Media in Education. The Study of Application.

Introduction

The study of application of media in education is a complex activity. It entails that each medium shows some specific and unique attributes that are important or of great concern to each day to day classroom learning activity. The purpose of the study of media’s implementation in education is to determine the unique media attributes and to delve deep into the realm of the theoretical framework of media in terms of education. Current researches focus on the different attributes of media and not on their commonalities.

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Even the research by Oettinger and Zapol(1971) concludes that learning is the details of the means. This was also the conclusion arrived at by the research team of Jaminson, Suppes and Wells(1974) when they looked at the relationship of media and technology.

Likewise, Leifer(1976) concluded that the different media used in education differ only in their content. Salomon (1994) stated that “It is an indictment of our present state of knowledge that we know neither how to asses the psychological effects of these technologies nor how to adapt them to the purposes of education. The impact of technologies both ancient and modern on children’s learning is either negligible or unknown” The following paragraphs explain the relationship of technology’s use of media to the learning process.

Body

There are no learning benefits from media(Clark, 1994). The reasons for and against using media in the teaching of the topics in a classroom activity is finance or economics. It would cost more to buy a projector or powerpoint equipment to show how to multiply 28 x 22. Clark’s theories are better in terms of using media in the New College of Education Department at the University of Water Street East. Clark theorizes that the external events must support cognitive processes or structures that are required for learning goals by students who are unable or unwilling to provide them for themselves when learning is influenced by external events. Clark uses cognitive learning as the basis for his discussion(Clark, 1994).

The teacher must educate his or her students by insuring that the intended outcomes will occur after each classroom activity. For example, the topic for the day is multiplication. The teacher could give 2 or 4 examples of a multiplication activity and explain each step.

The teacher shows that 2 x 3 = 6. The teacher then lets the entire class solve some multiplication problems using one digits, tens digits and hundred digits. The learning activity is successful if the students now know how to multiply 7 x 8, 42 x 54, 125 x 345, etc. There is a saying that goes “ The average teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates and the great teacher inspires(Mamchur, 1993)”

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Further, teaching is relationship -based activity(Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 1996). The relationship centers on the teacher –student relationship, student subject relationship, and learning and memory relationship. The major role of the teacher is only to assist and not insist their students to learn the daily classroom activities like multiplication, division and the like. For memory is the most important linking to a successful student learning activity and retaining large amounts of student incoming information and the cognitive activity of implementing what is learned. The key to learning is the human capacity to organize experience and to implement calculated patterns with the use of sensors like touch, smell, taste(Meehan, 1991).

Morgan(1997) states that the learning process is a three -step action plan. The steps are the cognitive, practice and knowledge of results. The teacher in the above example will give exercises in order to measure how much of the classroom lessons were absorbed by the students. This is the feedback process of the learning environment. A high exercise score means that students had absorbed more than the average lessons for the day.

Further, cognition entails the study of the how the student’s mind thinks during each classroom learning activity. The advantage of this activity is that it will use lesser cognitive load when compare do the activity envisioned by Kozma. A teacher can use a projector, a power point presentation or the use of white blackboard chalk to teach multiplication. All these activities facilitate the learning process. However, the least costly, the chalk will be the best because it is the cheapest. The amount of money saved could be used to improve the facilities of the school(Biggs, 1994).

Both the students and the teacher will feel proud whenever the students answer each classroom exercise or exam correctly. The multimodal model of learning would specify that different activities require different medium to be used in order to make learning a smoothly successful activity. For example, the use of Dienes blocks would symbolize activity that is needed to insure faster block learning activities (Halford & Boulton-Lewis, 1994).

Further, Saracho( 1994) stated in his research that a person’s learning capacity is influenced by his or her personality, intelligence and social behavior. There three types of memory. They are the sensory, short term, the long term types. The sensory memory involves the use of the five senses. For example, mango looks (use of the eyes) like this, etc. Short term memory should be practiced in order to convert it to long term memory.

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The one year old child would not have the same mental capacity as the college graduate or the high school graduate. Saracho (1997) insisted that the cognitive learning style encompasses a person’s unique mode of understanding, judging, remembering and solving problems. Some will be slow learners. Others will fast learners. Some will be geniuses. And a few will be morons. But still, they all have the cognitive capacity to learn. An example of long term memory classroom activity is when the teacher states that Julius Caesar was murdered by his best friend, Brutus.

