Abram, S. (2009). The future of school libraries: Can school boards get on board? Multimedia &
Internet@Schools, 16 (4), 12-15. Retrieved September 20, 2009, from Academic Search
In his article, “The Future of School Libraries,” Stephen Abram addresses the ever-
changing technological world our students live in. Abram bases his article off of his reading of
the Ontario Public School Board’s Association’s (OPSBA) discussion paper, “What If?
Technology in the 21st Century Classroom.” This discussion paper presented a list of questions
that they suggest all school boards must answer concerning multimedia approaches to education
and their students’ lives. For example, one key question is how schools can incorporate the tools
in students’ lives, like cell phones and IPods, into their education. Abram joins the OPSBA in
supporting the use of multimedia software and teaching strategies in school systems. He claims
that implementing technology isn’t optional, but is essential to keeping up with the technology
based world that today’s students live in.
Abram fears that students today feel that what they learn in school has no real-life
applications for them because of its lack of technology. He argues that while most schools do
their best to include multimedia lessons and activities, their efforts fall far short of what students
are exposed to and live in outside of school. He claims that schools and teachers don’t need to
change in order to incorporate more technology, but instead need to be reinvented in order to
keep up with a world that is now defined by technology and multimedia.
Abram closes his article by giving several website suggestions for educators to reference
for new technology education trends. He cries out to media specialists to lead their schools in the
effort to incorporate multimedia in the classroom. Ultimately, Abram doesn’t want schools to
simply use multimedia and technology in lessons, he instead wants them to allow students to use
these approaches in projects and assignments, allowing them to refine their technology skills and
make connections between classroom content and real-life.
This article is a very easy and enjoyable read. It does not use heightened vocabulary or
educational jargon that is difficult for the reader. In fact, the vocabulary used makes it easy for
anyone to read and understand the article, regardless of their profession. While the article seems
to be written specifically to media specialists, it is definitely written in such a way that anyone
can read it, and as a result, join the efforts to incorporate the use of multimedia in schools.
The fact that it is written to media specialist makes it more meaningful to me, as that is
the career I am working towards. Abram stresses the fact that technology and multimedia
integration can most easily start in the media center, which means it must start with me, as the
media specialist. The websites and links he provides are very beneficial for furthering my
knowledge about current multimedia educational trends and make the article more beneficial and
better to me as an educator.
While I would classify this article as an overall good article, its primary weakness is that
it does not give specific examples for how to incorporate multimedia in the classroom. While
Abram strongly suggests that technology should and must be incorporated to keep student
interest, he doesn’t give any examples for how this should be done. For example, he says that
teachers would make education more meaningful by incorporating the tools students already use
in their daily lives, such as cell phones and IPods, but he gives no suggestions for how to do that.
While the overall ideas are good, they should be further developed with specific examples to
make them more beneficial to readers.
Anderson, M. A. (2009). Authentic, technology-based activities. MultiMedia &
Internet@Schools, 16 (1), 35-37. Retrieved September 24, 2009, from Academic Search
In this article, Mary Anderson outlines two ways of effectively utilizing multimedia
projects in the classroom. The activities are created for elementary classrooms, but interviews
with other educators show that the activities can be easily modified for any grade level.
Anderson suggests that the activities are the result of requirements instated through No Child
Left Behind. Before NCLB, research suggests that teachers mainly incorporated technology for
organization and management purposes; however, the new government program encourages
technology centered and developed lessons. And that is what Anderson gives examples of in this
The first multimedia lesson she suggests is entitled “Eye Spy Math.” With this program,
students are presented a series of pictures of different scenes. In each picture students are to pick
out all of the different shapes they see. One example given was that students would say that a
picture with Native American teepees in it has triangles in it. The presentation of the photographs
can come in various different forms. The suggested method is to use the game as a whole class
activity, presenting the pictures to students using a projection screen. Other options for
presentation include allowing students to work individually through the photographs on separate
computers or printing out the photographs for students to analyze them, if computers and a
projection screen are not available. One of the advantages of using computers to present this
lesson, rather than printed pictures, is that hyperlinks could be added to the photos for students to
click on. These hyperlinks could provide extra information about the picture or the correct
answers to that photograph.
