Nowadays many schools, colleges and universities utilise multimedia equipment to teach. Multimedia equipment includes tablets, projectors and TV screens. If we go back to the old days when students have to learn from a teacher standing in front of the class using a blackboard, the only way students learn is via the interaction with the teacher and the information being written on the board. Although there is no substitute for teacher-student interaction, the use of graphs, moving images and videos can greatly enhance the learning process especially if you are teaching subjects such as science, engineering, economics or any subject that uses diagrams and graphs. The use of multimedia helps make the connection between visual and verbal representations of content and the moving images, animation and videos help with the visual processing and stimulation of the brain. Far more effective in memory stimulation than a blackboard with white chalk written on it. It keeps the students engaged in the learning process and prevents boredom. Perhaps, more importantly, they allow two-way interaction between teachers and students and encouraging the students to actively participate and engage.
But first, let’s look at what multimedia devices schools and universities use to help enhance student learning.
The projector is widely used nowadays especially in universities. Lecture notes are delivered via the projector screen which allows graphs, diagrams and even infographics to illustrate the content. Compared to a blackboard or a whiteboard, the projector provides a better visual representation. Another advantage of projectors is that it relieves the student of taking notes whilst listening simultaneously. The notes can be printed out and given to the students during the lecture. There are also interactive projector screens which get the students to participate in the activity thereby greatly increasing engagement and interaction.
Although TV screens are not as versatile as projectors, they could be used to good effect for playing videos that help with the learning process. Films and documentaries help boost retention and support materials being taught. Although TV screens are limited to smaller classes due to having smaller screens they do offer the advantage of better clarity than a projector screen.
Tablets and Smartphones
Tablets and smartphones can be excellent learning aids for students as you can download educational apps, log in to school/university intranet sites and study and take tests. Because smartphones are carried with you at all times unlike your books or notes, you can use it for study or revision whilst you are inside or outside, whilst waiting for the bus, whilst in the bus/train etc. Some schools now hand out tablets to each and every child so they can access educational content both at school and at home. This encourages independent learning and enables teachers to be able to adapt to each individual child’s learning abilities. Simply put, smart devices enable more innovative ways to learn and encourages more effective collaboration with the teacher and other students. One disadvantage of issuing tablets to school children is that they can be used for watching videos or playing games which distracts them from the purpose of owning the tablet.
It goes without saying that multimedia equipment can help the learning process by using images, animations, videos and sound along with text to stimulate the brain. This coupled with internet access will help students get information far more quickly further enhancing knowledge and understanding.