I started this course, The Use of Media and Production of Educational Materials with an open mind. I thought that it would be quite interesting to explore how media could be used in the classroom. However, when it was discovered that I, a person who avoided the use of Information Communication Technology like the ‘plague’, had to create educational materials using technology I was horrified but had to do it as the course required it. As I researched and discovered how to produce educational materials through the use of media, I was astounded and excited about learning more. Through regular interaction with the course material and a kind and caring tutor, the fear of using technology slowly subsided. I felt like a child with new toys was even able to communicate with my own son who is a ‘digital native’. Through these experiences I realized that the pupils in my class would also engage in effective learning when media is used as a tool in the classroom.
I have now begun take a closer look at my pupils and their needs as ‘digital natives’, growing up as speakers of the digital language of computers, video games, internet, mobile phones, instant messaging and numerous other communication methods supported by Information Communication Technology. I have recognised that I speak an outdated language struggling to teach a group that speaks an entirely new language. The use of media would enable me to teach so that my students would become problem solvers, critical thinkers and independent thinkers while being creative and always using initiative. In other words, I plan to use media to expose my pupils to higher order thinking skills which is desperately required for life in the 21st century.
Choosing the appropriate tool to fit the content and assessment strategies is critical. I recognise that students who are exposed to educational technologies and educational software programs out performed students who were not exposed to a similar instruction using developmental tools. The Use of Media and Production of Educational Materials introduced me to desktop publishing, designing and developing a website, building a web quest, digital audio and digital photography for teaching and learning. I could not have imagined myself using the desktop publishing program. Imagine building my own website! I was blown away and amazed by the fact that I was also becoming a ‘digital native’. Putting in the artifacts on the website caused my heart to swell with pride. I could now communicate even more effectively with my pupils. Learning in the classroom would now be an interesting and amazing journey for my pupils.
The experience of course, although an incredible expedition, has been time consuming and frustrating at times since it felt almost like I was learning a second language. However, errors were made I was able to correct them and move on. I continue to discover all that I am capable of as an educator. I feel better equipped to deliver lessons which include the use of media and know that I am now ready to effectively prepare my pupils to successfully function in the global village of the 21st century. This has been an experience which has and will continue to have a positive effect on my life.