            Dinosaur            Adventure         interest in the                       Adventure,                            company.                              Underseas                                                                   Adventure             Voyager           The most creative     16              Expanded books -                      and innovative of US                  Paws - Films,                         publishers.                           musique, etc.         Microsoft         Department            200             Encarta             Multimedia        specialized for home                  -Dinosaurs          Microsoft Home    and schools market.                   Fine Artist -                                                               Creative Writer                         Distribute the        62              Jeux vidéo.         Sierra-On-Line    products of the       (chiffre 1994)  ADI                                   french Coktel Vision                                                        (ADI)                                                         

Source : Business Week; Volpe; Welty & Co, 1994; Les Echos, Mai 1994

SOME SIGNIFICANT ACTORS OF EDUCATIONAL MULTIMEDIA

EUROPE


    Companies              Remarks             Income            Titles          (MEcus)                              Cocktel  Vision     Bought by              15 (in  94)    "Adi"- edutainment     (F)                 Sierra-On-Line(US)     (62 % to       type (800 000                                                     export)        copies sold in         Empl. : environ                                           Europe from 1990)      100                                                                              Subs. in F, RU, E,                                                               All                                                                                Edusoft (F)         Publisher of 141       9              Edutainment (PC                            titles et 500          (planned for   Human Body, PC                             reference software     1995)          Baby, PC Health)                           from Nathan.                          and education          Empl.: 50           Adaptation of titles                  (Magic Desk)                               from Knowledge                                                                   Adventure, Broderbund                                                             and Softkey                                                   Matra-Hachette      Development of titles  nd             Sports;                (F)- Grolier (US)   with Voyager  and                     Edutainment;                               Herisson Fox (US)/                    Grolier                                    strategy of on-line                   encyclopaedia.                             distribution.                                                  Arborescence/       21 titles              2,5                                   Havas (F)           Co-production planned  (planned for   Edutainment                                with Sony.             1995)                                   Empl : 10                                                                          Infogrammes (F)     European leader of     nd             Edutainment                                video game. Creator                   (languages, music,     Empl: 250           of the network                        etc). Références       20 for education    Infonie for large                     (Napoléon, musical                         audience.                             encyclopaedia)           Giunti Multimedia   22 titrls CD-I, 7      5              Karaoké CD-I large     (I)                 CDTV, soon 16 titles   (in 94)        audience - CD-I for                        CD-ROM                                language learning      Group empl.: 600                                          (6-12)                   Opera - Olivetti    18 titles              nd             Education and          (I)                                                       culture for large                                                                audience - History     Empl.: 9                                                  of Europa (U. Ecco)      Dorling Kindersley  Book publisher for     120            20 titles              (UK)                youth became N°1 in    (global        references titles:                         Europe of cultural     publishing     "Musical               Empl.: 130          and educational        activity)      Instruments", "How                         CD-ROMs.                              the things work",                                                                etc                      Bertelsmann (G)     First European         nd             Edutainment                                publishing group.                     software and                                                                     references.              Heureka-Klett (G)   Subsidiary of the      nd             Products for                               German book publisher                 schools. Leader on                         Ernst Klett.                          the German market.       Philips             Creator of the CD-I.   nd             Distribution of        Interactive Media   Operated also as a                    titles for             (NL)                publisher and a                       educational,                               distributor.                          entertainment                                                                    professional                                                                     training,                                                                        languages, etc.          Orfeus (DK)         Public Fundation from  nd             Andersen. Danish                           the danish Ministry                   curiculum "on &        Empl.: 20           of Education.                         off-line", training                                                              of trainers.               

CD-ROMS BEST-SELLERS IN

U.S.A. IN 1993


       Titles          Description      Publishers      Sales     Units       Encarta            General         Microsoft     $ 7.5 m    69 000                          Encyclopaedia                                           Compton Interactive      General       Compton's New   $ 4.8 m    43 000    Encyclopedia      Encyclopaedia        Media                            Upgrade                                                                 Where in the world    Educational      Broderbund     $ 1.8 m    26 000    is Carmen Deluxe   game (discovery                                                              of the World)                                           Compton's Family       General       Compton's New   $ 1.3 m    5 100     Encyclopedia      Encyclopaedia        Media                              Dinosaur Adventure      Thematic        Knowledge     $ 1.3 m    26 000                          Encyclopaedia      Adventure                            Just Grandma and me    Interactive      Broderbund     $ 1.28 m   30 000                             Stories                                              Arthur's Teacher     Educational      Broderbund     $ 1.1 m    24 000    Trouble              Game                                               The Animals          Thematic        Software      $ 1.1 m    16 000                          Encyclopaedia      Toolworks                            Dinosaurs           Thematic        Microsoft     $ 0.88 m   14 000                          Encyclopaedia                                           Global Explorer      Atlas of the       DeLorme     $ 0.875 m   7 765                               World                                                 

