Visuals, Videos, and Multimedia - Why Use Them in Teaching?

Educators

Based on 25 plus years of teacher training, I can verify that few educators effectively use visuals, videos, and multimedia as methods of presenting material to students. My position is that proper teaching methodology works regardless of presentation mode. The recent recognition by literacy organizations (NCTE and IRA) of "Viewing" and "Visually Representing," as literacy skills, along with reading, writing, speaking, and listening, indicates both the importance of teacher use as tools of instruction and the need for learners to develop skills in interpreting and applying them.

The following overheads have been presented to many teachers and teacher candidates to sensitize them to the need for effective use of visual media. These serve as an overview of how visual media may be infused into the teacher's curriculum. Most often teachers use these without knowing why or how to do so. This brief tutorial provides a philosophy and structure for doing so.

Rationale and Philosophy

  • VIEWING AND VISUALLY REPRESENTING ARE RECOGNIZED AS LITERACY/LANGUAGE ARTS SKILLS BY NCTE,IRA,ET AL
  • RECOGNIZE THAT STUDENTS LIVE IN A VISUAL/ MULTIMEDIA WORLD
  • PROVIDE MULTISENSORY APPROACH
  • INCREASE STUDENT ATTENTION
  • PLACE CONTENT IN DRAMATIC, MORE PERSONALIZED CONTEXT
  • EFFICIENT WAY TO PRESENT MATERIAL
  • ALLOW POOR READER TO PARTICIPATE
  • PERMIT STUDENTS TO SEE WHOLE PICTURE
  • DRAMATICALLY INCREASE LEARNING/RETENTION OF MATERIAL

HOW SHOULD WE USE IN TEACHING?

  • AS PLANNED ACTIVITIES IN WRITTEN CURRICULUM SEQUENCE
  • AS TOOLS TO FACILITATE LEARNING
  • AS CO-SOURCES OF CURRICULUM CONTENT/SKILLS WITH TEXTBOOKS (NOT LESS IMPORTANT "ADD-ON")
  • VISUALS, VIDEOS, AND MULTIMEDIA MUST BE SYSTEMATICALLY AND SEAMLESSLY INTEGRATED INTO ALL CURRICULUM AREAS
  • GENERALLY INEFFECTIVE PRACTICE FOR VIDEOS-TAKING NOTES WHILE VIEWING(STUDENTS MISS WHAT IS BEING PRESENTED,WHILE THEY ARE NOTE-TAKING)
  • GENERALLY EFFECTIVE PRACTICE-PRETEACHING(FOCUSING ATTENTION ON CRITICAL INFORMATION) AND FOLLOW-UP/ACCOUNTABILITY ACTIVITIES
  • STUDENTS MUST BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR CONTENT, AS THEY ARE WITH TEXTBOOK AND TEACHER NOTES
  • WE HAVE A PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO TEACH OUR CURRICULUM IN THE OPTIMAL WAY AVAILABLE-THIS INCLUDES SYSTEMATIC INTEGRATION OF VISUALS, VIDEOS, AND MULTIMEDIA INTO OUR CLASSROOMS.

About the Author:

Professor Jim Nichols

Chairman, Nyack College Dept of Ed

Nyack, NY 10960

Email: nicholsj@nyack.edu

©2010 Professor Jim Nichols, All rights reserved.