The second lesson suggested by Anderson was an activity using Excel. In this lesson,
students would use Excel to create a running record of their reading fluency scores throughout
the year. Not only do they record their scores in Excel, but they also use the program to create
charts and graphs of their progress. Though Anderson suggests creating spreadsheets for reading
fluency scores in an elementary school, she points out that this same lesson could be used to keep
up with any type of scores the students have throughout the year.
Not only does Anderson suggest these two activities for the classroom, she also suggests
ways to extend them or modify their uses for different subject areas. For example, she says the
“Eye Spy Math” game could be modified to include History aspects by including hyperlinks that
take students to websites offering background information on the pictures they are asked to
analyze. Another example of extending this game would be having it where students in a foreign
language class label different objects in a photo, using the language they are learning. After
giving these modifications to the assignments, she supports her activities by providing readers
with a list of educational standards that these assignments meet.
This is a very well-written and interesting article. Readers of any background could read
the article and understand what it is saying, though it is obviously written to educators. Anderson
does an excellent job of describing the two multimedia approaches she takes in her classroom,
and leaves the reader with no questions about how the activities work. Also, by including the
state standards that are addressed through the lesson, she makes the activities more meaningful
and worthwhile for educators.
My favorite part of this article is the fact that she gives information on how to extend
and/or modify the activities to better meet the needs of students, or to meet the needs of students
in different subject areas. The importance of extending and refining lessons was always stressed
at the school I previously worked at, so I love how this article provides ideas about how to do
that. Also, she makes her article meaningful to a larger audience by providing suggestions for
ways the activities can be implemented into different content areas.
And finally, Anderson addresses media specialists specifically in this article, saying they
should ultimately be the chief pioneers of technology and multimedia integration at their schools.
She even suggests that media specialists can make the “Eye Spy” activity work by having copies
of pictures laminated and ready in the media center for teachers to use in their classrooms. This
way, the media specialist makes the activity even easier for the teacher to implement. As a future
media specialist, her comments are very beneficial to me. Overall, this article does an excellent
job of showing how multimedia technologies can be utilized in the classroom.
Chong, P.F., Lim, Y.P., & Ling, S.W. (2009). On the design preferences for ebooks. IETE
Technical Review, 26 (3), 213-222. Retrieved September 23, 2009, from Academic
Search Complete database.
This article critically analyzes the design of ebooks. The authors explain the basic design
guidelines of ebooks, according to the usability guidelines established from the EBONI project.
These guidelines deal primarily with the appearance of ebooks and the appearance and feel of
hardware for ebooks. The authors, who are professors at the Multimedia University of Malaysia,
focus on ebooks because of their growing presence in college libraries, and the argument
regarding their general design.
For this particular study, the authors presented undergraduate and graduate students at the
Multimedia University in Malaysia with three different ebooks. All three of the ebooks were set
up differently according to the following three areas: navigation design, page layout, and content
design. Students had the chance to work with all three books, and then complete an online
questionnaire regarding the effectiveness of each book and its design standards.
When asked about the design of the ebooks regarding navigation, students preferred
ebooks that allowed cross-referencing and hypertexts that made it easier to navigate to various
parts and pages of the book. Also, page numbers were a must. Students also requested that
ebooks have a search option and allowed them to highlight and annotate important information
as they read. Overall, when participants evaluated the navigational design of the ebooks, they
most valued ease of navigation.
When students addressed page layout, they generally preferred pages that were content
heavy, but not crowded. They preferred pages that displayed plenty of white space and that
employed text and figures for visual appeal. Overall, students wanted ebook pages that were
organized, clean, and consistent throughout the ebook.
And finally, when students were asked to rate the content design of the ebooks, they
wanted pages that were not too long, so they didn’t seem overwhelming, but weren’t too short
either, where they required too much “page turning.” Also, participants preferred having the
same font throughout the ebook, but with different size text to showcase headings and
subheadings. All participants wanted a stark contrast between text color and background color as
well, making the text easier to read. And finally, they preferred left aligned text because it made
the content easier to skim.
