Students are bombarded by media outside of the classroom, why not integrate it into the school setting? The Common Core Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening state that students should be able to “integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively and orally” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2). If students are expected to integrate and evaluate digital information then we as teachers need to provide that multimedia content for students to access. I know technology can be overwhelming but it all starts with taking baby steps. When I was a classroom teacher, I wanted to ensure my students were able to access information presented in a variety of ways. It was important for me to include a variety of multimedia forms that include print/text, video, images, audio etc. I taught my students how to read and synthesize information from different forms of media. My first baby step? I was using diverse media when presenting instructional material. Along with using multimedia to present information, it was necessary to hold students accountable for the content being presented. I would start with analyzing an article in either print and digital format with the students. Students used the close reading strategy for the articles and took notes whether if I was leading it, they worked in partners or did it individually. Next, I would present information on the same topic in a different media format. For example, my students would create thinking maps to take notes and synthesize information presented in YouTube videos. Students were taught and expected to support a claim and "go back to the minute" when analyzing a video in the same way that they'd "go back to the paragraph" when analyzing text in articles.
Example of a flow map using Google Draw
As time progressed I looked at curating various resources for my students to use independently. One tool, I discovered and loved was Symbaloo. It was a bookmarking tool that I would use with my students. Students would explore and take notes from various multimedia sources that I curated for them. Next, students would synthesize information from both the article and videos. Lastly, I would let them choose their technology tool of choice to showcase their learning from all the various sources.
Symbaloo Sample Here
Show What You Know Bingo Template
Student Sample Here
This is just one strategy I used to create a purpose for viewing multimedia in the classroom. This was my first baby step towards creating engaging and enriching experiences for my students. I learned that presenting instructional content in diverse formats not only increased engagement but also exposed my students to various perspectives, helped build connections and developed deeper understanding of essential concepts.