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A primary objective of NOVA Chautauqua was to introduce faculty to advanced data visualization technologies and computer animation tools to enhance learning in all areas of science at all educational levels. Toward that end, all NOVA Chautauqua participants were given instruction in the use of freely-available software applications that they or their students can use to create digital animations of virtually any Earth System process, or to create instructional or informational videos as supplements to traditional class instruction.

This software guide provides a brief overview of software used during NOVA Chautauqua and critical instructions for installing this software so that the animations on this CD-ROM can be viewed. Please take a few minutes to review the descriptions of these applications and install them on your own computer before proceeding to the NOVA Chautauqua Learning Modules. It is most critical that you install the DivX codec on your computer before attempting to view the accompanying animations.

Windows Movie Maker 2.0

Windows Movie Maker in a software application for creating digital movies that is included with the Windows XP operating system. Desktop and laptop computers running Windows XP should already have Windows Movie Maker installed. By using the "Search" tool from the Windows XP start menu, you should be able to locate the software on your hard drive - commonly, it is located in the Program Files directory on the "C" drive in a folder titled "Movie Maker". If you are unable to locate Windows Movie Maker on your computer, it is available as a free download from the Microsoft website (www.microsoft.com).

Movie Maker is a remarkable application that used drop-and-drag tecchnology to permit anyone to create digital movies from still images or other digital video clips. The software has a largely inuitive interface and includes many digital transition and image captioning effects to give videos a very advanced, professional appearance. NOVA Chautauqua participants were provided approximately one-hour of instruction to familiarize them with Windows Movie Maker, then encouraged to experiment for approximately two-hours to create their first animation. Among the most impressive "first products" illustrating the diversity of video and captioning effects available with Movie Maker was a digital video version of "America, the Beautiful". This video was created by Ms. Jean Dokers, an entering graduate student at the University of Arkansas' doctoral program in Education and Chautauqua participant. It should be noted that Ms. Dokers had no prior experience with the software or coding of digital video.

Windows Media Player 9.0

Windows Media Player is an application for playback of audio and video files that is also included with Microsoft Windows operating systems. Windows Media Player is also available as a free download from Microsoft and is compatible with Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows ME, and Windows XP. Most desktop and laptop computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems already have Windows Media Player installed. However, best results for viewing videos on this CD-ROM will be obtained using the most current version of Windows Media Player. You can check for available updates by starting Media Player software, then selecting "Check for Updates" from the "Help" option on the menu bar.

DivX 5.0.5 Codec
DivX 5.0.5 Codec is a digital video decoder that must be installed on your computer for the video clips included on this CD-ROM to be viewed. The codec is a small application that permits Windows Media Player to decode compressed video for display through the Media Player interface. The DivX codec is available as a free download from www.divx.com. The codec is downloaded as a self-extracting archive and can be installed on your computer simply by double clicking your mouse on the file icon, then following the installation instructions on screen. It may be necessary to restart your computer once the codec is installed.

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