Overall, students requested hyperlinks and cross-referencing to make the ebooks overall
easier to use. And as for rating the overall impression of the ebooks provided, they valued the
appearance of the ebooks. Graphics and illustrations were welcomed and enjoyed by the
participants in the study.
This was a well-written and actually interesting article. As a high school Language Arts
teacher, ebooks have been at the forefront of many department meetings I have attended.
Therefore, a discussion about ebooks and their design principles is interesting to me. Also, the
vocabulary in the article was easy to understand and inviting to the reader. The only part that was
a little confusing was when the authors began to list all of the different attributes of the three
different ebooks they provided for evaluation, Book A, B, and C. Listing these attributes out
became redundant and confusing. However, they did provide tables that grouped together the
attributes of each book, and that made it easier to understand.
I’m sure ebooks will be something that will be in all high schools in the very near future.
And as a future media specialist, it will be my job to pick out appropriate and effective books for
our library. By knowing the design principles that make ebooks more appealing to students, I can
make sure that I select ebooks that students will like and use. Therefore, this is an article that will
be very important in my reference folder for the future!
Considine, D., Horton, J., & Moorman, G. (2009). Teaching and reading the millennial
generation through media literacy. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52 (6),
471-481. Retrieved September 20, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.
The ever changing definition of literacy is addressed in this article by David Considine,
Julie Horton, and Gary Moorman. These authors attribute this changing literacy definition to the
newfound presence of multimedia in daily life. No longer is literacy simply the ability to read
and write, but now it is the ability to find, evaluate, and use the information at hand. Though
there are several different types of media acknowledged by the authors, they group them all
together in stating that overall “media literacy” is of upmost importance to our students.
Considine, Horton, and Moorman point out that today’s youth is surrounded by different
types of multimedia. However, they suggest that while today’s teens know how to access the
information available to them, they are incapable of evaluating and understanding it. Therefore,
this must become a focus of education. By implementing multimedia resources and strategies in
the classroom, students will be more interested and involved, while simultaneously learning
traditional and contemporary content and life skills.
So how do we, as educators, implement multimedia in the classroom? First off, the
authors point out that simply using multimedia in the classroom is not enough. Instead, they
argue that teaching students how to use multimedia is a necessity. The model they suggest for
effectively doing this is the T.A.P. model. T.A.P. is an acronym for Text, Audience, and
Production. Using this model, students evaluate the form, or text type, that the information is
being presented in (the T), consider the intended audience of the text (the A), and finally analyze
the context that the text was created in and for (the P). Considine, Horton, and Moorman suggest
that implementing this model helps students better understand the vast array of information they
come into contact with.
The final section of this article gives an example of a lesson plan that implements the
T.A.P. model. The lesson, which focuses on the Titanic, satisfies Language Arts and Social
Studies standards. The Titanic example gives eight different forms of media for presenting the
facts of the lesson, ranging from a video clip to a book. Other possible lesson topics for
multimedia use are suggested and encouraged as well.
Ultimately, the authors of this article encourage educators to engage their students in
meaningful lessons that implement the multimedia forms that they interact with outside of school
daily. By doing so, lessons are more meaningful, and students are more interested.
While this article does an excellent job of presenting the need for multimedia instruction
in schools, it is repetitive in several places. However, the authors do an excellent job of
presenting and supporting their viewpoints by providing several different websites and articles
that readers can reference for further clarification. The authors made these references even
clearer for readers as the references were given directly in the text, rather than only on a
reference page at the end of the article.
Also, the way that the authors gave an example of an actual lesson plan that implemented
the T.A.P. model that they supported was very helpful. Examples are easier to understand, and
the Titanic example definitely made the T.A.P. model more meaningful for me as a reader.
Suggesting other possible topics that would work well with the model was also very beneficial.
