Monday, December 2, 2013

Multimedia: A Technique in Teaching Process in the Classrooms

The population of student learning English as a foreign language has been steadily increasing from year to year. To succeed in college, these students must develop not only linguistics, but also academic skills. These skills involve using English to acquire and articulate knowledge by reading academic texts, writing acceptable academic prose, conducting and reporting research. In Indonesia, English is taught in schools since the students go to Junior high schools. However, many of them do not know how to speak and write English for some reasons. Some people from educational field said that the curriculum need to be changed, including the purpose of teaching them English, the textbook, and the methods. To meet the students’ academic needs and help them develop strong English language skills, there are a number of ways need to be applied. One of the techniques to improving the students is using multimedia in the process of teaching and learning in the classrooms. Multimedia use in classroom will provide opportunity for interacting with diverse texts that give students a solid background in the tasks and content of mainstream college courses. Furthermore, because educational technology is expected to become an integral part of the curriculum, EFL students must become proficient in accessing and using electronic resources. This article describes the method that could help the students to develop their skills in English through multimedia: print text, film, video, radio, computer, and Internet. As students, they must be dealt with the subject found in resource material; also they are able to choose the resources that best suitable the points they wish to make. However, the courses are not included research skills, making research reports to challenging their English language skills.
Multimedia Classroom
The time it takes to earn the degree in education today is based on an increasingly outdated model: so many hours in a classroom entitle a student to a receipt in the form of a grade, and so many receipts can be redeemed for a credential in the form of a degree… Education today is just beginning to think of shifting the basis of certification from time served to skills and knowledge obtained.
Traditionally classroom situation is teachers stand in front of the students, giving explanations, informing, and instructing. They usually use chalk to write something on the blackboard. These technique needs slightly to be modified regarding with the development of the technology. The using of multimedia in classroom cannot be denied anymore. That will make possible for teachers giving more opportunity to students being happier and more enjoy during the course. Traditional classrooms have different settings from the multimedia classrooms. Students seat in rows and a chalkboard in the front. The teacher is standing in front of the class giving a lecture. Compared with traditional classrooms, multimedia classrooms setting differ greatly from traditional classrooms. Traditional classrooms have the seats in rows and a chalkboard in the front. In the multimedia classrooms, students’ seat can be modified according to the situation needed. Inside the classrooms, all the equipment is available and makes the students feel comfortable to study. They sit at wide tables in comfortable chairs and have plenty of room to spread work. Furthermore, they also have the opportunity to move the furniture around for group discussions. A large teaching station is located at the front and to one side of the room. Inside the station cabinet there are controls for the rooms built – in equipment. The use of multimedia described here makes use of print texts, film and Internet to develop and enhance linguistics and knowledge. Through their interactions with multimedia texts on topic of interest, students become increasingly familiar with academic vocabulary and language structures. As they pursue sustained study of one content area through focus discipline research, the students become actively engaged in the process of meaning construction within and across different media. Working though the complex intermingling of meanings, embedded within different texts encourages students to make connections as they build a wider range of schemata, which are then available to help them grasp future texts. Using print, film and Internet as resources for studying provides students with opportunities to gather information through stimuli that will stimulate their imaginations, engage their interest and introduce them to the raw materials for analysis and interpretation of both language and context. Students develop solid foundation in several subject areas and become “content experts” in one. Thus they greatly increase their overall knowledge base, as well as their English language and critical literacy skills, facilitating their performance in future college courses. Although various studies support the application of multimedia in the classroom, Liu, Jones and Hem street (1998) point out that the design of multimedia is useful when technology is to have any effect on learning. One of the main purposes of software in writing is to facilitate the development of academic writing skills for students through the use of the objects matter for writing assignments. The program is presented as a simulation game to interest and motivation. Students using the program found themselves in the virtual world of education.
