Teaching Multimedia: Telling Stories in Words and Pictures
Imagine the effect of having children organize and present their ideas to a room full of adults using animation, digital photography, vidoes, Web pages or other techniques we are used to seeing from professionals. In more ways than one, multimedia skills give kids a leg up in communicating their ideas.
The media making activity ideas available on YouthLearn include those that focus on building skills in:
- animation, such as the ideas in Teaching Simple Animation
- photography, such as the lesson Zany Zoom Ins
- videos and presentations, such as the project You Oughta Be in Pictures
What is Multimedia?
The term "multimedia" generally is associated with computers and videos, but it simply refers to a project created using more than one expressive form (or medium). A collage in which you have kids outline their bodies on a long sheet of paper, and then have them write, draw, paint and paste objects and photos on the outline to express who they are, is a multimedia project. A movie is multimedia because it has both pictures and sound.
With the introduction of the personal computer, the tools of multimedia have been put into many more people's hands. Many simple, intuitive and inexpensive software programs are now available that allow even children to combine words, pictures, sounds, animation and video into much more persuasive, powerful and empowering communications vehicles. With the Internet becoming so pervasive, they can now publish and share their work with millions of people around the world.
The new technologies don't replace traditional media, however: They simply provide more options. As an instructor in a technology learning center, you'll want to teach as many of these important new skills as you can. But don't forget that you also have to teach that visual communication is still a part of human communication. The first decision every communicator has to make is what medium is most appropriate to the message. Many times, it will not involve computers.