Friday, July 16, 2010

EDIM508 How Multi-Media Presentations Foster the Development of Both the Disciplined and Synthesizing Minds

(I will be using the abbreviation MMP for multi-media presention throughout this blog.)
First, let's look at how a muti-media presentation fosters a disciplined mind by examining the four steps of achieving a disciplined mind:
"1) Identifying the important concepts within the discipline.
2) Spend a significant amount of time with this topic using a variety of examples.
3) Approach the topic in a number of ways.
4) Set up performances of understanding: Be able to give performances of understanding in a variety of conditions." (p. 32-34, Gardner)
Whether the MMP is used by an instructor or is used as a tool that will be created, the four steps are being fostered. First, the purpose of the presentation is identified. Next, an MMP can provide ample time to explore the concept. The MMP can be presented by an instructor. It can be used at a learning center. It often takes more than one view to get a grasp of everything presented and therefore, can be watched repeatedly for better understanding. After watching an MMP, the student can explore the topic by other means, different resources. The topic is usually approached in a variety of ways on an MMP: visually with videos and images,auditorily with music or recordings, in a game-like fashion, or by connecting to other links of information on the topic.Last, an MMP is a tool a student could create to show his/her understanding in a variety of multi-media ways, such as showing understanding by creating a song on the topic, creating an organizer, graphics, a piece of graphic art, creating a digital story. The media is a resource for providing multiple means of expression to display understanding. The instructor could use the creations as assessments of understanding of the topic/concept.

Now let's see how an MMP fosters a synthesizing mind. Syntheses is how we "knit together information from disparate sources into a coherent whole." (p. 46, Gardner)A MMP definitely does this! Let's look at the most common kinds of syntheses:
A "narrative" (p. 47, Gardner) can be written as a MMP such as a digital story. "Taxonomies, complex concepts, rules and aphorisms, powerful metaphors, images,and themes, embodiments without words, theories, and metatheories" (p. 47-50, Gardner)can all be created and exposed on a MMP. Links to resources, imaging, videos, recordings could all be used on an MMP to demonstrate these synthesises.
The components of synthesizing are the same components that are used to create an MMP.
1) "A goal" (p. 51, Gardner) The creator of an MMP needs to have a purpose of the syntheses that will be achieved. Why is the MMP being created?
2) "A starting point" (p. 51, Gardner) Why was there a need to develop a MMP and where does the topic exposure need to begin.
3) "Selection of strategy, method, and approach" (p. 51, Gardner)Choose the various media tools in which the concept will be infused.
4) "Drafts and feedback" (p. 52, Gardner) Start to create the MMP.View it from an audience's viewpoint to see if it makes sense or if it will be effective in reaching the initial goal.
The blending of the various forms of media along with the knowledge that is to be shared is syntheses.

My MMP project will create disciplined minds by providing multiple means of representation of vocabulary to increase understanding of literature that will be read. The multiple exposures of the vocabulary by various media and activities should improve comprehension while reading the literature. The activites also lend themselves to developing listening and speaking skills. The integration of the media with vocabulary development, listening skills, speaking skills, and the reading of the literature makes this interdisciplinary. Students will also gain knowledge on how to use technology to acquire information. Syntheses will begin when the students will be able to read the literature fluently due to the multiple means that the vocabulary was presented. The students then will be able to express knowledge orally and written on the topics of neighborhoods, communities, and cities. It becomes an expression of the blending or knitting of information from various sources...syntheses of a child.

Gardner, Howard. Five Minds for the Future. Boston, Massachusetts. Harvard Business School Press. 2007. Print.

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