Final Journal Entry

In this day and age, teachers and textbooks are not the only sources of knowledge.  Instructional media definitely plays an important role in learning.  Being equipped with the understanding on the development and utilization of instructional media means being able to effectively incorporate them in instruction, resulting to a better learning experience.

I have learned about different media resources from this course.  We have studied print materials, visual materials, audio resources, internet resources, and mutimedia resources.  The following are what I would be taking with me and what I hope to apply in my future lessons.

Print Materials

Although there are continuous advances in technology and these are being used in education, I believe print materials are here to stay.  Print materials are portable,  easy to produce and modify, cost effective, students are familiar to them and are comfortable in their use, and they are readily available.   Apart from this, some schools still cannot afford to have the technology tools that are available at present.  Therefore, teachers should have skills in producing print materials.  Having to produce my own personal print material may be tedious but since it will be produced to cater the learners specific needs and my specific objectives it will be more effective.  Amongst the considerations for the production of print materials, the two most important for me are: a)  Consider the audience and purpose – The print material should be made to suit the needs of the user, and the purpose of the print materials should also be considered since they should be made to achieve their purpose, and b) Lay out of the page –  It is the overall look of the print material.  The material should catch the attention of the reader, the pages should not be too crowded, and there should be balance in the placement of texts and graphics on either side of the page.  Principles such as the “Reading Z,” and “The Rule of Thirds” will be of help in creating the page layout.

Visual Materials

Visual materials are important in the teaching – learning process because it provides a concrete referent for ideas, it can motivate learners, it can simplify information that is difficult to understand and it helps learners comprehend what they can’t comprehend in the verbal or written presentation.  Not only is it important in the teaching-learning process, but visual literacy may mean life or death to a person, for example, the ability to understand visual materials such as emergency information cards and highway signs.  Therefore teachers must know how to develop and use visual materials in order to promote visual literacy.  The important principles I learned for visual design are: a) Ensure Legibility – All words and images in the visual aid should be seen by the viewers, b) Reduce Effort – Viewers should expend little effort to understand the visual aid, c) Increase Active Engagement – The visual aid should be appealing to the viewer, and d)Focus Attention – Audience’s attention should be directed to the most important part of the message.

Audio Resources

The use of audio materials facilitate the development of imagination which in turn is important in problem solving and the generation of new ideas.  Audio materials contribute to the development of listening and interpretation skills and  it is a way of reaching out to physically challenged students.  Therefore, even if there are limitations in the use of audio formats, they are not something that would be enough reasons to prevent the use of audio materials in the classroom.  There are 3 audio formats that are frequently used in classrooms these days.  These are audiotapes, compact discs, and MP3/Wave file formats.

Internet Resources

No one can deny the importance of the internet.  If you ask some people, especially the young ones, some may even say that the internet is part of the basic needs of a person.  Because of the advantages, and even because of the disadvantages of its use, teachers should know how to use the internet themselves for them to be able to guide their learners on how to use it.  The 5 basic criteria in evaluating internet websites that I have learned are: 1) Accuracy – The facts on the site should be documented and verifiable, there should be more than one source used for background information, copyright laws should be respected, the website and the links should be up-to-date, there should not be any grammatical or spelling errors in the text, and the site should not be biased, 2) Authority – The author, publisher or sponsor should be clearly identified, well known in the field or recommended by someone who is well-known in the field, and easily accessible with a given e-mail or other means to get in touch with, 3) Usefulness – The site must address the topic, the information on the topic should be comprehensive, and the site should contain links to other sources that address the topic, 4) Currentness – The information on the website should be current, and 5) Presentation – The  information on the site should be easy to access, the organization of the site should make sense, and the sections should be properly labeled.

