Multimedia in the Classroom - Part 2

Readings and Reflections

This week's reading was an article by Marc Prensky entitled
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants
"Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants." Prensky is an American writer and speaker on learning and education. This article was very similar to week one's reading, "Understanding Digital Kids: Teaching and Learning in the New Digital Landscape" by Ian Jukes. Like Jukes, Prensky argues that today's students are no longer the people our education system was designed to teach. The arrival of digital technology has created this shift. Students now in kindergarten through college have grown up with new technology. These students are called digital natives. While Jukes argues that digital natives' brains are formed differently, Prensky argues that these students thinking patterns have changed. Digital immigrants refers to the people (mostly adults) who have not grown up with technology. Digital immigrants have a much different idea of what learning is and how learning happens. For example, digital immigrants believe that digital learners can't learn while watching TV. The digital native can multi-task and do several things while learning. Digital natives have figured out new ways to do old things, digital immigrants must work at learning these new ways. Prensky goes on to discuss edutainment, activities that educate and entertain. Prensky asks educators to try and incorporate edutainment into all subjects and all levels.

New Software and How to Use It

This week we became familiar with movie making. We used RCA digital video cameras or pocket camcorders to record an activity. RCA pocket camcorders make it easy to upload videos to the computer. Once the videos are on the computer we used free software called Format Factory to change the movie to a usable format. Once the recording is ready to edit we used Windows Movie Maker to create a finished product. Windows Movie Maker is very easy to use and takes little time to get comfortable with. To see what you can do with camcorders and Windows Movie Maker check out our finished product. Camcorder and movie making are excellent resources for today's classroom. They are what Prensky calls edutainment.

Apple's iPad
This week we also discussed the new iPad recently released by Apple. The iPad is a larger version of an iPod touch. It can be used to surf the net, check e-mails, store photos, watch videos, listen to music, play games, read iBooks, view maps, take notes, schedule appointments in the calendar and store contacts. However, the iPad does not have an operating system not can it switch between applications, or run more than one at a time. Bruce suggested that in the future every student will have a wireless device similar to the iPad which they will use instead of paper, pens and textbooks. Although this would be very exciting and probably helpful I do not see it happening anytime in the near future. iPads and similar devices are still very expensive, it will most likely be some time before they are affordable for school boards and students. iPads open up a world of opportunities for students and teachers. Imagine your students having one slim device with every book they could ever need pre-loaded on to it, or the wealth of information that is available online at their fingertips. Imagine the exciting and engaging lessons a teach could put into practice using the iPad. Although I believe the iPad could be a very useful resource for today's digital learner, I think it will be a while before they are introduced in every classroom.
To see the iPad in action watch this short video clip from CNET.

This week I have learned...

1. That digital immigrant cannot expect digital learners to change, instead educators must change their lessons to meet the needs of digital natives.
2. Pocket camcorders are an excellent resource to use in all classrooms.
3. Movie Making is a fun twist and new way to present oral presentations.