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Thursday, 6 September 2007

Using the Interactive Nature of Multimedia to Create an Interactive Classroom

Gilberte Furstenberg from MIT, presented with great enthusiasm, how multimedia applications can bring dynamic interactivity back into the physical room. According to Furstenberg there has to be a synergy between the medium used and how we use it. We risk adopting multimedia in a reduced way, e.g. as a mode often used for presentations. The notion of linearity is another aspect which is discussed, and how it can influence interaction. Though she gave us several concrete examples from three multimedia projects (which were all three of great interest!), I found especially fascinating how the individual preparations were designed to link to group interaction. Students were given tasks which required interaction with multimedia applications. The questions could be approached from several perspectives and also result in various input. People had been interviewed and given the same questions. Depending on which videos the students had chosen to watch in the application, they would come to class with different views. Furstenberg made this very explicit in some video clips which illustrated the collaborative and lively interactions as the students were asked in groups to look for structure, to identify opinions, find connections and to negotiate for structure. The student groups used a whiteboard (Furstenberg:"whiteboards can act as wonderful mirrors of the students' thoughts") and made drawings, sketches, tried to make tables and discussed in the target language to reach a common understanding. Furstenberg stresses it is vital to get students share goals. This shared interest and student focus on each others' views and comments were obvious (in spite of having forgotten most of my poor school French, this demanded no skills in French to notice). There is much more to learn here...! Finally, a link to the Cultura Project (which also has an archive) : http://web.mit.edu/french/culturaNEH

1 comment:

dimz said...

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thank you :)