Why should you use multimedia in the classroom?
Multimedia has permeated every part of our society. As the 21st century progresses further, it will be even more important that students understand multimedia and transition from passive consumers to active, thinking users. As a teacher, you have the opportunity to engage your students like never before. Through interactive games, video clips, and podcasts, you can help meet the needs of your students.
So what are some reasons for using multimedia resources in the classroom? If you have any ideas, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to add to the list in the comments section.
Mobility: We are a world on the go. Cell phones, iPads, and laptops are in the hands of the vast majority of adults and are increasingly in the hands of most students. It’s becoming apparent that these devices are quickly becoming the primary means by which we communicate. In fact, for cell phones, most of the communication among students happens not with the actual phone but rather with text messaging. Learning can happen anytime and anywhere with these devices. For homework, rather than having your students complete a worksheet, have them watch a video revolving around a specific lesson and come prepared to discuss it the next day in class.
Individualized: Multimedia resources can help you meet the needs of your students. Your visual learners may learn best with a short video, while your auditory learners may prefer an audio clip or podcast, and your bodily-kinesthetic learner may succeed with an online interactive. In each case, the same topic could be covered, but each student would work with his or her strengths to maximize learning.
Collaborative: Blogs, social networking sites, and wikis allow students to interact with and teach each other, not only within their own school but with learners across the country and the world, as well. On top of that, sites like Twitter can be an invaluable professional development tool. Follow other teachers and experts to gain insights into the latest trends, lesson plans, and ways to integrate technology into your curriculum.
Flexibility: Back in the day, you were married to your textbook, and if there was something you thought would help elaborate a specific concept or lesson, it could be extremely difficult to find a way to implement it into your class. Today, the world is at your fingertips: you can have your students research online; bring experts into your classroom with podcasts or ICN sessions; display interactive models; find apps relevant to your lesson on a smart phone; and have your students design something that is real and meaningful.
Global: Making schools globally competitive was a theme that was explored in great detail at the Iowa Education Summit this past July. By connecting your students to a global community, they can learn about new cultures and countries in authentic ways. Additionally, multimedia will help broaden your students’ view of the world, preparing them to interact with a broader community in an increasingly collaborative global market.
How and why do you use multimedia in your classroom?