The term ‘media’ has many different connotations. It’s used to describe various resources, including print media, visual media, mass media, and social media. However, regardless of the form media takes, it’s all a channel of communication. Media can be used to enhance almost all teaching and learning, whether in or out of class. But educators need the right technologies or media products for schools.
According to research (Salomon 1979), people learn more efficiently when information is presented in verbal and visual forms. Other research also suggests that visual media can make concepts more accessible than alternatives and improve student recollection (Cowen, 1984). Teachers can use TV clips, short films, blog posts or articles, music, and other media to reinforce concepts, including spark conversation in almost any discipline.
Active Engagement and Participation
In general, educators know students learn faster and better when actively engaged, participating in activities that facilitate learning. Integrating media into teaching processes with classroom technology can improve student engagement and participation.
While media content can’t replace hands-on learning, it can strengthen the education that takes place in the classroom. Media can be used to demonstrate concepts, showcase real-world applications, and connect students to faraway places.
For example, students needn’t travel to experience the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C – they can watch a video tour in VR or HD (high definition). Media is a powerful tool that can spark curiosity, promote inquiry, and help students make connections with the subject or topic.
“It’s not enough to simply buy the newest audio visual touch screen or high-tech projector. You need someone who can demonstrate dozens of real-world applications, install it properly and train your staff” – Ward’s Tech Media, a company that provides media products for schools.
Showcase Complex Ideas
Media sources with high production quality can help showcase complex ideas and expedite learning or the time it takes for students to comprehend concepts. There’s truly no better medium for explaining and breaking down complicated things, especially in current times.
There are many more potential distractions than ever, making it harder for instructors to keep students focused. Active, dynamic media content can help students ignore things like text messages, notifications, emails, etc., while learning.
Media offers cognitive and exciting experiences, which can promote discussion. For example, an intense enough movie scene can spark conversation and personal assessment. Particularly, when discussion is used as a primary teaching method, it can stimulate critical thinking. Teachers can demonstrate their appreciation for student contributions while challenging them to articulate ideas clearly and think more deeply.
Connect With Real-World Events
The use of media sources can help learners connect topics with real events. For instance, news stories can help connect theories and ideas taught in the classroom with current world events, including policies. That can help create a more immersive experience for students.
Media can help students retain information and improve comprehension, as revealed by Willingham’s research (2009). Educators aim to get students energized and engaged with the learning process, and media is an excellent instructional medium. The right content can help generate a greater amount of interest and enjoyment than lectures. Finally, utilizing media to enhance teaching and learning demands that instructors keep their examples and materials up-to-date, which is a great thing.