In today’s world, technology use must meet the needs of 21st-century users. To acquire 21st-century skills, students and teachers must have access to appropriate technology tools and resources so that they can access information, solve problems, communicate, make informed decisions, acquire new knowledge, and construct products, reports, and systems. Education must be customized to make it suitable for use in all content areas.
Multimedia and associated technology is one of the modern technologies that have brought a revolution to the way the education process is now being delivered. It’s a combination of various media with information being delivered in more than one form simultaneously. Primary education when cultivated over the multimedia tools used a combination of various media, or elements, with an example being the Audio, Colour, Video, Text, Graphics, and finally Animation. The use of multimedia will enable students to use digital technology for interacting with the world of education while gaining experience through a wide variety of electronic tools. The world can now be presented to them in a variety of visual/auditory and interactive ways with the best possible ease and comfort (Heinich, Molenda, Russell & Smaldino, 2002 ).
Teachers can also seek assistance from technology that enables better multimedia features. This will help them in accommodating the needs of learners’ thereby satisfying the required diversity in the delivery of instruction. Students can be provided support from educational research databases and online study materials and other electronic resources. The technology rooted media getting into shape through the integration of various above elements forms multimedia (Partnership for 21st Century Skill, 2006). The multimedia tools would help teachers in creating an environment through audio-visual means. The learning procedure under this environment results in the best possible outcome. The multimedia-enabled information flow finally gets imbibed into the students and children.
Multimedia Technology and Education
Emphasizing learning skills is for ensuring the all-around development of the student. Understanding the importance of media tools in this modern society with life right from infancy is greatly affected by things like television, radio, computer and internet; keeping the education aloof from this technology marvel may make the whole education system out of the world with the child at home will have a very different environment than the one present in schools and colleges (Abrami, 2001).
The new-age teaching process requires better content relevancy, ensuring total engagement and meaningful research to the study process. Multimedia tools effectively fit the above-mentioned requirement. This technology has swiftly made every step that would shift the information delivery from simple paper, pencil, and books-based instructional systems to the electronic device-based medium where the use of computers, audio/video devices, and network technology are making rounds. The new philosophy of education is not just innovation in the classroom but beyond that (Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, & Gunter, 2004 pp 504-506).
The multimedia technology in education is technically an introduction of modern technology for making the teaching process more entertaining as well as progressive. Its smart usage helps both teachers and students. The teachers can create interesting animation so that the students’ concentrations remain constant towards the topic. The smart mix of video, sound, and texture is meant for maintaining the interest of the student and hence can be used for information delivery. (Abrami, 2001, pp. 113 -136).
Tools of multimedia and their possible effect in Multimedia
Text is character-based media creating words, sentences, and paragraphs, with the sole purpose being the delivery of key information and understandings while taking multimedia presentations in form of video or PowerPoint presentations. The visual graphics are being provided important clarification through inserted text. (Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, & Gunter, 2004).
Colour has got its usage along with text, graphics, and video so that the visual appears appealing to the children. The colors are also very necessary when a time like morning, day-time or night–time, etc. is to be depicted. Similarly, Jungles would require greenery while deserts would get depicted through dry brown sands (Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, & Gunter, 2004, pp 504-506).
Audio is the digitized form of sounds, music, or speech that can be categorically recognized by electronic systems. Present in various formats, it makes the whole presentation very effective through the creation of an environment that can stimulate the human senses and at the same time can provide a very large volume of information. It is perhaps the most important supplement to other media. The sound of animals, aircraft, and other tracks can cause a sensual effect on children of primary classes. (Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, & Gunter, 2004).
Video is another outcome of modern technology that has its utility in digital format. The best part of this multimedia tool is that of a direct-presentability factor on computers as well as video players. A full motion picture of 30 mins can provide a full length of the chapter to students without any use of pen- pencil or books. The combined use of video with enhancements through audio and some text will bundle into a most dependable information medium with the capability to present things in the best possible way. (Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, & Gunter, 2004).
Graphics which began as another way of using the conventional system of education while keeping things mainly in non-textual form has now being used in every visual-based format of multimedia. The information, in this case, is being delivered through drawings, paintings, graphs, digital images, and scanned images. Graphics can provide the most essential and dependable visual clues to visual learners and can enhance the understanding of various fields of education irrespective of age and class like navigation. (Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, & Gunter, 2004, pp 504-506).
Animation is the video format of graphical presentation. It is being represented through the movement of several graphical images. The graphics-based media has its enhancement through the use of animation technology. It helps in creating friendly characters so that the overall effect can be rampant with special message could be given the required attention. The same can be used to make further enhancements in making the webpage as well as multimedia presentations more appealing. (Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, & Gunter, 2004).