Multimedia Resources

Multimedia resources is referred to as the next generation of learning materials.  It provides a way to understand difficult concepts more clearly as it incorporates dynamic animations, interactivity and visual design that stimulates, challenges and tests students.  Multimedia learning tools can be designed to transform learning into an active process where students can visualize relationships, interact with dynamic content, and immediately test their knowledge.  Thus they are important tools to foster learning.  I have learned that the following are steps in the development of multimedia resources:  a) Determine the learning goals and outcomes of the materials, b) Understand the learners – understand their needs and how the materials will help them, c) Design the materials – It should be designed according to the user’s point of view, d) Develop the material – They should be developed using multimedia components and interactivity with the user should be incorporated, e) Test the material – Materials should be tested prior to actual use,  and f) Improve the material – Improvement should be done if there is a need after testing.

There is a need for systematic planning for the media resources to be integrated in instruction.  In this course, I have learned about the TPACK Framework, Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) and ASSURE Model which are guides to the planning of technology integration in instruction.

TPACK Framework

TPACK stands for Technological Pedagogigal Content Knowledge.  It shows that technology, pedagogy and content should not be treated as separate bodies of knowledge, instead it emphasizes the need to understand their relationship with each other in order to develop good teaching.  Using the TPACK framework as a guide in good teaching with technology, a teacher would know that there is a need to understand which technology would support the representation of concepts, which technology would support the pedagogical technique, which technology will support theories of epistemology, and teacher would know how technology can help students build on prior knowledge.

Technology Integration Matrix (TIM)

 The TIM help teachers better integrate technology in teaching and learning by associating the five levels of technology integration (entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with five characteristics of meaningful learning environment, which are active, collaborative, constructive, authentic and goal directed.  The matrix shows the role of the teacher and student, describes the environment and provides videos for every level of technology integration and characteristic of learning environment. Through the association of levels of technology integration with the characteristics of meaningful learning environment, TIM has created a basis for defining and evaluating technology integration and it has provided a reference for effective teaching with technology.

ASSURE Model

The ASSURE Model is  a procedural model, it is intended to assure effective instruction.  ASSURE stands for Analyze learners, State objectives, Select methods, media, and materials, Utilize media and materials, Require learner participation, and Evaluate and revise.  We have used the assure model for planning the field testing we have conducted.  Analysis of the learners required knowing the age group the background and the needs of the learners.  State objectives required the statement of specific, measurable, and reasonable objectives.  Select methods, media and materials  required the selection, and preparation of methods, media and materials that will help students meet the learning objectives.  Utilization of media and material required the proper use of media and materials including decisions on when in the lesson they should be used.  Require Learner Participation – We had to come up with activities that required learner participation and the teacher also frequently asked question in class so learners can participate.  Evaluate and Revise – Rubrics were created as well as checklists in order to evaluate the lesson presentation and results were used to come up with revisions.

Technology has been part of education for a long time, the blackboard and chalk are technological advances although some people may not think about them that way.  Nowadays, there are vast technological advances like the internet, smart phones, tablets, softwares, and the list goes on.  If teachers know how to develop and incorporate media resources in their lessons effectively,  then these vast advances in technology will, no doubt, be a great help in the teaching learning process.  After learning about all the media resources and the guides in incorporating them in instruction, I hope to apply all these knowledge in my future lessons.  I intend to use these resources to help students meet learning goals, thereby improving learning.  I hope to guide students in the use of media resources, and I hope for them to be more independent and more involved in their learning, after all, I want to help students be independent lifelong learners.

References:

(Ferrington, G. (1994). Kids, imagination, and audio in the classroom. Available at http://wfae.proscenia.net/library/articles/ferrington_classroom.pdf)

(Florida Center for Instructional Technology. (2015). The technology integration matrix. Available at http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/matrix.php)

Glencoe. (2006). Evaluating web sites – five basic criteria. Available at http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/educationupclose.phtml/10

(Huang, C. (2005). Designing high-quality interactive multimedia learning modules. In Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics, 29, 223-233. Available at https://cset.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/files/documents/publications/Huang-Designing%20hih-quality%20interactive%20multimedia%20learning%20modules.pdf)

Lamb, A. (n.d). Designing & developing resources: Print materials (Chap 7). In Building treehouses for learning: Technology in today’s classrooms, 243 – 272. Available at http://eduscapes.com/treehouses/TJ7print.pdf)

(Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9620.2006.00684.x. Available at http://onlinelearningcurriculumcommittee.pbworks.com/f/mishra.pdf)

