Media Management

The use of multimedia content in the teaching process is expanding greatly, thanks to the enormous power that media has on attracting student interest, the ease with which complex concepts can be illustrated with appropriate media, and the increased ability of modern computers to process pictures, sounds, animation and movies. However, despite the enormous multimedia capabilities of our new computer infrastructure, media is underused in the classroom. And often when it is used, it is with enormous effort on the part of the teacher to produce the content and deliver it to the students.

The goal of this project is to spell out some easy-to-understand media management techniques, define a minimum amount of media tools that should be available at each program to make it possible for them to more fully integrate media into their classrooms. Finally, some “boilerplate” projects will be described that will enable any program to quickly and easily reproduce in their classroom. Boilerplate projects that are planned include
1) a calendar made up of unique pictures for each student
2) a graphic story board where teachers can use symbols to tell a story
3) a simple move production – useful for end of year movies
4) a simple “PowerPoint” presentation that can be a central part of student-led IEP meetings

Currently all of these activities are taking place in the district, but there is much duplication of effort as everyone tries to re-invent what is already being done somewhere else. Also, there is a general lack of awareness of the simple ways that media can be manipulated, presented, and integrated into a lesson plan. Finally, there is little attention paid to cataloging and archiving of media content when it is produced, exposing us to great risk of loss of enormous amounts of effort if a computer or hard disk were to fail in the middle of a project.

This project will outline and disseminate best practices for basic media production efforts. The goal is better integration of media into daily teaching activities with minimal effort on the part of teachers and students.

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