The Computer Internet
Computer technology has given us Internet, which has various uses. Dealing with education, Internet presents the students a wide range of collection of English language texts in many discipline departments. Before the general use of computers in colleges and universities to teach writing, students met in a traditional classroom and were taught to write standard essay. Instruction was personified commonly by the teachers standing behind a lectern or by the teacher marking errors on student texts (Blair, 1997). With the rapid proliferation of the personal computer, many institutions of higher education created “computerized writing courses” emphasizing word processing skills and collaborative critiquing; believing that using the technology “democratizes the classroom discussion, allowing students to transcend the limits of the traditional Computer technology has given us Internet, which is an electronic medium in which both print and visual resources are invariably bound. At the click of a
mouse, text resources present students with a diverse collection of authentic English language texts dealing with a wide variety of interdisciplinary topics, and at each web page link, students have the advantage of reading print texts with the benefit of immediate visual reinforcement provided by pictures and slide shows, facilitating the collaborative effects of print and visual information processing. Integrating the Internet yields the additional benefit of increased student motivation. Students are eager to begin class and often arrive early at the computer lab, logging on to the Internet and beginning research on their own. They also often stay after class to continue working on the Internet. Overall, students develop greater confidence in their ability to use English because they need to interact with the Internet entirely through reading and writing. Using the Internet for focus discipline research not only teaches higher order thinking skills, but also promotes critical and social literacy as students encounter a variety of information, synthesizing that information through cooperation and collaboration with their peers. Members of focus discipline groups generally form strong multicultural friendship fostered by their collaborative efforts throughout the semester. However, the general uses of computers are rarely found in traditional classroom. For instance, students attend the regular classes that were taught to write the standard essay. With the technology use, the students do not only literate the ability to read and write but also to be able to understand music, video, hypertext and networked communications. Whitaker (1995) points out clearly that technology as something to expand human potential rather than substitute for it and which enhances the thought process rather than cripples it.
The Print Text
The Print text used in presenting students with sophisticated reading that contains cognitively demanding language and introduces a wide range of vocabulary. However, these texts may be difficult to understand. This is suggested to present in printed and visual text. By reading print texts will the benefit of immediate visual provided by pictures or slide show. In writing class of using multimedia, students watch the selected video novel. After watching students are asked questions about the video and assigned essay topics, then divided into brainstorming groups. They discuss and develop the topics in their group. They then make rough draft before presenting in front of other groups. It is obviously that in the multimedia classroom students are engaged to learn how to brainstorm, how to use groups for draft and how to critique other presentations .However, to benefit from the Internet, the students have to learn to navigate and then evaluate the information found there. The students must know how to use search engines, web browsers, and met sites evaluate information in terms of its validity and reliability, as well as its relevance to the topic (Carlson, 1995). Therefore to guide the students in determining whether an Internet source is reliable and credible, students should consider the source and time frame, as well as the evidence supporting the information provided. As the students become more comfortable surfing the Internet, they discover it can be used to develop not only content area knowledge but also to improve their language skills. They know how to compose an essay, using information from the sources they have found in the Internet; also they learn how to cite references in a bibliography.
A study conducted by Kasper (1997) illustrate that teaching English using multimedia such as print, film, video, Internet to students encourage them to write a critical analysis on assignments. Overall, the students’ achievement increased significantly. 92 % of the students passed on departmental reading and writing examinations. In addition, their feedback on discussions is very positive. They express confidence in their ability to use English. They attribute this improvement to the multimedia model that the texts teach them English and provide helpful information in other courses and the film and Internet help them make material easier to understand because they see, hear, and read about the topic.
The Film
Film can be used to provide a visual material. The students can read a print text and watch the film later, according to Kasper and Singer (1997), the film can clarify comprehension, consolidate concepts and reinforce learning. It is expected to the students to fully understand both visual and verbal comprehension. By watching the complete film the students expected to understand various areas of academic discourse such as psychology, environmental science and others to broaden the verbal and written perspective (Kasper and Singer, 1997). A study case from Florida International University (1994), has examined a multimedia classroom, the students watching the video novels Tom Jones (the new six part A & E version) and The Scarlet Pimpernel (Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour). After viewing it, the class asked questions about the movie and assigned essay topics, to help them the teacher asked the students to brainstorm.
Through the interaction with multimedia, the students become increasingly familiar with academic vocabulary and language structure. Connecting with the Internet will make the benefit of increased student motivation. Students are eager to begin class and often arrive early at the computer lab, logging on the Internet and beginning research on their own. They also often stay after class to continue working on the Internet. Overall, students develop greater confidence in their ability to use English because they need to interact with the Internet through reading and writing. Using multimedia provides the students to gather information through media that encourages their imaginations, interests. Also it using this technology combined with the sense of teaching will create a successful teaching method.
In our imaginations, we enjoy and value all the benefits of education on-demand. We wish the future was here already because deep down inside, we all are lifelong learners. We just want learning to be easy, personalized. This vision is inviting, yet we must live and work in present time. And today, the reality stays apart from the dream. The challenge to educators is clear. We must also establish rigorous standards of quality in the products, services, and solutions we offer to our youth. We must learn how to prepare all of our students for lives that are becoming more and more complex. We must prepare our students to master change.
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