multimedia by adriancestaro


									                                 Multimedia in Education
     Executive Summary: There is substantial research supporting the effectiveness of information
   technology-assisted project-based learning (IT-assisted PBL). When IT-assisted PBL is used in a
  constructivist, cooperative learning environment, students learn more and retain their knowledge
better. Moreover, students learn the content area being studied, how to design and carry out a project,
   and uses of IT. Because this approach to teaching and learning is significantly different from the
"stand and deliver" didactic approach used by many teachers, it tends to require a significant amount
                     of professional development for its effective implementation.

 As computer technology becomes more accessible, we increasingly encounter products classified as
 multimedia documents. These documents are used in electronic format and can include text, sound,
   graphics, animation, video, color, and interaction with the user. Some authors reserve the term
    multimedia for electronic documents that have an intrinsic linear design (e.g., PowerPoint or
   ClarisWorks slide shows) and use the term hypermedia to refer to documents that incorporate a
 planned non-linear organization (e.g., Digital Chisel, HyperStudio, or MicroWorlds projects). Most
   authors (and this document) make no distinction between the terms hypermedia and multimedia.

   Multimedia documents provide a means of communicating and storing information. Since such
documents are used in electronic format only, many variations in viewing result as each user controls
  the order and manner of interacting with each element in the document. In addition, multimedia
  documents can also be designed to receive information from the reader and process it to provide
individualized responses. This interactivity adds a new dimension to the reading/writing process and
                               the capabilities of reading and writing.

Standards Promote Multimedia Use in Education

Swan (1999) analyzes a number of sets of national standards in various disciplines. Her article contains
a summary of the IT-related standards from a language perspective. She emphasizes that non-print
literacy is a common component of many sets of national standards.

The ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) profiles describe expectations of
students completing various grade levels (International Society for Technology in Education). Here are
a few multimedia examples:

(PreK-2). Use developmentally appropriate multimedia resources (e.g., interactive books, educational
software, elementary multimedia encyclopedias) to support learning.

(PreK-2). Create developmentally appropriate multimedia products with support from teachers, family
members, or student partners.

(Grades 3-5). Use technology tools (e.g., multimedia authoring, presentation, Web tools, digital
cameras, scanners) for individual and collaborative writing, communication, and publishing activities
to create knowledge products for audiences inside and outside the classroom.

(Grades 6-8). Design, develop, publish, and present products (e.g., Web pages, videotapes) using
technology resources that demonstrate and communicate curriculum concepts to audiences inside and
outside the classroom.

In summary, the ISTE NETS call for students to learn to read and write multimedia. Other standards
include similar expectations (McREL). Often the standards call for students to develop substantial
multimedia skills by the time they finish the eighth grade, and that they routinely use and extend these
skills while in high school.
Developing Multimedia Documents

A report from the U.S. Department of Education (1999) contains several white papers focussing
specifically on multimedia. In general, these papers indicate that the research reports support of the use
of multimedia in IT-assisted Project Based Learning (PBL). In such PBL, the content and assessment
tend to be authentic, and students learn both the subject area being studied and also how to create
multimedia documents. However, the research points out that there tends to be a steep learning curve
for teachers, so that professional development is very helpful. Moreover, initial use of multimedia in
IT-assisted PBL tends to over emphasize IT and under emphasize the underlying subject areas being
studied. This appears to be a standard transition that teachers and their students go through as they
learn to use multimedia.

Creating multimedia documents is a rewarding, but complex and challenging task. The Center for
Highly Interactive Computing in Education [] provides some excellent
examples of interactive, multimedia documents designed to be used by students and teachers.

Giving students an opportunity to produce documents of their own provides several educational

        Students that experience the technical steps needed to produce effective multimedia
     documents become better consumers of multimedia documents produced by others.
        Students indicate they learn the material included in their presentation at a much greater depth
     than in traditional writing projects.
        Students work with the same information from four perspectives: 1) as researcher, they must
     locate and select the information needed to understand the chosen topic; 2) as authors, they must
     consider their intended audience and decide what amount of information is needed to give their
     readers an understanding of the topic; 3) as designers, they must select the appropriate media to
     share the concepts selected; and 4) as writers, they must find a way to fit the information to the
     container including the manner of linking the information for others to retrieve (Smith, 1993). All
     of these contribute to student learning and help to explain the improved student learning that is
     often associated with IT-assisted PBL.

There is another aspect to developing multimedia documents that empowers students. Students quickly
recognize that their electronic documents can be easily shared. Because of this, students place a greater
value on producing a product that is of high standard. An audience of one–the teacher–is less
demanding than an audience of many–particularly one’s peers. Students quickly recognize that
publishing a multimedia document that communicates effectively requires attention to both the content
and the design of the document.

Information Retrieval Using Multimedia

The Web can be thought of as a digital global multimedia library. With the steadily increasing
classroom use of multimedia resources, students are required to develop the skills needed to locate
information contained in this format. Classroom instructors and students alike must learn the search
skills previously considered the domain of library specialists.

Developing skills for locating and evaluating information found in multimedia documents requires the
consideration of how the technology handles information. It requires learning to distinguish good
multimedia (good content, good design) from poor multimedia materials. In addition, the ability to
conduct searches using Boolean logic is required for effective use of multimedia documents.

Students that experience the challenge of creating multimedia documents are better prepared to make
use of documents created by others. Through creating multimedia documents, students learn how to
link ideas and how to establish good ways to navigate documents visible only in small pieces. The
technical aspects of multimedia are no longer hidden to students. This combined knowledge and skills
help them evaluate and use multimedia documents effectively.

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