Do you use multimedia applications to teach?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Do you use multimedia applications to teach?

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An overwhelming majority of teachers report that they use multimedia applications to teach their students. This result makes perfect sense. With the plethora of electronic devices out there our students are exposed to this environment on an almost continuous basis. They learn from a very early age how to navigate their way through the technological jungle. Speak to someone from an older generation and they're still stuck trying to stop the clock from flashing on their VCR. Even mention DVD players or PVRs and they're lost.

Flash forward to the kids of today who know how to record, playback and pause almost before they can walk. Teenagers can text before they can type, and none of them can imagine a world before video games and the computer. Going outside to play is a foreign concept. In order to stay relevant teachers need to speak the student's language. That language is electronics.

Students will be more interested in lessons taught in a format that they are familiar with. If the ultimate goal is to engage the student, then some form of electronic multimedia is probably the best way to present information. Nothing can beat a teacher explaining concepts or walking a student through a problem that is difficult to grasp. However, back this up with something they already know and love and the results improve.

We haven't even mentioned the convenience of using multimedia applications. Gone are the days when the teacher had to write lesson plans on the chalkboard for everyone to copy down. Students no longer do their work with parchments and quills. How much easier it all is nowadays. Time invested now in a Power Point presentation, which can be used again and again and easily updated when necessary, saves hours of work down the road. This is just one example of how our lives have become so much more complex yet so much easier.

Multimedia refers to not only computer applications but a variety of forms including text, audio, animation, video, etc. Not all students learn in the same manner, so using a variety of media to teach means that you have a better chance of reaching a greater number of students. Ultimately the goal is always to have the students learning. The use of multimedia applications is just one tool in the teacher's arsenal.