(Smaldino, S. E., Russell, J.D., Heinich, R., and Molenda, M. (2004). The ASSURE model (Chap 3). In Instructional technology and media for learning (8th ed), 46-78. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Available at https://navelmangelep.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/instructional-technology-and-media-for-learning-8th-ed.pdf)

(Smaldino, S. E., Russell, J.D., Heinich, R., and Molenda, M. (2004). Visual principles (Chap 4). In Instructional technology and media for learning (8th ed), 79-105. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Available at https://navelmangelep.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/instructional-technology-and-media-for-learning-8th-ed.pdf)

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Audio Resources

There are 3 audio formats that are frequently used in classrooms nowadays.  These are audiotapes, compact discs, and MP3/Wave file formats.  There are advantages and limitations to the use of these formats these are:

Advantages:

Inexpensive

Readily available and simple to use

Reproducible

Provides verbal message for nonreaders

Ideal for teaching foreign languages

Stimulating – Audio can dramatically present verbal messages more than text.

Repeatable

Portable

Ease of lesson preparation – It is easy to record lessons and easy to erase and record over outdated material.

Selections easy to locate – This is for CDs, DVDS, MP3 and wave formats.

Resistance to damage

Limitations:

Fixed sequence – This is a limitation of the audiotape.

Doesn’t monitor attention – When students study independently with the use of audio materials they can’t be monitored.  They may not listen attentively, thus they may not comprehend what they hear.

Difficulty in pacing – Listeners have different attention spans and recorded audio cannot adjust to that.

Difficulty in locating segment – This is in the use of audiotape.

Potential for accidental erasure

Since audio materials are being used in classrooms, the listening skills of students must be developed.  There is a difference between listening and hearing:

Hearing is a physiological process where sound waves from the outer ear are transmitted to the eardrum, converted to mechanical vibrations in the middle ear, and changed to electrical impulses in the inner ear and travels to the brain.

Listening is a psychological process that starts with awareness of and attention to sounds or speech patterns (receiving), proceeds through identification and recognition of specific auditory signals (decoding), and ends in comprehension (understanding).

To be able to develop listening teachers must:

Guide listening – This can be done by giving objectives or questions prior to listening.

Give directions – Give directions on the audio material.

Ask the students to listen for main ideas, details, or inferences.

Use context in listening – Can be done by using sentences with words missing, to be supplied by the students.

Analyze the structure of a presentation – Can be done by instructing students to  outline what they have heard.

Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information – Can be done by asking the students to identify irrelevant sentences in the paragraph.

Although there are limitations in the use of audio formats, they are not something that would be enough reasons to prevent the use of audio materials in the classroom.  After all, the use of audio in class is very important because they facilitate the development of imagination.  Imagination is important in problem solving and the generation of new ideas.  Audio materials contribute to the development of listening and interpretation skills and  it is a way of reaching out to physically challenged students.  When used for teaching history, it can help learners understand the emotions a person has while delivering a speech, something  that  will be difficult to discern from just reading.  Yes, more students will learn better with audio materials.

References:

(Ferrington, G. (1994). Kids, imagination, and audio in the classroom. Available at http://wfae.proscenia.net/library/articles/ferrington_classroom.pdf)

(Reissman, R. (2014). Teaching tips for using audio cassettes or CDs. Retrieved from https://www.teachervision.com/teaching-methods/resource/4100.html?for_printing=1)

(Smaldino, S. E., Russell, J.D., Heinich, R., and Molenda, M. (2004). Audio (Chap 11). In Instructional technology and media for learning (8th ed), 264-280. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Available at https://navelmangelep.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/instructional-technology-and-media-for-learning-8th-ed.pdf)

Multimedia Resources

In the teaching – learning environment, according to Lamb, “Multimedia can be defined as access to text (words & numbers), aural (sound effects, music, & speech), and visual (still images, movies, & animation) elements as part of the teaching/learning process. ”  Multimedia paved the way for learning to come to life for students.  It is denoted as the next generation of learning materials.  It provides a way to understand difficult concepts more clearly as it incorporates dynamic animations, interactivity and visual design that stimulates, challenges and tests students.

