Interactive Media

Digital Storytelling is becoming more and more prevalent in todays society, especially among the younger generation. One of the major platforms for this is through interactive media which goes beyond the typical pen to paper and uses visuals (still and moving), audio, animation, e-books, games etc. to deliver a message.  The uses for this technology within schools are at the start of their exploration. In the past decade, interactive media has become more widely used for the distribution of information and communication.

Networking and being connected as much as possible has become a social norm today. This should be taken advantage of catering your message to your intended audience. You see a lot of  millennials turning to interactive media as a social or information gathering environment. Sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Blogs, Twitter, Google, and so many more are great to use. It is a relatively cheap way to get a story to an audience quickly.

What makes people use interactive media in the first place?

Nearly everyone now has a phone or access to a computer that they can use for these different sites. It is a quick, personal, direct way to gain information. Interactive media can also be more specific by allowing the seeker to give details about what they want to know and it will automatically filter out what is unnecessary. Before, it was time consuming to find exactly what information you were looking for. Now, you give a description and instantly you gain multiple sources, videos, audio books etc. all about the topic.

How can we use Interactive media in schools?

In schools, interactive media could be a unique tool to use in order to engage with students. Today they learn and retain more from doing rather than just reading and reiterating information. If you are able to incorporate an interactive aspect to their learning it will increase retention by engaging them with the material in ways other than reading and writing.

I can distinctly remember a teacher I had in 4th grade who was well ahead of her time with interactive media in the classroom. She used many things including laser disks (before CDs and DVDs) about topics that allowed us, as students, to learn and interact with the videos and information menus picking which direction we wanted to know more about. That was nearly 16-17 years ago now and I still remember as a young kid the impact that she had on me and my learning experience.

Even today, I know a university professor that uses a virtual reality headset that connects to audio/video and simulates what it might be like to have schizophrenia. It gives more understanding behind the topic than just words would. There are obviously many variations of that disease but to someone who has never experienced them, an interactive outlet allows them to gain a greater understanding by adding other senses.

What is next?

Imagine what roles interactive media could play in a classroom today. You wouldn’t want to take the human-human interaction out of the classroom entirely. You could instead make it more well rounded and cohesive with today’s society by having that interactivity. Technology is growing each day and allowing us to connect in more and more ways. This can be an asset in schools creating a more well rounded system and catering to all students. If you make a, what might be a normally boring, subject interactive; students who may not have done well before could now excel in it. You can not change the material you present but you can change how you present it.

                                                                                       – Bec

Robin, B.R., 2008. Digital storytelling: A powerful technology tool for the 21st century classroom. Theory into practice, 47(3), pp.220-228.

Markus, M.L., 1987. Toward a “critical mass” theory of interactive media universal access, interdependence and diffusion. Communication research, 14(5), pp.491-511.

Moore, M., 2012. Interactive media usage among millennial consumers. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 29(6), pp.436-444.

Van den Beemt, A., Akkerman, S. and Simons, R.J., 2011. Considering young people’s motives for interactive media use. Educational Research Review, 6(1), pp.55-66.

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