Teaching and Learning with Multimedia

Teaching and Learning with Multimedia

Teaching and Learning with Multimedia

Teaching and Learning with Multimedia


The issues and practicalities of using multimedia in classrooms and across a range of subject areas are discussed in this introduction, which argues that teachers should make a significant contribution to decisions about future development.


This is a cross-disciplinary book aimed at teachers and researchers in both primary and secondary schools; indeed it is for anyone who is interested in the impact of multimedia in education. Our aim is to stimulate debate so that we can make better use of multimedia in teaching and learning.

A discussion of multimedia is timely. There has been a startling growth in the use of multimedia materials (i.e. ones that combine sound, text, still and moving pictures). The results are visually impressive and the capacity of multimedia to engage young people is not in doubt but what are the implications for teaching and learning?

To explore this question we have worked with teachers and young people in a range of primary and secondary schools. This work was carried out in classrooms, IT (information technology) rooms and libraries, depending on where the school had located its multimedia systems. We carried out several case studies, we presented in-service and pre-service courses and workshops, and we visited many schools. We also looked at what is happening outside of school and became aware of the growth of multimedia in the home and its potential for young people’s learning. We were able to carry out several small studies and looked at the ways in which some youngsters were using the discs.

For the most part we have looked at mainstream multimedia products including many which have been reviewed by the National Council for Educational Technology (e.g. NCET 1994a) and others which have been suggested by advisers and teachers or have been reviewed in magazines or journals. We have concentrated on discs which we believe illustrate the potential of multimedia and, although we point to shortcomings in several of the discs, as a general principle we can see little point in talking at length about products which have been poorly produced and which children and teachers do not like. Needless to say reference to any of the discs is not an endorsement; we have not had the space to mention many others which are of equal if not better quality.

In our visits we saw some examples of learners creating their own multimedia products using widely available software. We are sure this creates . . .

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