513 Multimedia and Contiguity

 I was one of those teachers who was trying to teach to all the different learning styles. I even gave my students a project to present and required them present to all the learning styles.  Now, after reading these articles, I couldn’t agree more with the idea that, students and audiences can get overloaded with too much information!

After reading the chapters in the book, I was also reminded of a concert I sang a few years ago. The program was Ralph Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony (it’s a song about the sea and sailors). To try and connect with younger audiences, it was decided by the Artistic Director to project images similar to the topic of the symphony on a screen hanging over the stage. The images were of ocean waves, semaphore flags and an animation of an old woman covering her eyes. It was too much for the more mature members of the audience. One of our largest donors, seated in the seventh row, stood up and shouted “Boo to the pictures”, then he stomped out the door!

These readings, chapters 4 and 5 from the assigned text and the article on Power Point Presentations, distilled the feelings of this poor patron perfectly. Too much information at one time can cause the audience to become too distracted from the primary message. This man simply had too much to pay attention to: the instrumentalists playing the music, the chorus singing the music and text and the images and how they related to the text being sing.

There were many suggestions in chapters 4 and 5 that I would like to apply to previous assignments for my EDTECH classes as well as documents I have created in my own classroom. I particularly agreed with the concept of having the directions on the same page as the exercise (page 99). I  also was embarrassed to say I have committed the act of “Separation of Text and Graphics on Scrolling Screens” on page 96.
I did get nervous about the idea of having to create a lot of graphics and/or animations for this class. I was a little relieved when the chapter explained that graphics are best when they are not decorative. However, I am still anxious about graphics, as they are time consuming to create correctly, and I have no idea how to create an animation.


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