Instructor’s role in the usage of Multimedia Technology
The teachers are the ones who have to inculcate multimedia-based education in classrooms; hence they form the most important factor that can make this technology instruction system a success. Before students, it’s the teachers who have to make necessary adjustments in the teaching and education process. The modern process requires imaginative instructors with a vision to harvest the tools of modern technology for enabling better information delivery. So, for developing multimedia classrooms, the teachers must act on their learning process. They should remain updated with the best possible multimedia technology and its possible application in primary education. For example, a video on jungle can easily describe everything related to jungle life and the behavior of wild animals without the use of any technical language (Conyers, Kappel, & Rooney, 1999, pp. 82-85 ). So technology literacy is a necessity and the teachers should also be provided the necessary help. Principles play a very important role in maintaining teachers’ familiarity with technology. They must act as immediate help and should make arrangements for all multimedia tools. (Bailey, 1997 pp. 57-62.) the principal will be expected to be strong on some of the basic features that would assist him in the smooth implementation of technology.
According to Bailey these skills are very important and must be possessed by the Principal:
- Technology skills – Principal’s technological competence and command over animation tools will ensure that the school as a whole is ready for transforming its instruction from a conventional blackboard system to PowerPoint and video presentation.
- People skills – Since the technology integration must require the involvement of other teachers and school staff, so a leader must be able to get along with other people to ensure that the learning phase of these basic people should go on smoothly and finally the new technology can be easily implemented.
- Curriculum skills – Since the technology has to be inserted in almost all possible subjects and courses, it is now expected by the principal to be imaginative enough to integrate this technology in every possible discipline.
- Staff-development skills – The principal should ensure that the minimum staff requirement for efficient use of multimedia technology must be maintained and be competent enough for the use of technology.
- Learning leadership – the principal being the first to make the system aware of the benefits of technology integration should also be the first to realize the ever-evolving nature of technology and must take the whole for the betterment of the integration.
The implementation of the technology factor begins with the use of computer technology in the classrooms (Office of Technology Assessment, 1999 ). Principals who have successfully implemented computer technology as a lab material have shown much interest in modeling the rest of the classroom according to that of computer labs. They have shown immense interest in the use of technology that will play a very instrumental role in furthering computer technology usage in the classroom (Abrami, 2001).
The success of computer and technology-assisted education in the classroom has been very much due to the involvement of administrators helped teachers in tackling both emotional and moral issues that are related to technology integration in the classroom (Forcier & Descy, 2005 ). Hence the support from principals is extremely important in the successful implementation of technology into the classrooms through teachers. The current proposal involves technology integration in schools for communication, collaboration, and solution-finding so that the content and objective of the curriculum can be easily changed and refined (Chin & Hortin,1994).
The use of modern technology and multimedia tools will ensure up-to-date development of learning skills. The use of audio/video-equipped devices-based electronic equipment will keep the development of the learning tools under the requirement of the digital world in which the students are residing. Even young children have access to modern devices. This has necessitated the introduction of modern technology into the instruction system of schools. Multimedia technology fills that requirement and has widespread usage with a large group of students getting benefited with presentations The teachers who have honed the skills of 21st century would be expected to be proficient in technology related to media and animation and its usage for child education. Digital technology and communication tools have to be used to achieve all sorts of work which will cause further improvement in the tool itself. The ICT literacy will ensure proper access and information management. It will make way for integration, information evaluation; construction, and then communication of new knowledge with others to create new waves of effective participation (Abrami, 2001).
Abrami, P. C. (2001). Understanding and promoting complex learning using technology. Educational Research and Evaluation, 7 (2–3), 113–136.
Bailey, G. D. (1997). What technology leaders need to know: The essential top 10 concepts for technology integration in the 21st century. Learning and Leading with Technology, 25(1), 57-62.
CEO Forum (2001) School Technology and Readiness Report. Web.
Chin, S. S., & Hortin, J. A. (1994). Teachers’ perceptions of instructional technology and staff development. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 22(2), 83-98.
Conyers, J. G., Kappel, T., & Rooney, J. (1999). How technology can transform a school. Educational Leadership, 56(5), 82-85.
Forcier,C., & Descy, D. (2005). The Computer as an Educational Tool. Columbus: Pearson.Heinich, R., Molenda, M.,Russell, J., & Smaldino, S. (2002). Instructional Media and Technologies for Learning. Columbus: MerrillPrentice Hall.
Office of Technology Development (1999) Technology and adult learning: A collection of current perspectives. Literacy Practitioner.
Partnership for 21st century Skill (2006) Learning for the 21st Century. A report and Mile Guide for 21st Century.
Shelly,G., Cashman, T., Gunter, R., & Gunter, G. (2004). Integrating Technology in the Classroom. Boston: Thomson.