Source : PC Data/ The Bookseller

ANNEX 3: EXAMPLES OF MULTIMEDIA EDUCATIONAL RTD PROJECTS

"TELEMATICS APPLICATIONS" PROGRAMME

1. "Telematics applications for education and training"

In 1995, 230 proposals were submitted concerning education and training under the telematics applications programme. They all concerned multimedia educational systems and one hundred or so of them were evaluated as being excellent or very good. Only 23 could be selected. The following proposals are given by way of examples:

2. "Telematics applications for urban and rural areas"

Many proposals submitted in 1995 concerning this sector cover the various remote services aimed at improving the development of urban and rural areas, e.g. distance education and training services. The following project is dedicated entirely to multimedia educational systems for young children:

3. "Telematics applications for health care"

Two projects concern multimedia educational systems:

ANNEX 4: Exemples of projects supported by the Media Investment Club

From 1993, the Media Investment Club, created by the European Union (MEDIA Programme), INA (F), BBC (UK), Canal+ (F), France Télévision (F), LBO SA (F), Matra Hachette Multimédia (F), NOB (NL), Philips (NL), RAI (I), RCS Editori (I), T1 NMGA (G), Telac (NL) and Thomson multimédia (F) has supported projects of creation of multimedia products. Since he was created, the Club has supported 201 projects for a total investment sum of 21,3 MEcus. This investment resulted in a volume of activity amounting to 187 MEcus. Most of the Club activity is devoted to the production of titles published on CD-I or CD-ROM in the domain of education, training and culture. The following chart presents a selection of such titles.


       Title          Publisher    C.   Support     Description - Public         Astronomie          Flammarion    F     CD-I     Discovery of the sky and                                                       celestial objects. General                                                     public.                         Dictionary          Hachette      F     CD-I     General knowwledge            Hachette                                         Encyclopédia. General         Multimédia                                       public.                         The time machine    Bayard        F     CD-I     Journey through time to                                                        discover evolution of                                                          mankind. Children 7-13                                                         ans.                            Peter in the        Arborescence  F     CD-ROM   Game to acquire elementary    country of numbers                               notions of figures and                                                         numbers. Children 5-7 ans.      Body Interact       Primal        UK    CD-ROM   3D exploration of human                           Pictures                     body. General public.           The French          New Media     UK    CD-I     French language learning.     Experience                                       General public.                 I was there         Line TV       UK    CD-I     Series of subjects on                                                          major historical periods                                                       (Vikings, C.Colombus,                                                          etc). Adolescents.              Quattro grandi      Giunti        I     CD-ROM   Discovery of great            maestri della                                    European painters (Titien,    pittura Europea                                  Rembrandt, Goya, Gauguin).                                                     General public                  Animalia            Coktel        F     CD-ROM   Interactive animal                                Vision                       discovery game. General                                                        public                          Treasure hunters    Cryo          F     CD-ROM   Exploration of wrecks                                                          below the sea throughout                                                       the world. General public       Enciclopedia delle  Armando       I     CD-I     Encyclopaedia of natural      ricerche            Curcio                       science, social science                           Editore                      and art. Adolescents.           Europe facing its   Pact          B     CD-I     Visits of great               past                                             archeological  sites of                                                        Europe. General public.         Geography - Physic  Alberto       I     CD-I     First volumes of a            and Chemestry       Peruzzo                      thematic encyclopaedia.                           Editore                      General public                  Golden Symetries    Artware       DK    CD-ROM   Visualization in art,                                                          architecture, mathematics,                                                     music. General public.          Historical Atlas    Maris         UK    CD-ROM   Historical Atlas made up      of the world                                     of satellites photos of                                                        the Earth. General public       Interactive         Quai Nord     F     CD-I &   Non scholastic initiation     Mathématics                             CD-ROM   to algebra. General                                                            public.                           