And finally, this article was beneficial to me because I am working to one day become a
media specialist in the high school setting. As a media specialist, it will be primarily my
responsibility to help teachers incorporate multimedia into their lessons and classroom
instruction. Therefore, this article gave some very informative and beneficial suggestions of
ways that this implementation can be done.
Etuk, N. (2008). Educational gaming—From edutainment to bona fide 21st-century teaching tool.
MultiMedia & Internet@Schools, 15 (6), 10-13. Retrieved September 22, 2009, from
Academic Search Complete database.
In this article Ntiedo Etuk focuses on the advantages of multimedia educational games in
the classroom. Etuk is the CEO of Tabula Digita, which is an educational gaming company
devoted to providing quality, effective, multimedia games to enhance education. He begins his
article by proving to readers the appeal video games have to students by claiming that research
suggests that 93% of K-12 students play video games. It is because of this that Etuk suggests that
educational video games are so effective in classrooms across the country.
Traditionally educators tend to question the true academic nature of educational video
games, and many teachers refuse to use them in their classrooms because they deem them
“edutainment” rather than truly educational. However, Etuk argues that educational video games
that are designed based on the principles defined by Professor James Paul Gee are effective and
truly educational. Among these multimedia design principles presented by Gee is the idea that
educational games must present information in such a variety of ways that every learning
modality is reached. Also, educational games should require students to be actively engaged in
the learning process and to practice repeatedly the skills they are asked to master, in a setting that
doesn’t feel as risky as an open classroom where they are surrounded by their peers and a teacher
with a grade book. Etuk argues that when an educational game is designed in this way, students
master their content area standards, and they have fun while they do it!
Etuk closes his article by citing information claiming that students who used his
company’s educational gaming software, which was designed based on Gee’s design principles,
doubled their benchmark test scores. And not only did their scores increase, but they were more
motivated to learn, coming in before school and staying late after school to play the educational
games. According to Etuk, educational games are a winning solution for everyone, as the
students enjoy learning.
Though this article is very interesting and easy to read, I question its reliability. Etuk
obviously has a vested interest in the educational gaming market, as he is the CEO of one of the
top competitors in the industry. The fact that he has such a strong bias makes me question
exactly how slanted this article really is. For example, none of the cons of using multimedia
gaming software are even mentioned. Though I believe multimedia technologies are extremely
effective tools in the classroom, I wonder how much this article’s credibility would be
questioned by readers who don’t support a multimedia approach, especially since I question it as
I do like the design principles from Professor Gee that are highlighted in the article. It
seems to me that anyone who designs a multimedia, educational game based on these principles
will be creating an effective tool for student use. In fact, I think educators would see drastic
improvements in student performance if they designed all of their classroom activities based on
these principles. As an educator and future media specialist, this article helped me see what
components I should look for in educational games that I purchase for the classroom or media
Sox, A. & Rubinstein-Avila, E. (2009). WebQuests for English-language learners: Essential
elements for design. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53 (1), 38-48. Retrieved
September 19, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.
In their article, authors Amanda Sox and Elian Rubinstein-Avila analyze the effectiveness
of WebQuests for English Language Learners (ELLs). The focus of the article is the use
WebQuests in the high school classroom, as the authors claim secondary teachers are not well-
prepared by post-secondary institutions to teach students who have a limited English proficiency.
The authors begin by stating the essentials of a WebQuest and acknowledge that
WebQuests are common multimedia tools educators use to have students search through various
websites to explore and master a given topic. While WebQuests are an obvious way to teach
content material and integrate technology education into the curriculum, Sox and Avila claim
that they are an effective way to teach English Language Learners the English language as well.
The primary reason for a WebQuest’s effectiveness for ELLs is the multimedia available to
students through it, which helps them build their English language comprehension while
simultaneously mastering content material. The authors further their support for WebQuests by
arguing that in today’s society, literacy is not simply the ability to read and write, but the ability
to access, analyze, and use all information available. WebQuests help students to meet this goal
by requiring them to search various websites to find answers to problems and deepen their
understanding of the topic at hand.