Because of its importance in the teaching and learning process, teachers need the skills to create effective multimedia materials.  In its development, the following steps should be considered.

Determine the learning goals and outcomes of the materials.

Understand the users –   In developing multimedia materials, one must understand the users, their needs and how the materials will help the users.

Design the material – Materials should be designed according to the user’s point of view.

Develop the material – Materials should be developed using multimedia components.  Interactivity with the user should be incorporated in the development of the material.

Test the materials – Materials should be tested prior to actual use.

Improve the materials – After testing, improvements should be done if there be a need for it.  Improvement should also be done, not just after testing, but also after the actual use of the target users if needed.

Multimedia learning tools can be designed to transform learning into an active process where students can visualize relationships, interact with dynamic content, and immediately test their knowledge.  Therefore, multimedia materials are important tools to foster learning.

References:

(Huang, C. (2005). Designing high-quality interactive multimedia learning modules. In Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics, 29, 223-233. Available at https://cset.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/files/documents/publications/Huang-Designing%20hih-quality%20interactive%20multimedia%20learning%20modules.pdf)

(Lamb, A. (n.d). Designing and developing resources: multimedia materials (Chap 11). In Building treehouses for learning: Technology in today’s classrooms, 385-438. Available at http://eduscapes.com/treehouses/TN11multimedia.pdf)

Internet Resources

No one can turn a blind eye on the importance of the internet in this day and age.  I remember my sister saying that having an internet connection is part of the basic needs of a person nowadays.  The internet is used for shopping, banking, communication, teaching, learning, and the list goes on.  In the teaching and learning community, the integration of internet resources in instruction has its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

Unlimited information – The internet offers text, statistics, graphics, sounds, and videos with just a mouseclick.

Inexpensive – The resources available in the internet are either inexpensive or free.

Ability to easily link information – The concept of hypertext makes it easy to link information.  Through hypertext there’s just a need to point and click on “hot words or phrases” to be taken to another location with information related to that topic.

Brings the outdoors to class – Some field trips that will not be possible due to distance and financial restrictions can be done using the internet through virtual field trips.

Timely information – Rather than reading outdated books, timely information are always available in the internet.

Promotes interaction – The internet can connect people around the world. The internet can also give access to people who are experts on certain fields. There are lots of softwares that can be used for this.  Even online learning is made possible by the internet.

Authentic information – There are authentic documents about every subject available in the internet.

Motivates students – Since using the internet is interesting and fun, the learners become motivated in using it for studying.

Disadvantages

Information has no quality control – Anyone can post any information with little organization and with no judgment about quality.

Risk of students finding inappropriate site – These may be sites that are not related to the topic they are trying to find information about, or risk of children being able to access sites that are not age appropriate for them.

May be time consuming – If the one using the internet is not adept at finding information through it, it may take a long time to find the right information because of the many information in the net.

Because of the advantages the internet offers, teachers should know how to use the internet themselves for them to be able to guide their learners on how to use it.  Teachers must also know how to create an environment where students can use the internet, which also involves knowledge in how to design internet based activities and projects.  Furthermore, due to the disadvantages in the use of the internet which is mostly because of inappropriate information, teachers must also know how to evaluate internet websites/resources.  According to Glencoe (2006), there are 5 basic criteria in evaluating websites:  Accuracy, authority, usefulness, currentness and presentation.

Accuracy – Accuracy is of utmost importance in evaluating a website.   Some of the factors to be considered to determine the accuracy of the site are:   The facts in the site must be documented and verifiable.  There should be more than one source used for background information within the site. Copyright laws should be respected.  The website should be up-to-date.  The links within the site should be appropriate and up-to-date.  There should not be any grammatical or spelling errors in the text.  The site’s contents should not be biased.

Authority – The author, publisher or sponsor should be clearly identified, well known in the field or recommended by someone who is well-known in the field, and easily accessible with a given e-mail or other means to get in touch with.

Usefulness – The site must address the topic, the information on the topic should be comprehensive, and the site should contain links to other sources that address the topic.

Currentness – The information on the website should be current.