On the other hand, Kozma emphasizes that the use of video will enhance the learning process. For example, a short movie about the planets surrounding the sun would increase the learning capacity of the students. The teacher will increase the student’s capacity to absorb the day’s lessons by using examples from real -life situations. Lessons about hurricanes could be appreciated by the grade school students if they will observe a film that vividly shows the number of dead bodies and destroyed homes that lay in the wrath of the storm (Spiro, Bruce, & Brewer, 1980).

However, Kozma also agrees with Clark that there had not been any relevant researches during the past seventy years to conclude that the use of media will increase the learning speed in a typical classroom environment. Kozma even concludes that he agrees with Clark that the use of media in technology and sports is not a compulsory requirement for a student –teacher classroom environment to foster a successful transfer of information from the teacher to the student(Kozma, 1994).

Further, Clark zeroes in on his theory by giving a medical example. He states that there are different medicines that are generally used to cure different diseases. Thus, one media may not be as effective in all the learning process situations. For example, students will learn the life of Abraham Lincoln by reading history books. The students will learn about constellations, planets and the stars by reading science books. The students will learn how to add or deduct numbers by actually adding and deducting numbers themselves. However, the use of projectors and powerpoint presentations and films will not increase a persons speed in adding and deducting when compared to the actual pencil pushing (solving) itself (Palincsar, 1999).

Clark continues by stating that many would attribute the speed in the student’s learning capacity to the medium and not the active ingredient. Likewise, some quarters would state that a failure in the learning process would be due to the wrong medium used. Thus, many managers would be willing to invest their scarce money resources to buy newer media in order to improve the student’s learning performance or motivational gains.

Kozma admits that Clark was right in stating that research for the past seventy years have not established that media or media influences in the learning process in any substantial or structural way. Kozma even goes further by stating that we will find the critical connection between media attributes and learning in the future. This only shows that the implementation of Clark’s theories is a better alternative to Kozma’s theories. (Clark, 1994 ).

Conclusion

There are no learning benefits from media. The above discussion states that one reason in favor of Clark’s theory overshadows and outshines the point of view espoused by Kozma. To reiterate, Clark believes that media will only bring added cost to the education system. But the benefits that media brings will not compensate for the learning variance. Kozma concedes that he has no proof as of this moment to prove that Clark is convincingly wrong. Clark believes that using media in the teaching of the topics in a classroom environment is financially untenable.

Further, buying a projector or a powerpoint equipment to show how math problems are done is a waste of money. Clark’s theories are better in terms of using media in the New College of Education Department at the University of Water Street East. Clearly, Clark is correct is stating that “the external events must support cognitive processes or structures that are required for learning goals by students who are unable or unwilling to provide them for themselves when learning is influenced by external events(Clark, 1994).

Conclusively, Clark is convincingly correct in his findings that it is better to use teaching materials and methods that would cost less for it is the best teaching strategy. Clark reiterates that the teacher should use a teaching strategy that has the same effectives in terms of imparting the lessons to the students. This teaching strategy is better because it uses the medium of instruction that has the least costs.

Instead of the media debate, Kozma should focus on research whereby the cost of media should offset itself by showing that students using media are will have higher scores than those students of the same lower school level who do not use media. In the same light, Kozma has been trying to overcome the same cognitive learning problems being conquered by Clark in a different manner. This is due to the improvement done on the cognitive learning process with the implementation of more than the normal different point of view.

References

Biggs, J. B. (1994). Chapter 2 Modes of Learning, Forms of Knowing, and Ways of Schooling. In Neo-Piagetian Theories of Cognitive Development: Implications and Applications for Education, Demetriou, A., Shayer, M., & Efklides, A. (Eds.) (pp. 31-51). London: Routledge.

Meehan, E. J. (1991). Cognitive Education and Testing: A Methodological Approach. New York: Greenwood Press.

Palincsar, A. S. (1999). Chapter Six Designing Collaborative Contexts: Lessons from Three Research Programs. In Cognitive Perspectives on Peer Learning, O’Donnell, A. M. & King, A. (Eds.) (pp. 151-177). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Salomon, G. (1994). Interaction of Media, Cognition, and Learning. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Saracho, O. N. (1997). Teachers’ and Students’ Cognitive Styles in Early Childhood Education. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

Spiro, R. J., Bruce, B. C., & Brewer, W. F. (Eds.). (1980). Theoretical Issues in Reading Comprehension : Perspectives from Cognitive Psychology, Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, and Education /. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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