In the article, the authors choose to analyze eight different WebQuests based on their
linguistic, multimedia, and organizational features that promote learning for ELLs. They argue
that WebQuests should be comprised of language that is easily understood by students, be well
organized through the use of highlighting, bulleting, and paragraph and page breaks, and should
implement various online multimedia tools, such as audio lessons, video clips, and read-aloud
programs. After analyzing eight WebQuests that are found to be contextually sound for students,
the authors fear that most WebQuests fail to implement the various online sources that will be
most beneficial to ELLs. They continue to suggest different uses of multimedia that would
strengthen the WebQuests, primarily for English Language Learners, but for other students, too.
They suggest implementing read aloud software and bilingual dictionaries as a few multimedia
approaches that would help ELLs succeed in the classroom. And furthermore, the content-related
suggestions that Sox and Avila make could be easily remedied through the use of multimedia
tools like online video clips. Finally, the authors stress the importance of WebQuests
implementing effective methods of multimedia by claiming that even efficient WebQuests are
not beneficial for students when their design does not implement effective multimedia tools.
This article was extremely easy to read and very beneficial to me. The vocabulary and
detail in the article make it easy to understand. Anyone could read this article, not just educators,
and understand what the authors are talking about because of their thoroughness. For example,
the authors begin by defining what a WebQuest is. That way, someone from any background or
profession understands the basis of the article from the very beginning.
I was also intrigued by the fact that Sox and Avila focus on the secondary classroom, as I
taught 9th and 11th grade Language Arts for two years. Therefore, my interest is primarily at the
high school level. Not only was the age of interest to me, but I was also interested in the focus on
English Language Learners, as I was partnered with the ELL teacher both years that I taught at
the high school. I had students who had very limited English skills, and, as the authors stated
many teachers are, I did not feel like I was prepared to teach them effectively. Therefore, the
benefits of the multimedia WebQuest approach were interesting to me, and would be extremely
beneficial in a blended classroom.
The primary weakness of this article is that while it did give examples of WebQuests that
are not “up to par” for ELL learners, no examples are given of effective WebQuests for students
who are not English proficient. The authors do an excellent job of explaining how to make a
WebQuest beneficial for English Language Learners, but an example would have made it easier
Kingsley, K. V., Boone, R. (2006). Effects of multimedia software on achievement of middle
school students in american history class. Journal of Research on Technology in
Education, 41 (2), 203-217. Retrieved September 20, 2009, from Academic Search
This research based article by Karla Kingsley and Randall Boone takes an in depth look
at the effect of multimedia software on student test scores. The authors completed a seven month
study in middle school Social Studies classrooms. They support their choice of studying Social
Studies classes by arguing that research shows students generally find Social Studies classes
boring, impractical, and uninviting. Because students generally enjoy technology and the
interaction that comes from a multimedia approach, the authors suspected that the use of
multimedia software in Social Studies classes would increase student achievement and
motivation. They began the article by citing several different sources that claim the use of
multimedia software during instructional time is beneficial to students, primarily because of its
appeal to multiple modalities.
An in-depth description of the study was provided. One hundred eighty-four students in
four different classrooms at three different schools participated in the study. Control and variance
groups were created. Students in both groups were taught Social Studies content through lecture
and the textbook, but students in the variance group also were involved in the use if Ignite!, a
multimedia, web-based form of computer assisted instruction. While the control group did
receive some instruction from various supplemental resources, such as worksheets and websites,
the variance group had 20% of their instruction made up of the Ignite! program. All four teachers
taught one control group and one variance group. To measure student achievement, all students
were given a fifty question pre and post-tests that were state standards based. The pre and post-
tests were the same.
At the end of the study period, test scores showed that all students, in both the control and
variance group, had an increase in test scores from pre to post tests. However, the average
increase in test scores for the variance group was approximately 12%, while the average increase
in the control group was approximately 6%. Therefore, there was a significant difference
between the control and variance group test scores. This study supports the idea that multimedia
software, like Ignite! increases student achievement.
