Imagine a lesson on photography with no photos, no adds on experimentation and no visuals. Could you learn something about photography with a lesson like that? Sure. Would it be meaningful and memorable? Probably not. The above analogy provides a comparison for the difference between lesson without rich media and those with them. Students can certainly learn from these lessons, but content comes to life in a whole new way when they get to experience them for themselves.
Many of the activities that we might assign with technology are project-based. According to Edutopia, ” project-based learning is filled with active and engaged learning, it inspires students to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they’re studying. Research also indicates that students are more likely to retain the knowledge gained through this approach far more readily than through traditional textbook-centered learning” (2008). For example, instead of reading the Constitution, students can actual see the handwritten document and imagine what it must have been like to write a document that would shape our country for hundreds of years.
Additionally, students appreciate the opportunity for creativity and flexibility with these types of assignments. They are free to explore and select their favorite items or select an artifact on a whim. Edutopia suggests that, “in addition to participating in traditional assessment, they might be evaluated on presentations to a community audience they have assiduously prepared for, informative tours of a local historical site based on their recently acquired expertise, or screening of a scripted film they have painstakingly produced” (2008.)
As a student myself, I know that I remember assignments with interactive or visual components much more than a test or reading of a few chapters!
Edutopia. (2008, February 28). Why Teach with Project-Based Learning?: Providing Students With a Well-Rounded Classroom Experience | Edutopia. K-12 Education & Learning Innovations with Proven Strategies that Work | Edutopia. Retrieved November 12, 2012, from http://www.edutopia.org/project-learning-introduction