Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Multimedia SIG Proposal

To promote the effective use of multimedia resources in learning environments, it is our belief that multimedia can support three modalities of learning: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual because multimedia learning can be based on visual observation of what is being learned. Auditory because multimedia integrated learning is often based on listening to information. Kinesthetic because in some settings multimedia can be an excellent way to guide learners through hands-on activities, projects, and tasks.

Supporting modalities of learning is important, but without responsible implementations of multimedia in learning environments the resources may be more effectively used in other areas. Plans for implementation must be conceived with an understanding of all the impacts of the use of these technologies.

Our SIG is focused on using multimedia technology to improve student learning.  More specifically we want to focus on using short videos, “snippets” to either introduce, explain, inform, or illustrate key concepts we are trying to communicate to our students.  These short videos could either be found or created.

In particular, we will have a focus in each of the four common places in education: the teacher, the student, the subject matter, and the context. The focus for the teacher will be to provide multimedia resources to then allow learning in self-paced, divided groups.The multimedia resources will allow for a multi-sensory experience, that would not be possible through other means. The focus for the student would be to have differentiated learning, so that the learner is acquiring knowledge at an appropriate pace. The subject matter focus will be for lessons that can present complex principals in a step-by-step system. This will also include curricular bodily kinesthetic based experiences supported by the multimedia lessons. The focus for the context is practical applications of multimedia in the classroom to actively engage students and promote multi-sensory learning.

The teachers in our group work at the middle school level  and the community college level.   We chose to pursue the topic of using  multimedia to improve student learning because we feel we have seen the effectiveness of this method in our own work experiences. The use of multimedia to improve student achievement agrees with constructivist theory.  The idea that multimedia is a useful way for students to construct knowledge and meaning for themselves as they learn is explained in the article, Multimedia in Education by Abhaya Asthana.  
Since the mode of learning is interactive and not linear, a student or teacher can choose what to investigate next. For example, one does not start on the first page of a linear document and read to the end. Interactive multimedia learning mode is more like constructing a spider’s web, with one idea linked to another, allowing choices in the learner’s path.

Our group members also share the belief that project based learning  is a very effective and engaging instructional approach.  Using videos or other multimedia presentations throughout project based lessons improves student engagement overall. This approach helps students make real-world connections, adds richness and meaning by showing as well as telling, clarifies difficult concepts, can show changes over time and add clarity through multiple-views.

The major categories of resources we plan to gather and/or create for our Multimedia Special Interest Group include: related lesson plans, online articles,and professional organizations focused on this topic.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Traditional web pages and Blog posts

The traditional web page is a destination on the internet that has information on it. It usually contains links to related sites. Its usually created and left alone. There are up dates made to them, but infrequently. They're read from the top down, and the most frequent material is usually at the bottom. A Blog is easy to construct, has links to different sites of interest. Blogs are compiled thoughts and notes that someone has, or is interested in. The orientation of information in reversed compared to the Traditional web page, with the most resent information or (post) at the top, and the oldest information at the bottom.