The authors end the article by stating that even though some research exists on
multimedia instructional strategies, much more is needed. They suggest that not only do
educators need more research on the success of multimedia software in the classroom, but that
teachers also need to know if more multimedia exposure leads to more success. They also ask if
multimedia software prepares students for practical uses of the information they learn, or if it
only helps them perform better on tests. Therefore, this article is not a definitive answer to the
multimedia curriculum question. Instead, it is a cry out for more research and information on an
education trend that is increasingly more prevalent in schools.
This article, though very thorough and informative, is not very interesting. It’s a research
article, and it reads like one. The language is dry, technical, and confusing. The data results
section used terms like two-tailed test and Cronbach’s Alpha. Because of this technical jargon,
this article would be a hard read for anyone not trained in the research field. Because I had a
research class last semester I recognized some of the terms, but it was still very confusing.
Despite the fact that the article is a hard read, it does an excellent job of relaying to
readers the impact of multimedia software on education. The authors do an excellent job of
presenting data to prove that all, or most, current research finds a multimedia approach to
education to be beneficial. Also, the authors present the information in a very unbiased way, so
that no personal agendas or viewpoints are evident.
Finally, the information in this article will be very beneficial to me as a media specialist
because it showcases the importance of multimedia in the classroom. This article would be an
excellent reference to provide to skeptical teachers when I try to persuade them to incorporate
technology into their classrooms. The fact that the article suggests that multimedia software
improves standardized test scores makes it even more beneficial because so much pressure is put
on today’s teachers for their students to perform well on these tests. Not only would the article
come in handy with teachers, but it could also help me persuade a reluctant administration to
invest in multimedia software for student use. So overall, while this article may not have been a
fun read, it was a beneficial one.
Seo, K., Templeton, R., & Pellegrino, D. (2008). Creating a ripple effect: Incorporating
multimedia-assisted project-based learning in teacher education. Theory into Practice,
47 (3), 259-265. Retrieved September 22, 2009, from Academic Search Premiere
In their article, “Creating a Ripple Effect,” Seo, Templeton, and Pellegrino highlight the
advantages of teaching students using a project-based learning (PBL), multimedia approach. It is
their belief that the project-based setting, where students are actively involved in creating
multimedia projects to learn the material and prove their knowledge of it by the creation of a
final product, is more meaningful and effective for students. They emphasize that projects
assigned in this approach should be multimedia based because of weaknesses with short-term
memory. As a result of these weaknesses, students need to be hands on, actively seeing and
hearing the information they are learning. This active approach is possible only through the use
of multimedia technology.
To test their hypothesis that students learn best in this project-based, multimedia setting,
the authors conducted a study using pre-service teachers in the college classroom. They wanted
to see if teaching these students how to teach by using the PBL method made them more
effective and knowledgeable teachers. To incorporate the project-based multimedia setting in the
college classroom, the pre-service teachers were required to create eight different multimedia
projects throughout the semester. The projects ranged from PowerPoint presentations to
newsletters or websites. The instructor did not “instruct” students on how to accomplish these
tasks, instead he facilitated learning by monitoring their progress and answering their questions
when they became confused. Students worked through websites and other material, at their own
pace, to learn how to use the technology to accomplish their assignment. Also, all of the projects
were content based, so students had to acquire a mastery-level knowledge base of their content
Upon completion of the course, all of the pre-service teachers agreed that they felt better
equipped to teach their students, and felt that what they would teach their students would be
more meaningful. They also shared a feeling that they were more competent and stronger in their
content area knowledge. Since they had to master their content area knowledge in order to
complete the projects, simply “getting by” was not an option. Also, pre-service teachers went
from 36% feeling competent and ready to implement technology in their classroom to 94%. All
of these increases and changes in teacher thought were measured by surveys given to participants
before and after the course, rating their competence and ability in areas such as technology usage
and student motivation in the classroom.
