Posts Tagged ‘digital resources’

5 Ways to Super-Charge Your Teaching with Multimedia
January 5, 2011

We now know that people learn better from words and pictures than from words alone. Yet much of what students interact with in school continues to be mostly text-based. How can a teacher enhance and augment these learning resources most effectively and efficiently, using the rich multimedia now available? There are many ways, but here are 5 ideas you might want to consider:

1. Assess Background Knowledge :
If you are beginning a lesson, you might want to first conduct a K-W-L activity to gauge your learners’ prior knowledge. Do this with a collaborative word processing tool, such as Google Docs. Set up a K-W-L outline, share it with your students, and have them fill out their own information. Or, if you want the information to be anonymous, set up a form in Google Docs, having students submit their information. This will populate a spreadsheet you can quickly review and spot gaps in background knowledge.

2. Set the Stage: To set the stage for learning and to fill in gaps of background knowledge you could jump start your instruction by selecting and presenting various representative multimedia. You can easily search for engaging images, video, interactive activities, animations and documents in the GGfL Library and create a quick and effective presentation. You might want to insert the images/videos on your class website or learning management system, for students to review after a live presentation.

3. Facilitate Student Collaboration/Brainstorming/Analysis: As with most decisions concerning planning for lessons, the learning objectives are one of your first considerations. If you want your students to identify characters in a novel, spot patterns, organize and define concepts, compare ideas, brainstorm, and/or identify relationships, you might want them to contribute to an online concept map, such as

Collaborative tools such as this offer quick and easy ways to get students engaged in a group, encourage conversation, and create relevant, meaningful artefacts. Most importantly, student can create, view, and analyze a visual representation through a collaborative, online medium.

4. Enable Student-Authored Multimedia: Multimedia can provide boundless ways to enhance learning. One of the easiest ways to help your students get started is to have them set up their own blog. It takes just a few minutes and can provide them with an authentic space to write and compile artefacts of learning throughout the year. One of the easiest blogging platforms to start with is Blogger.

How about having your students do a 3 minute response to a picture or video and post that to their blog? Students could create their own multimedia interpretation of a topic, an audio-enhanced presentation, a slide-show using any number of image-sharing tools, or undertake a semester-long project writing a blog from transcripts of letters, primary research, or other information about a person: WWI: Experiences of an English Soldier. (This blog has subsequently been published as a book!)

Students could document and share learning through recording their own videos. Just about any multimedia can easily be embedded on their blog, too. Get a couple of inexpensive video cameras, hand them out, and prepare to be amazed at what your students can create.

5. Engage through Social Interaction/Community:
You can encourage students to participate in active live and back-channel discussions having students view content alone or with a small group, adding a Shoutbox widget to your webpage. Or, have them comment through Twitter, having them use the same hashtags to identify their comments and questions. You can review these comments either as they come in or later, assessing their understanding and the complexity of their questions.

You might also consider setting up a private Facebook group for your class. Facebook provides easy ways to message, share updates, images, and even record directly to the space from your browser.

How about student reviews of movies, books, and other media? This can easily be accomplished through various websites that offer ways to review products and media. One excellent tool, Good Reads, offers a way for students to record the books they want to read, are currently reading, and have read. They can review the books and embed a Good Reads badge on their website, to share their reading experiences with others.

And don’t forget RSS readers, such as Google Reader. These tools can help students research, collect, and more easily analyze resources through viewing content in one space. Spend some time with your students explaining what RSS is, how it can be useful, and how to set up a Google Reader account and subscribe to feeds.

These are just a few of many, many ways you can use multimedia to enhance learning in your classroom.

What are your thoughts and experiences? In what ways are you using multimedia in your classroom? Please post your comments below and thanks for reading.