Presentation – The  information on the site should be easy to access.  The organization of the site should make sense and the sections should be properly labeled.

Given the advantages and disadvantages in the use of the internet, I still believe the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.  People just need to be knowledgeable on how to overcome the disadvantages to make the internet work to their advantage.

References:

Glencoe. (2006). Evaluating web sites – five basic criteria. Available at http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/educationupclose.phtml/10

(Lamb, A. (n.d). Selecting & integrating resources: Teaching and learning with internet (Chap 4). In Building treehouses for learning: Technology in today’s classrooms, 119-158. Available at http://eduscapes.com/treehouses/TG4Internet2.pdf)

Audio Resources

There are 3 audio formats that are frequently used in classrooms nowadays.  These are audiotapes, compact discs, and MP3/Wave file formats.  There are advantages and limitations to the use of these formats, these are:

Advantages:

Inexpensive

Readily available and simple to use

Reproducible

Provides verbal message for nonreaders

Ideal for teaching foreign languages

Stimulating – Audio can dramatically present verbal messages more than text.

Repeatable

Portable

Ease of lesson preparation – It is easy to record lessons and easy to erase and record over outdated material.

Selections easy to locate – This is for CDs, DVDS, MP3 and wave formats.

Resistance to damage

Limitations:

Fixed sequence – This is a limitation of the audiotape.

Doesn’t monitor attention – When students study independently with the use of audio materials they can’t be monitored.  They may not listen attentively, thus they may not comprehend what they hear.

Difficulty in pacing – Listeners have different attention spans and recorded audio cannot adjust to that.

Difficulty in locating segment – This is in the use of audiotape.

Potential for accidental erasure

Since audio materials are being used in classrooms, the listening skills of students must be developed.  There is a difference between listening and hearing:

Hearing is a physiological process where sound waves from the outer ear are transmitted to the eardrum, converted to mechanical vibrations in the middle ear, and changed to electrical impulses in the inner ear and travels to the brain.

Listening is a psychological process that starts with awareness of and attention to sounds or speech patterns (receiving), proceeds through identification and recognition of specific auditory signals (decoding), and ends in comprehension (understanding).

To be able to develop listening teachers must:

Guide listening – This can be done by giving objectives or questions prior to listening.

Give directions – Give directions on the audio material.

Ask the students to listen for main ideas, details, or inferences.

Use context in listening – Can be done by using sentences with words missing, to be supplied by the students.

Analyze the structure of a presentation – Can be done by instructing students to  outline what they have heard.

Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information – Can be done by asking the students to identify irrelevant sentences in the paragraph.

Although there are limitations in the use of audio formats, they are not enough reasons to prevent the use of audio materials in the classroom.  After all, the use of audio in class is very important because they facilitate the development of imagination.  Imagination is important in problem solving and the generation of new ideas.  Audio materials contribute to the development of listening and interpretation skills and  it is a way of reaching out to physically challenged students.  When used for teaching history, it can help learners understand the emotions a person has while delivering a speech, something  that  will be difficult to discern from just reading.  Yes, more students will learn better with audio materials, so it should be used in classrooms.

References:

(Ferrington, G. (1994). Kids, imagination, and audio in the classroom. Available at http://wfae.proscenia.net/library/articles/ferrington_classroom.pdf)

(Reissman, R. (2014). Teaching tips for using audio cassettes or CDs. Retrieved from https://www.teachervision.com/teaching-methods/resource/4100.html?for_printing=1)

(Smaldino, S. E., Russell, J.D., Heinich, R., and Molenda, M. (2004). Audio (Chap 11). In Instructional technology and media for learning (8th ed), 264-280. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Available at https://navelmangelep.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/instructional-technology-and-media-for-learning-8th-ed.pdf)

Visual Materials

Visual materials are valuable tools in the teaching learning process, they:

– Visual materials provide concrete referent for ideas.  Unlike words, visual materials have resemblance to the thing they represent, thus they are easily remembered links to the original idea.

-Visual materials can motivate learners.  They attract and hold learner’s attention, and they can generate emotional responses.

