Monday, December 2, 2013

Intoduction to Multimedia

What is Multimedia?

There are many definitions of multimedia. Some of us can remember when multimedia meant using a slide-tape program, where a beep signified the display of the next 35mm slide (others might remember flannel boards or 8-track tapes). For this class, we will define multimedia as the integration of text, graphics, animations, sound and video.

Using this very broad definition of multimedia, multimedia in the classroom could include Power Point presentations that are created by the teacher, commercial software (such as multimedia encyclopedia) that is used for reference or instruction or activities that directly engage the students in using multimedia to construct and convey knowledge. For the purposes of this course, we will focus on the final category; engaging students in the use of multimedia to construct and convey knowledge. Examples of multimedia, then could include:
  • Students using concept-mapping software to brainstorm
  • Students using a spreadsheet or graphing calculator to record data and produce charts
  • A small group of students creating a digital movie to demonstrate a procedure
  • A class website that displays student artwork
  • Students scanning their hands and importing the images into PowerPoint for a presentation about fingerprints

Why use multimedia in classroom?

Multimedia activities encourage students to work in groups, express their knowledge in multiple ways, solve problems, revise their own work and construct knowledge. The advantages in the classroom are many. Through participation in multimedia activities, students can learn:
  • Real-world skills related to technology
  • The value of teamwork
  • Effective collaboration techniques
  • The impact and importance of different media
  • The challenges of communicating to different audiences
  • How to present information in compelling ways
  • Techniques for synthesizing and analyzing complex content
  • The importance of research, planning and organization skills
  • The significance of presentation and speaking skills
  • How to accept and provide constructive feedback
  • How to express their ideas creatively
There are however some constraints to use multimedia in the classroom, including:
  • Technological resources, both hardware and software
  • Technological skills, for both the students and teacher
  • Time required to plan, design, develop and evaluate multimedia activities

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