ANNEX 5: Examples of projects supported within the IMPACT2 Programme

From 1992, the Commission (DGXII/E) supported within the IMPACT programme the development of interactive multimedia titles. 57 projects have been selected to be supported during a first definition phase and 22 have been finaly selected to be co-financed during the second development phase. The total community support reched 7MEcus. Most of the the titles are dedicated to education, training and culture.

The following chart presents a selection of such titles:


        Title          Country  Support          Description - Public             BABY                  BE,       CD-I     Expecting and growing a baby.                                FR                                                          GOTHIC CATHEDRALS OF  FR        CD-I     Discovery of major gothic              EUROPE                UK                 cathedrals in Europe.                                        ES                                                          Eurotown Adventure    FR        CD-ROM   Game to develop language skills                              UK                                                          EC Floklore           FR        CD-ROM   Folk music and dance images,                                 UK                 descriptions, data, instructions.                            IT                                                          Mount Olympos         UK        CD-I     Discovery of Mount Olympos and its                           GR                 natural environment.                     Hans Christian        DK        CD-ROM   Discovery of 19th century through      Andersen              IT                 life and works of HCA                    Safeway to school by  DK        CD-ROM   Practical advices for going to         foot and bike         NL                 school by foot and byke.                 Europa Quest          FR        CD-ROM   Discovery of European social life                            DE                 through demography, daily life and                           UK                 economy.                                 Edusex                IT        CD-ROM   Sexual education for teenagers.                              ES                                                          Genesis of the        FR        CD-ROM   Collection of 5 CD-ROMs on             European art, the     BE                 discovery of the Flemish painting.     Flemish connection                                                                Back injuries         IR        CD-ROM   Educational program to prevent back    prevention            UK                 injuries for workers.                                        DK                                                          Total productive      GB        CD-ROM   Interactive training package.          maintenance           FR                                                                              GR, UK                                                      Operations and        BE        CD-ROM   Training course for senior manager.    maintenance view      IT                                                          Heath and safety in   BE        CD-ROM   Training course.                       the workplace         DE - UK                                                     Museum of London      UK - NL   CD-ROM   Travel through London and its                                                   history.                                 Multimedia            FR        CD-ROM   Multimedia dictionary of modern        dictionary of modern  UK - ES            art.                                   & contempory art                                                                  All about everything  NL - ES   CD-ROM   Interactive encyclopedia for                                 DE - UK            children                                 Vialucis              PT        CD-I     Discovery of Baroque Art in Lisboa                           IT                 and South America.                       Callanetics           NL        CD-I     Fitness training course.                                     DK - BE                                                       

ANNEX 6: EXAMPLES OF PROJECTS DEVELOPED UNDER THE COMETT II PROGRAMME 

(SECOND PHASE OF THE COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAMME FOR 
EDUCATION AND TRAINING FOR TECHNOLOGY, 1990-1994)

COMETT II (which had a budget of approximately 230 million ECU, and under which some 3000 projects were selected following five calls for applications between 1990 and 1994) led, amongst its other achievements, to the development of more than 4500 training materials, of which over one third are software or video based. These projects covered training needs in virtually all technologies and related areas.


