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A. What is Multimedia?
B. Why Use Multimedia in the Classroom.
C. Steps for Implementing Multimedia Activities.


A. What is Multimedia?

There are many definitions of multimedia -- some of us can remember when multimedia meant using a slide-tape program, where a beep signified the display of the next 35mm slide (others might remember flannel boards or 8-track tapes, but we won't go there)! For this class, we will define multimedia as the integration of text, graphics, animation, sound, and/or video.

Using this very broad definition of multimedia, multimedia in the classroom could include Power Point presentations that are created by the teacher, commercial software (such as multimedia encyclopedias) that is used for reference or instruction, or activities that directly engage the students in using multimedia to construct and convey knowledge. For the purposes of this course, we will focus on the final category -- engaging students in the use of multimedia to construct and convey knowledge. Examples of multimedia, then, could include:

  1. Students using concept-mapping software (such as Inspiration) to brainstorm
  2. Students using a spreadsheet or graphing calculator to record data and produce charts
  3. A small group of students creating a digital movie to demonstrate a procedure
  4. A class website that displays student artwork
  5. Students scanning their hands and importing the images into PowerPoint for a presentation about fingerprints


Try This

The best way to see the possibilities provided by multimedia is to examine some real life examples.

  • Measuring and Graphing - Fifth graders using a computer to create graphs and movies.
  • No Strings Attached - Review multimedia lesson plans related to your content area and grade level at this site. This website features exemplary models of technology integration across Florida.
  • Technology Integration Matrix - The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed (i.e., reflective), authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells as illustrated below.


Can you think of other possibilities?


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This course was developed in partnership between the Pinellas School
and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at USF.
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