Education

GETTING INTERACTIVE MEDIA INTO SCHOOLS

INTRODUCTION

Currently, the field of New Media, including its interactive variants, is characterized by a growing usage of film-like modes of presentation. This trend is partly motivated by a number of technological developments which enable the production, storage, dissemination and usage of dynamic audiovisual materials with reasonable effort and at low cost. It includes the availability of cheap and easy to use digital cameras and editing software, computational power and storage capacities as well as the possibility of streaming audiovisual material at relatively low bandwidth with few losses in quality.

But it is also motivated by the increasing demands for audiovisual materials on part of the users, as indicated by the success of video or computer games, video on demand services or net-based videophones.

THE AVD PROJECT: AUDIO-VISUAL SERVICES FOR CLASSROOM TEACHING

AVD stands for “Audiovisuals Dinette” which translates “audiovisual services”. It is a nationwide project funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education Science and Culture and Austrian telecom. Basically, it comprises of a network of tools and services, by which digitalized educational movies are produced, stored in a searchable database, delivered via Internet and satellite, and flexibly integrated into classroom education in an interactive manner.

INTRODUCING AVD INTO CLASSROOM: THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND EMPIRICAL FINDINGS

In retrospect, analyses of the fate of rather short-lived media like videodiscs suggests that a number of preconditions must be met in order to ensure a more successful introduction of film-like learning material into classroom.

NEW FORMS OF AUDIOVISUAL MEDIA: OVERCOMING THE DRAWBACKS OF TRADITIONAL EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS

Whereas the technical and organizational context and the instructional modes set the stage for its appropriate utilization, the most important question is whether computer-based, digitized videos indeed promise to foster learning and understanding of a given topic. Li other words, their use in classroom teaching can only be justified if they possess clear learning advantages in comparison with less complex media like text or static pictures in terms of increased effectiveness or efficiency.

For some types of content and types of learning tasks, this can be affirmatively answered. In general, films and videos possess a number of specific features which clearly distinguish them from other media like texts or pictures. Firstly, they comprise of a mixture of different symbol systems, namely pictures, spoken words and sounds, which are simultaneously presented.

Secondly, with regard to pictorial quality, they do not only capture shape, color and layout of objects and scenes, but also their dynamic changes over time. Therefore, in comparison to other media, films and videos are characterized by a high degree of realism in their spatiotemporal depiction of state of affairs.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Educational movies, at least in their traditional forms, face a number of barriers which have hindered their widespread and regular use in the classroom. These barriers include the complicated and laborious process of finding and obtaining appropriate videos material, the difficulties of utilizing videos in more student-oriented and self-regulated instructional scenarios as well as the tendency of the students to view videos in a rather passive manner without deeper” cognitive processing.

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