                                                                              Title           Country                 Description                    BIT - Biotechnology in  UK         This project aims at developing and                                           harmonising education and training in      Training                           the field of biotechnology, through                                           laboratory-based short courses and                                            complementary multi-media distance                                            learning.                                    IN#TEL#EC - Integrated  P          The goal of this project is to meet        Telecommunications                 skill and training deficits for            training for the                   telecommunication technicians through      European Community                 multimedia training modules, and devise                                       and publish a European syllabus for the                                       establishment of common standards for                                         training.                                    APECE - advanced        N          The objective is to develop and            production Engineering             disseminate a continuing education         Continued Education                programme for distance learning in                                            production engineering for the                                                mechanical and electrotechnical                                               industry, using modular courses.             ESAVS - European        D          The main objective of this project is      school for                         to create postgraduate courses,            postgraduate                       including distance learning systems,       veterinary training                leading to Europe-wide accredited          and continuing                     diplomas in all fields of advanced         education                          veterinary science.                          EMBA - Management of    NL         The goal of this project is to             technology in a                    establish a European network for the       European environment               production, distribution and delivery                                         of distance learning course modules                                           dealing with the management of                                                technology in a European environment.        EUROHOT - Design,       IRL        The objective of this project is to        development,                       economically deliver, through              evaluation and                     self-extension, an open, flexible          dissemination of an                multimedia scheme of advanced technical    open, flexible,                    training for the European highway          distance learning                  construction and maintenance industry.     scheme of advanced                                                            technical training for                                                        the European highway                                                          construction and                                                              maintenance industry                                                            EMOT - European         UK         This project is concerned with the         masters programme in               development, marketing and                 management of                      dissemination of post-graduate distance    technology                         learning modules in technology.  The                                          modules are part of a masters degree                                          for students, managers and qualified                                          trainers.                                    COSTEL - Course System  DK         The aim of this project is to develop      for Telecommunication              and market a course system for training    training and                       of trainers and computer supported         innovation management              cooperative work with on-line support,                                        concerning the use of computer and                                            telecommunication based solutions for                                         training.                                    EUROMOTOR - Training    UK         To improve the knowledge base of the       modules - Innovation               European motor industry, this project      in motor vehicle                   will develop high level collaborative      design and manufacture             training programmes, using modules and                                        multimedia techniques, in motor vehicle                                       design and manufacture.                      EUROCHEMOMETRICS        B          This project concerns industry-oriented    Chemometrics and                   training and transfer of knowledge of      qualimetrics for the               chemometrics and qualimetrics              chemical,                          techniques, using introduction and         pharmaceutical and                 integration courses and distance           agroalimentary                     learning and multimedia techniques.        industry                                                                        ECATA - European        F          This project is concerned with the         Consortium in Advanced             creation of a structure for advanced       Training for                       education for engineers, to improve        Aeronautics                        cooperation and training abilities and                                        formation skills in management and                                            technical integration in aerospace                                            programmes.                                  PALIO - European        I          By using open learning techniques, the     standard qualification             PALIO project will implement training      in the design,                     actions for professionals involved in      delivery, marketing                the design, management and evaluation      and evaluation of                  of open and distance learning schemes      multimedia open                    and support systems.                       learning                                                                          

Other products (computer-assisted language learning products) were developed within the framework of the LINGUA programme (Community Action Programme to promote foreign language competence in the European Community) between 1991-1996.

ANNEX 7: REPORT FROM HEARINGS WITH USERS AND PRODUCERS

Elements of Diagnosis and recommendations following the

hearings with users and providers

(April 25th - May 11th - June 15th & 16th, 1995)

Three hearings (April 25th, May 11th and June 15th-16th) gathering about 50 representatives coming from users and providers organizations, supplemented with different reviews conducted within the Task Force, have produced preliminary outcomes that give elements for a diagnosis of the current situation and enable to suggest recommendations for future initiatives.

Participants
1. Elements of diagnosis

1.1. Needs, uses and their evolution

Education and training are social and political priorities. Vocational and continuing professional training are tools to fight against unemployment and to improve industrial competitiveness and enterprises performance. Diffusion of information technology requires more trained people. But information technology is above all a means to reach more people with education and training services accessible through one's life and to create new chances for the citizens.

Benefits expected from multimedia educational software must be related to the basic objectives of education and training: personal development, preparation for the world of work, adaptation to change, social and professional promotion. These benefits are fully coherent with major on-going evolution in pedagogical methods, moving from teaching-centred to learning-centred; indeed, most of the benefits from the software can only be achieved by such a shift in methods. For the enterprises, continuing training is essential to accompanying working environment changes due to the emergence of new industrial and technological challenges.

To be effective, re-engineering of educational and training systems should not lead to substitution of the teacher by computer-based learning but to a better integration of interactive multimedia resources as additional tools in pedagogical systems centred on human interactions.

For teachers, trainers and tutors, the objective is not only to become "computer-literate" but to exploit efficiently the technology by putting it at the service of pedagogy which is centred on an active than passive learning process. This will imply that products (titles and tools) should emerge that can be customised and integrated in the learning environment, so that educational content could be added and modified according to learning needs and context.

Statement 1.


Good educational software may be beneficial to the education and training system as far as it fits with a diversity of pedagogical, psychological and organisational requirements. So far, there are several blockages to its use. These include: the lack of infrastructures; insufficient training of software designers in pedagogy; the lack of teacher-training and trainer-training; the lack of a critical mass of good and relevant products; insufficient hardware and software available for enabling material to be integrated properly with conventional learning methods; lack of information and evaluation data for users on products which are available.


Statement 2.


In future Education and Training institutions, multimedia educational software will only be a component of complex education and training services environments in which human resources (the traditionnal face to face as well as remote expertise) and media resources (including paper and various electronic means) as well as physical materials and equipment will be combined This supposes that teachers, trainers and tutors are trained to manage such hybrid systems.


