Wednesday, September 29, 2010

PBL and Mulit-Media

I recently read two different articles discussing the importance of using multi media and project based learning in the classroom. I personally believe this to be a major component to learning and was a bit surprised to realize that there need to be articles stressing the important role PBL and multi media play in a classroom. I guess I realize the crucial need for students to use multi/hyper media for presentations and group projects because that is how I become motivated and learn at a greater depth than normal tests or questioners. The first article, "Rubrics,Portfolios, and Tests, Oh My" Reinforced my belief in project based learning. While reading this article I tried to think of the different teaching styles if my various teachers over the years. As I thought about it I began to realize that many of them used tests and quizzes as an only means for assessment. I am not a good test taker. I have to cross out the questions I answer as soon as I answer them or I get confused and either miss one or accidentally answer it twice. Perhaps this is a slight learning disability. Regardless, I do way better at essay exams than normal multiple choice. I am able to explain what I mean and use my memory to provide examples. Though this is not project based learning, it has an aspect of it. This is because both call for the student to find ways to describe what they mean and give examples. The difference is that in project based learning children can glean from other group members and spend more time on gathering the facts in order to come up with their own solid opinions. I think teachers are so set on test taking because that is how they were taught- it has been the tradition for hundreds of years. Yet, as the article "Developing Understanding Using Multi Media" explains, students are more motivated to learn A) if they work as a team (most of the time, especially when you give them each jobs) and B) when they have to share their work with others. Most people get nervous speaking in front of others, so naturally students would want to at least be a little prepared to explain what they are presenting to minimize the stress of public speaking. However, when using PBL and multi/hyper media to asses it is absolutely crucial fi have some type of guideline for students to follow (like Rubrics as described in the articles). Otherwise students will become confused and lose focus because it will be a frustrating assignment without guidelines. In addition teachers need to be continually assessing their teaching methods when using these assessment styles. It will help them know what works best and what needs improvement. In order for the students to learn the teacher needs to ensure that the projects are clear and can be accomplished. Life is a never ending learning experience and both the teacher and the students must never forget.