-Visual materials can simplify information that is difficult to understand, such as in the use of diagrams, flowcharts and timelines.

-Visual materials provides a redundant channel.  When it is accompanied by written or verbal information, they help learners comprehend visually what they don’t comprehend in the written or verbal presentation.

Because of the importance of visual materials to education, teachers must learn how to create visual aids that may be effectively used in classes.  The creation of effective visual aids must be guided by visual principles.  According to Smaldino, S. E., Russell, J.D., Heinich, R., and Molenda, M. (2004) there are numerous principles to consider in visual design but these four goals of visual design are fundamental principles that even novices may pursue:

Ensure Legibility – It must be ensured that all the viewers will be able to see the words and images in the visual aids.

Reduce Effort – Visual aids must be  made in a way that viewers expend little effort in understanding what they see.

Increase active engagement – Pertains to making the visual aid appealing to get the viewer’s attention.

Focus Attention – Pertains to directing the attention of the audience to the most important part of the message.

In order to achieve these goals other principles may be followed:

Pattern – The pattern is the overall look of the visual display.  The factors that affect the pattern of the display are:

  • Alignment of Elements-   The primary elements of the display should be positioned so that they have a clear visual   relationship with each other.
  • Shape-  To arrange elements into a shape that is already familiar to the viewer like geometric figures.
  • Balance- Balance is achieved when the weight of the elements in a display is equally distributed on each side of an axis.
  • Style- Style will depend on the audience. Whether the audience are preschoolers or professionals will dictate the types of pictures or letterings that will be used.  For preschoolers, maybe cartoon characters will be used for visuals while for professionals, formal pictures will be used for presentation.
  • Color Scheme-  A viewer tends to remember a display having pleasant color harmony.
  • Color Appeal- Colors elicit emotional reponse from viewers.  This must be considered when using colors in visual materials.

Arrangement- Arrangement means arranging the individual elements within the underlying pattern.  With arrangement, the following should be considered:

  •  Proximity- Viewers assume that elements close to each other are related and those that are far apart are unrelated.
  •  Directionals- Directionals are devices that are used to direct the viewer’s attention to a particular sequence or element.
  • Figure-Ground Contrast-  Figure- ground contrast refers to the good contrast of important elements to the background.
  • Consistency-  If a series of displays should be used, such as multipage handouts, they should be consistent as to the placement of elements in similar locations, same text treatment for headlines and the same color scheme.

 Visual materials are not only important to education.  Even in our everyday lives ,visual materials are used to convey important information. Examples of important information conveyed through visual materials are emergency information cards in airplanes and highway signs that warn of curves or obstruction.  This means being able to understand visual information may mean life or death to a person.  Therefore it is important to develop visual literacy, which is the learned ability to interpret visual messages accurately and to create such messages.  Using effective visual aids in the classroom and encouraging students to create their own effective visual aids are ways of promoting visual literacy.  So let’s pursue the use of effective visual aids.

Reference:

(Smaldino, S. E., Russell, J.D., Heinich, R., and Molenda, M. (2004). Visual principles (Chap 4). In Instructional technology and media for learning (8th ed), 79-105. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Available at https://navelmangelep.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/instructional-technology-and-media-for-learning-8th-ed.pdf)

Print Material

There are various print materials available to us now  from textbooks, workbooks, revision notes and exercises, educational journals, magazines, manuals, periodicals, etc.  Print materials are used for dissemination of information, and in educational systems these are used as traditional tools of learning and instruction.

Print materials are widely used and the reasons for its use are:  they are portable,  easy to produce and modify, they are cost effective, students are familiar to them and are comfortable in their use, and they are readily available.  As always, coupled with the advantages are the disadvantages:   print materials are static and are not appropriate for teaching languages and visual concepts, it requires reading skills, it may take time for printed material to travel from teacher to student (specially in distance learning), and it does not provide interactions.  Although there are disadvantages to the use of print materials, I believe the advantages outweigh these disadvantages.