1.2. Market segments

The main characteristic of the European market of multimedia educational software is its extreme segmentation. The market is perceived as a niche market. However, three main segments of market are to be considered.

The market should also be perceived as a continuum and in many cases the same product could address different market segments.

Demand on the domestic market comes mostly to "edutainment" titles, reference products like encyclopaedias, general culture products and discovery games for children between 5 and 8.

From an economic point of view, the institutional education segment is perceived as more complex than home market, mostly because it is widely under the control of National public authorities and because the level of pedagogical requirement is high. Main sub-segments to be considered are primary, secondary, tertiary (University and higher education institutions) levels and vocational training.

Institutional clients on the professional training market are very numerous and diverse, ranging from private and public training organisations to internal training departments in enterprises and administrations. Needs are highly segmented. Office automation, language learning and general management skills, are the major domains where off-the-shelf products can be proposed. Only large enterprises are able to pay for the development of tailor-made products like simulations of industrial process. Sometimes, companies in the same professional sector (banking, chemistry, etc) or Universities cooperate for the production of common interest training materials, more often on a non-commercial basis.

Statement 3.


The families market segment is perceived as dynamic and promising today and in the near future for multimedia educational software. However, if the potential of this market is to be sufficiently realised, designers of software will have to take into account the wide variety of psychological profiles and styles amongst possible users of multimedia products, and offer a suitable range of learning paths to match this variety.


Statement 4.


Major obstacles for the development of institutional Education market segment are: equipment of establishments; lack of products adapted to the curriculum and with the potential for integration into conventional learning scenarios; insufficient information and training of teachers and trainers; linguistic and curriculum differences between countries.


Statement 5.


Tailor-made production for large enterprises represents a significant part of the professional training market. It appears that much of this production is not afterwards made available on the open market, although a certain amount is later adapted for sale to other users. For producers, SMEs constitute a potential market for off-the-shelf production. The service element involved in software design, adaptation, application and follow-up for individual companies is an aspect which should not be overlooked.

1.3. Off-line and on-line products and services on the market

The education and training market is basically a market of service where pedagogical resources like multimedia educational software are embedded. Off-line delivery platforms such as CD-ROM (for PC and Apple) and CD-I, are traditionally used for the delivery of high-end multimedia products. The new emerging channel of on-line delivery (Internet, CompuServe, EuropeOnLine, etc) receives increasing attention. On-line delivery allows cross-border distribution of interactive products and communication within learning communities like virtual classrooms. Thanks to on-line delivery, real-time developed products would challenge more traditional "pre-prepared" ones.

Products and services offered on the market show a great variety of uses of technology, covering a wide spectrum from low-end to high-end products.

The integration process of adaptable and integratable products into the existing learning environment requires accompanying services (teachers training and information, products demonstration and design, learners support) that could be delivered through on-line systems.

Present performance of existing telecommunication infrastructure and size of the market does not allow the on-line delivery of fully interactive applications including video at an acceptable price for households, that is not more than 10 to 20 ECU per month. Broadband networks will first be meaningful for teachers and students in higher education. This situation will evolve rapidly in parallel with infrastructure, technology (data compression), deregulation progress and market size.

Statement 6.


It has been argued that present and future demand for off-line products will be of high-end products. It is possible, however, that the situation may prove to be more complex, and that a demand will develop for a mix of products (off-line multimedia, supporting documentation, and workbooks, on-line access to certain materials through electronic networks etc.). In this respect, these different types of product may be seen more as complementary than as competitive.


1.4. European Providers and Distribution Channels

Producers of multimedia educational software come from four professional areas, informaticspublishingaudio-visual and education/training. A large combination of professional competencies, cultural and professional orientations (book publishing, pedagogy, audiovisual, information technology) is present. On the European market, numerous SMEs, newly created, highly specialised, active and creative, co-exist and compete with large multimedia enterprises coming from publishing, communication or information technology industry.

A part of the existing multimedia educational software production never arises on the market. Many teachers and trainers use to develop learning materials to be used in local context. Large enterprises or institutions like Universities could operate as producers as they do not find on the open market products fitting with their very specific internal training needs. In some cases, the custom-made products can find a second way of diffusion on the market as on-the-shelf products.

