Questions for Discussion: From your point of view, what are the advantages and disadvantages of multimedia/hypermedia in today’s education? As a teacher, if you are going to design, develop, and/or select a multimedia educational product for you student, what are the important components/aspects you may considerate (such as target students, grade level, content, etc.)?
There are many advantages to using multi/hypermedia in the classroom. One of the biggest advantages is that it is an interactive tool that is easily customized to meet the needs of students with a wide range of abilities. As a special education major this is very important to the type of work I will be doing and to the wide array of student needs that I will need to meet. Exposing students to media early on is also beneficial in that it allows students to become familiar with the technology they will be expected to know how to use later on. A few disadvantages include the cost of the technology and a potential tendency to overuse technology in the classroom. Although multi/hypermedia is a great resource, it is important to keep in mind that exposing students to books and traditional writing material (pencil/paper activities) is just as important to a child’s development. We must also keep in mind that not all school districts can afford the technology that they would like to be able to use. If schools were to only focus on multi/hypermedia instruction the students at these underprivileged districts would be at a disadvantage.
As a teacher designing or selecting a multimedia educational product I would be looking for a multilevel product; one that would allow the student to grow along with the program and vice versa. I would also consider grade level standards along with the content of the product to ensure they they match up. In addition, I would put a great deal of focus on the needs of the students in my classroom in connection with a product that can meet their needs through a variety of teaching styles/media styles (song, chant, pictures, stories, video). We must keep in mind that all students learn differently through different learning styles. Lastly, I would want a product that has straight forward instructions that allow the student to be able to easily understand how to use the product successfully.