Despite the fact that there are advances in technology, print materials are still used to a great extent in schools.  Some schools cannot afford to have the technology tools that are available nowadays and print materials, having the advantages mentioned above, are used instead.  Teachers should have the skills to produce their own print materials.  While there are materials readily available, personalized print materials are better as they are made to cater to the specific needs of the teacher and the learners, unlike readily available materials which caters to their general needs.

In making print materials, there are much to be considered:

  1. Consider the audience and purpose- When designing print materials the audience who would use them should be considered.  The print material should be made to suit the needs of the user so the creator should,  at the least ,be aware of the age group, level of education and what would catch the interest of the users.  The purpose of the print materials should also be considered since they should be made to achieve their purpose.  Some print materials are used as anticipation guides, graphical guides, project guides, reading guides, research guides, study guides, thinking strategy guides, tutorial guides, vocabulary and writing guides.
  1. Identify the type of handout needed – The types of handouts are outlines, summaries and thumbnails.  Outlines as the name implies, outlines the main points of the lesson.  It provides an  advanced organizer for the lesson that helps learners follow key points.  Summaries are more than simple outlines  as it includes some quotations or formulas that students would like to write down.  Thumbnails are smaller copies of key visuals.
  1. Consider the content- The content of the print material would be based on the lesson plan.
  1. Lay out the page – Page layout involves the arrangement of texts and graphics on the page.   It is the overall look of the print material.  In laying out the page, there are some principles that must be considered like the “reading Z” which states that most readers start by examining the up­per-left corner of the page, then move their eyes across the top, then diagonally down to the bottom left and across the bottom. The placement of key visuals on the print needs to follow some principles as well such as placing it on the upper center or top 2/5ths of the page, or using the “Rule of Thirds,” or “Ninths Rule.” The rule of thirds/ninths rule states that the four intersections just off the center of a page divided into nine parts are good places to put important points.  Other things to consider are the size of fonts which should be consistent and the headings font size should be one-third larger than the body of the text,  subtitles should be left to hang out rather than indented, decisions on how many columns a print should have, margins and the avoidance of widows and orphans.
  1. Consider the typography- The size, shape, and spacing of letters are parts of typography.  Serif fonts are good for the body of a document. Sans serif fonts are plain, smooth fonts that are great for headings and are easily read at a distance.  Most textbooks are written in 11 point, but 12 or 14 point is even easier to read.  As for the spacing, it is dependent on the font size, but leading should be consistent as it will affect the overall appearance of the document.
  1. Selecting and placing graphics- Graphics attract reader attention, support key points, and provide a visual form to support learning. Graphics should be appropriately selected according to the task and should be properly placed in the document.
  1. Incorporating visual diagrams-  This may be used when presenting information in a visual way.  A software package like inspiration may be used for this task.
  1. Printing and packaging print materials- Once the other steps are done, a cover page may be done for the print material.  When everything is done, then it is ready to be printed.  A laser printer may be used for this or after one print copy it may be photocopied, or for book printing it may be brought to the printing press.

In conclusion, although there are continuous advances in technology and these are being used in education, I believe print materials are here to stay.  Teachers should have skills in producing print materials and advances in technology must be used for improving the quality of print materials.  Having to produce your personal print material may be tedious but since it will be produced to cater your learners specific needs and your specific objectives it will be more effective.

References:

Abolade, A. O. (1998). General techniques for evaluation of learning and instructional materials. Available at http://www.unilorin.edu.ng/journals/education/ije/sept1998/GENERAL%20TECHNIQUES%20FOR%20EVALUATION%20OF%20LEARNING%20AND%20INSTRUCTIONAL%20MATERIALS.pdf

(Florida Center for Instructional Technology. (2009). Print technology. Available at http://fcit.usf.edu/distance/chap6.htm)

Lamb, A. (n.d). Designing & developing resources: Print materials (Chap 7). In Building treehouses for learning: Technology in today’s classrooms, 243 – 272. Available at http://eduscapes.com/treehouses/TJ7print.pdf)

(Matiru, B. (1995). Printed media. In Teach your best: A handbook for university lecturers. Frankfurt am Main: IKO. Available at http://collections.infocollections.org/ukedu/en/d/Jgtz016e/8.3.2.html#Jgtz016e.8.3.2)