Distribution channels for multimedia educational software are generally based on existing distribution channels of close products types: software package, books, videos, games. These channels are well developed on certain segments and weak on others. Multimedia needs special points of sale where products can be evaluated and demonstrated.

Statement 7.


European large media companies (publishers, TV), general purpose multimedia and platform providers are major players in this market.


Statement 8.


Small specialised providers are numerous and innovative. They are in a good but risky position for tackling with local market needs, anticipating technological evolution, identifying and exploiting the creativity of innovative designers. It has been argued that they need private and public supports to limit their risk and avoid being "pushed aside" by large entrants.


Statement 9.


Large users organizations, schools as well as enterprises, often consider that their training needs are better satisfied with tailor-made products than with off-the-shelf products. This originates an important part of the production that does not arise on the open market.


Statement 10.


Distribution channels giving access to the global European market are not easily accessible to SMEs multimedia providers. On-line delivery, where this is possible, and transnational cooperation (ie Nordic countries) with the support of public authorities represent efficient solutions to overcome these barriers.


1.5. Europe facing the International Competition

In all sectors, today markets are becoming increasingly global. This is especially true where distribution is possible across data networks.

The US market is more than 5 times the European market. In US, schools and households markets segments are equivalent. The US offer is not monopolistic:Microsoft which benefits from well established distribution mechanisms for generic products all over the world, stands at the second rank (behind Learning Company) in a group of 6 producers representing only 50% of the whole US domestic market.

US providers use to put considerable efforts on translation, localisation and adaptation of their products by comparison to European providers.

The Japanese market is smaller. Neither the internal demand nor the Japanese contents industry are strong enough to provide strong competition with US and European producers on their internal markets.

In US as well as in Japan, governments are preparing to launch large campaigns of equipment with multimedia platforms and Internet connection in most of the primary and secondary schools (Networks for Goals 2000 Reform in US, September 1994 - Monbusho equipment plan for 1994-1999 in Japan). No comparable plan is under preparation in Europe.

Statement 11.


Some of the major US software providers are already in a good position on the European domestic market as providers and distributors of standardised reference and cultural products like encyclopaedia and entertainment. There is no comparable competition coming from the Japanese industry.


Statement 12.


Voluntarist public policies to support multimedia equipment, network connection and accompanying measures on software development and training for software designers (pedagogical) and for teachers are positive factors to boost the internal markets and as a consequence to strengthen the providers on international competition.


1.6. Public Policies in Members States and Europe

The role of public policy in the development of the institutional Education market segment is decisive. Each country of the Union has its own policy plans for hardware and software equipment, training of teachers, support to diffusion, research. Such plans are elaborated at the National or Regional levels.

Some examples of National and European initiatives can be given.

In 1994 and 1995, the UK government through the National Council for Educational Technology spent 13M£ to equip 5 000 schools in England (for a total of 18 800 schools) with one PC-Multimedia station bundled with a set of 12 CD-ROMs suitable with the National Curriculum selected after evaluation of 500 titles.

Nordic countries have been developing for several years coordinated measures for supporting teachers and trainers to design pedagogical interactive materials: summer training sessions, support to development, publishing and distribution.

France has set up in 1988 an efficient system of "mix licences" allowing secondary schools to acquire commercial products at a very low unit price.

Most often, the National research policy is taken in charge by one or several public Research institutes and University laboratories. There is no coordination neither at the National level between those institutions nor at the European level between National research policies.

Several Research and Development Programmes address the domain of learning technology, like TELEMATICS APPLICATIONS. Other Education and Training Programmes support projects in the same domain, like ERASMUS, LEONARDO DA VINCI or SOCRATES.

Statement 13.


There is a wealth of local and regional initiatives in most of the European countries to support the development of multimedia educational software.

While US and Japan are launching bold global policies, similar efforts in Europe tend to be dispersed and generally not concerted.


2. Outline of recommendations stemming from the hearings
Recommendations for Research Policies both National and European

Encompass technical development in research but put priority, no more on the development of technological tools but on the development and the validation of experimental services to providers and users of multimedia products and tele-communication services.

Specify, develop and validate cooperative working tools and methods for co-production, co-publishing, and more generally, cooperative production in multi-cultural and multi-linguistic environment, involving both providers and users organisations and integrating reference to quality standards.

Support research on issues related with contents elaboration in production, cognitive and didactic issues in use like the suitability of multimedia resources in relation with pedagogical objectives.

