Multimedia has overcome the barriers of time and space and provides evidence to be accepted as an anytime and anywhere tool for educating multi-disciplinary masses. The process of knowledge acquisition becomes more efficient when the learners experience an event through a multimedia simulation. Multimedia technology empowers the educational process by means of increased interaction between teachers and the students. The growth in use of multimedia within the education sector has accelerated in recent years, and looks set for continued expansion in the future.
Teachers primarily require access to learning resources, which can support concept development by learners in a variety of ways to meet individual learning needs. The development of multimedia technologies for learning offers new ways in which learning can take place in schools and the home.
Multimedia provides a technology based learning environment where students are able to solve an educational problem by means of self-explorations, collaboration and active participation. Simulations, models and media rich study materials like still and animated graphics, video and audio integrated in a structured manner facilitate the learning of new knowledge much more effectively. The interactive nature of multimedia provides the room to enhance traditional “chalk-and-talk” method of teaching.
It enables both the educators and learners to work together in an informal setting also, it encourages and enhances peer learning as well as individual creativity and innovation.
Multimedia is used and has been experimented by various educational institutions of all levels all over the world in their own designed modes and It helps in problem solving by means of learning by doing, understanding abstract concepts, provide enhanced access for teachers and students in remote locations, facilitate individualized and cooperative learning, helps in management and administration of classroom activities and learning content, and simulate real life problem handling environments.
The mostly used of the multimedia are the Internet and its facilities as all the respondents signified that they used it; followed by computer and its accessories. And students used the multimedia resources for their research and publication activities and outlets; paper presentations; forming lecture notes used in teaching and not in the actual use in the classroom for teaching.
Role of Multimedia in Education
- Multimedia assist educators to choose between numerous educational multimedia technologies.
- Knowing that the technological availability of multimedia resources is possible, multimedia would allow flexible learning process and is supported by interactive communication tools authored by both teachers and students, and indulge them in life-long education.
- With multimedia, students can ask questions electronically and anonymously in class, it can be deployed as a platform where student’s assignment can be communicated to them and students likewise can use the multimedia platform to submit their assignment.
- For presentations of project.
- Daily messages on web to announce collection of project proposals.
- Digital Story Telling workshops during educational training as the case maybe.
- It could be a computer aided learning platform for children with autism.
- Personalized instructions and the various difficulty levels for different users.
The Multi-disciplinary nature of multimedia makes it increasingly popular among people from different disciplines it is also a source of customized learning environments, to accommodate varied behavioural problems like confidence building and stress reduction. There is an urgent need to improve the quality of education to bridge the gap between developed and developing nations, and multimedia instruction is considered as a necessary tool for this purpose. However, the presence of multimedia alone will not stimulate significant changes in a school. Teachers are important ingredient in the implementation of multimedia instruction in education. They have to be trained in the use of multimedia and in its integration in the classroom activities to enhance thinking and creativity among students. They must also learn to facilitate and encourage students by making them responsible for their own learning. Many of the current graduates were found to be lacking in creativity, communications skills, analytical and critical thinking and problem – solving skills.
On a more positive note, an experienced user of multimedia in instruction argues that “to be really successful, technology has to be adaptable to specific teaching situations, and it has to be personalized for what the instructor wants to do”. With commercially-produced multimedia, the extent to which such personalization can take place has been very limited. The application of multimedia to distance education has been welcomed by educational administrators as a means of making resources more widely available without escalating costs. Some faculty have reacted with apprehension, perceiving that if multimedia can be shown to save costs in distance education there may be a general challenge to the value of live faculty instruction. However, there is a fear that “reducing costs with the aid of digital technology translates into reducing the number of faculty and increasing student-faculty ratios”.
Article by: Busayo Tomoh