Ultimately, the authors suggest that not only should pre-service teachers be taught using
this project-based learning, multimedia approach, but that students in K-12 classrooms should as
well. They argue that teaching student teachers in this manner makes them more likely to carry it
over into their own classrooms when they graduate and begin teaching. The article suggests that
students who learn in this way are more motivated to learn, develop problem solving and critical
thinking skills at a higher level, and find what they learn to be more practical to real life
scenarios. And, the best thing about this method is that students learn and master both content
area knowledge and multimedia technology skills simultaneously.
This article was very well written, easy to understand, and interesting. The authors did an
excellent job of proving their belief that multimedia project-based learning is effective and
practical in the classroom. The fact that they experimented with pre-service teachers makes it
more believable and relevant to many that will read this article. The article is obviously directed
towards teachers, and is presented in such a way as to help them and highlight the benefits for
them in incorporating this PBL method.
This article is an excellent addition to my reference folder as a future media specialist. It
would be an excellent article to show technology resistant teachers to help persuade them to
incorporate more multimedia projects in their classrooms. Also, it is a perfect model for how to
structure a professional learning workshop. I can only assume that this method would work
equally as well in the workshop setting as it did in the college classroom setting where it was
implemented in the article. If teachers are asked to create a multimedia project during a
professional workshop, they would pick up the same skills that the college students did in the
article, and the hope would be that it would carry over to the classroom. As a media specialist, I
could be in charge of organizing or even running some of the professional learning workshops at
my school. This article would come in extra handy then!
And finally, this article does an excellent job of pointing out the weaknesses and
problems with a multimedia, project-based learning approach. Often times educators become
frustrated with new teaching techniques that are presented as being “perfect.” When the
techniques are actually implemented in the classroom, they have multiple issues that teachers are
forced to deal with or correct. Normally most of the problems are unexpected by educators
because they are not acknowledged by the technique’s supporters. As a result, teachers are often
reluctant to try new techniques and trends. However, these authors present possible problems
with their teaching method from the very beginning, giving teachers a “heads up” on problems
that could arise and allowing them to be better prepared to either avoid the problem all together,
or quickly remedy it when it occurs.
Sterling, J. (2009). Multimedia landscapes. Arts & Activities, 145 (3), 42-52. Retrieved
September 20, 2009, from Academic Search Complete database.
In her article “Multimedia Landscapes” Joan Sterling demonstrates how to utilize
multimedia in an elementary art classroom. She notes that the purpose of her article is to prove
that technology and a multimedia approach can be incorporated into any subject at any grade
level. The article gives an in depth explanation of how she successfully mastered technology and
art content standards in her elementary classroom. In fact, she goes so far as listing the Michigan
state standards that are met through her multimedia art lesson.
So, how did she do it? How did she have students master technology standards in an art
classroom? She had them create true acrylic paintings, followed by virtual paintings on the
computer. Students learned the artistic concepts of foreground, background, and brushstrokes,
and were then able to demonstrate their competence of the concepts on a true canvas and the
computer. And not only were students able to demonstrate their newly learned art skills on the
computer, but they were able to demonstrate their mastery of technology skills as well. Sterling
claims that students did such an exceptional job on their virtual paintings that it was hard to
distinguish them from the real paintings. The last seven pages of her article includes pictures of
the real acrylic and virtual paintings for the reader to view.
This article does such an excellent job in describing the multimedia art lesson Sterling
taught in her classroom that an art teacher could teach the exact same lesson after reading it. The
article goes into much detail about the lesson, even going so far as listing the needed materials
and learning objectives that the lesson satisfies. In many ways the article is written almost like a
lesson plan. This is extremely beneficial to readers, especially those readers who are educators.
The lesson is extremely beneficial to me because, as a future media specialist, it provides
an excellent model for incorporating a multimedia approach in art classes, which are generally
classes where few technology connections seem to appear. Also, the fact that it is an elementary
focused lesson is beneficial since I will be certified to be a media specialist in any K-12
educational setting. However, I feel that this particular lesson plan could be modified to work at
any grade level.
And finally, this article is an excellent addition to my reference folder because it shows
how multimedia can be utilized in all areas of the curriculum, as art is typically not a content
area one would associate with technology. As a media specialist, this could work as an “Aha!”
reference, proving technology integration can occur.