Enlarge the scope of research, development and demonstration activities, based on the continuity of Education and Training that includes vocational and technical education, tertiary education and on-the-job training towards individual home-learners, primary and secondary education, training of teachers and trainers, multimedia designers and non-formal learning services.

Study through socio-economic research the influence of multi-linguistic and multi-cultural environment on the use of educational multimedia software as well as the relation between cultural identities and pedagogical methods in order to exploit the benefits arising from the European cultural diversity and transform it in a competitive advantage.

Means to certify quality should be provided in collaboration with local experts. Quality must be pursued at different levels: content quality, product quality in the pedagogigal, ergonomic and technological forms, process quality in the form of Quality Systems and Standards (e.g.: ISO 9000).

Recommendations for Education and Training Policies both National and European

Foster the exchange of experience among teachers and trainers at Regional, National, and European level, to support the integration of software into the full range of resources used by teachers and trainers in their learning environment.

Improve the information of teachers and trainers about available products in Europe (up-dated selection of products, pedagogical analysis and elements for evaluation), examples of good practices and collection of success stories, made available to individual teachers and trainers through on-line and off-line information delivery systems.

Develop the exchange of information and experiences of multimedia projects which involve pupils, teachers and trainers in the design of software.

Improve the culture of potential creators (publishers, teachers, trainers, pupils) in the field of "designware".

Organize in a more systematic way evaluation workshops in the context of which the best software products will be demonstrated and discussed at European level. Train the teachers and the trainers with this prospect.

Improve the understanding of how the best uses of software according to the different profiles of pupils, to different pedagogical styles including disciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches, to different curricula and testing regimes, and to different educational contexts.

Train the teachers and the trainers with this in mind (exchange of experiences in the use of multimedia materials, of the general lessons learned, product demonstrations in realistic contexts).

Encourage translation (linguistic and cultural) and systematic diffusion - possibly free of copyright - of software which have already been used successfully in some of the member States.

Stimulate the development of products in potential market segments which are not developed, such as special needs, minority languages, languages of the countries of extra-Community migrants.

Encourage the creation of national or regional libraries setting repositories of educational and training software. Setting up a network of these libraries at European level, in order to develop common formats for inventories of existing resources, basis of comparison for the evaluation of software and on-line access to the available information (in a longer term, access to software demonstrations or downloading of the products themselves).

Recommendations for other sectorial Policies (information, culture, media, finance, intellectual property right)

Put emphasis on the support to pedagogical training for multimedia creators and designers, on training in new techniques, on a better coordination among training organizations from the audiovisual and multimedia sectors in Europe and on a better connection with Education and Training organizations and research centres.

Encourage programmes dealing with information, culture and media to tackle with technical and legal issues that would facilitate the access to multimedia information sources and the acquisition of rights by educational multimedia sofwtare producers, according with current intellectual property right (IPR) legislation.

Encourage and strengthen the cooperation between Education and Training institutions (schools, distance education institutions, training centres) on the one hand and TV producers and broadcasters like the European TV channels for knowledge on the other hand.

Support joint investment fund in the domain of multimedia educational software by encouraging the networking of capital-venture companies with providers and byencouraging the setting up a European guarantee fund.

Recommendation for coordination and cooperation between European Programmes and market players

Set up a European Observatory of National and International activities in the sector of educational multimedia about public policies, practices in education and training organizations, technological development. This could be achieved through a special emphasis put by the Telematics Watch activity of the TELEMATICS APPLICATIONS Programme on educational multimedia.

Support the creation of a European network of National organizations gathering users representatives like Chambers of Commerce or specialized services in Ministries, and producers representatives like professional syndicates, devoted to the development and improvement of multimedia educational software and to the promotion of its use.

Ensure strong cooperation between all Research and non-Research European Programmes dealing with multimedia educational software and on-line services related with their use:

Provide market players with a clear work-programme and a user-friendly interface with the Commission services. Provide the possibility for joint calls involving R&D as well as non R&D Programmes and, even better, allow for the possibility of spontaneous proposals submitted at any time.

Encourage the cooperation between private publishers and software designers on the one hand, and Education, Training and Research organizations on the other hand, in order to facilitate the acquisition of products through European pools of educational software and to support the adaptation of multimedia educational software in different cultural and educational contexts, both at the production and utilisation level.

Encourage Education and Training Programmes to exploit and disseminate results coming from research and validation projects, namely by promoting production and dissemination of guidelines and catalogues of efficient practices.

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