Academic journal article Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia

Snapshots of Interactive Multimedia at Work across the Curriculum in Deaf Education: Implications for Public Address Training

Academic journal article Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia

Snapshots of Interactive Multimedia at Work across the Curriculum in Deaf Education: Implications for Public Address Training

Article excerpt

A review of the literature yields many intriguing applications of interactive multimedia technology that can be seen through a series of "snapshots" describing current projects and initiatives for deaf education. The five main categories chosen to represent these activities are: instructional design, communication bridges, skill development simulations, distance learning practices, and discovery learning. Throughout the discourse on these projects, the reader will be supplied with relevant data regarding bandwidth, digital divide, feedback, digital rights management, and distribution issues. Attention will then turn to the secondary goal of connecting the lessons learned and the resources available in these arenas to the specific topic of public address training. The author concludes that a survey is necessary to identify the perceptions about technology in regards to its ability to aid in public address practice or performance among deaf students.

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The practice of teaching materials through the use of interactive multimedia is a growing phenomenon that has the potential to radically alter the way instruction is delivered and processed. Deaf education has embraced this relatively new technology and is putting it to the test in many areas of academia and beyond. In fact, "Active Learning has long been considered a proven method in improving attention, motivation and retention of concepts taught in class. This is especially true for deaf students ...," reported Burik and Kelly (2003, p. 1). The idea that technology can be a catalyst for that active learning approach is at the heart of this article. So what then is "interactive multimedia?" Although there are many definitions, Azra Akhtar (2003) described it as using many different media (print, audio, video, etc.) to present more comprehensive information than any medium alone can, accommodating children with different learning styles, and employing interactivity to stimulate children to become active, motivated learners. She goes on to say, "Therefore the demand to develop interactive learning material is of paramount importance as it is intended to help enhance the learning experience of deaf students and make the curriculum more accessible" (Akhtar, p. 2). Throughout this discussion, the designation "deaf" will be used to identify individuals in a cultural minority group that have varying degrees of hearing loss.

The purpose of this article is two-fold. First, a review of the literature yields many intriguing applications of interactive multimedia technology that can be seen through a series of "snapshots" describing current projects and initiatives for deaf education. The five main categories chosen to represent these activities are: instructional design, communication bridges, skill development simulations, distance learning practices, and discovery learning. Throughout the discourse on these projects, the reader will be supplied with relevant data regarding bandwidth, digital divide, feedback, digital rights management, and distribution issues. Attention will then turn to the secondary goal of connecting the lessons learned and the resources available in these arenas to the specific topic of public address training. In the words of James Fernandes (Fernandes & Fernandes, 2002), "The eloquent words and signs of deaf orators helped shape the passage of history of the American deaf community" (p. 1). However, a limited amount of research is present in the literature on this vital topic especially in regards to the contribution of technology. Thus an initial framework for survey and empirical research will be proposed. As interactive multimedia becomes less cost prohibitive and more user-friendly, the potential increases for teachers, students, and parents to move this research from theory to practice to benefit a wide-range of deaf children and youth.

PROJECT SNAPSHOTS

Interactive Multimedia Promotes Instructional Design

The lack of accessible interactive materials for deaf students is a widely known problem (National Center to Improve Practice [NCIP], n. …

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