Thursday, February 3, 2011

Multimedia in Education

In reading the Roblyer text, I was immediately drawn to the idea of interactive storybooks for students. As a Language Arts teacher, I know that students do not read enough. Putting text online with fun graphics is a great way to encourage them to read more and interact with the text. When students are using books checked out from the school library, I often understand their frustration about reading. They can't do anything with the text because they don't own it. We all know as adults that it greatly helps when you can write on, highlight, write down questions, etc. as you read. These interactive stories would allow students to have a similar experience in a format they are familiar with.

This tool would benefit student learning because it would encourage them to go beyond just reading words. Engagement levels would increase, therefore allowing you to challenge the student to work with higher level thinking questions. They would also allow students to visualize the story based on the graphics which can lead to increased understanding.

On the downside, some of the stories come with games that do not always appear to be of educational value. Students may get distracted with the games and fun pictures and not really work through the elements of the story such as plot and character development. Another concern is the effect on student's eyes. At the middle school level, many students experience vision problems. Perhaps having them in front of a computer screen is not beneficial to them, especially when taking into account how much time they may spend on a computer at home.

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