505 Reflection #4 – Media Comparison

The media attributes that are used to deliver instructional material is largely irrelevant.  Learners are able to process and absorb material equally well from one media source to another.  Focusing on the media itself appears to be a mistake, the more important issue at hand is the instructional methods used.

While it may be more convenient and fun for students to complete math or reading drills on an iPad, complete with animation, sound effects, and background music; this media does not inherently provide superior educational value.  On the surface, a casual observer may say the students on the iPad are getting more out of the lesson, but entertainment value does not directly translate into retention or understanding.  An engaging instructor with a white board and student worksheets could prepare comparable students to attain the same levels of mastery as those learners who were using the electronic/digital media.

There seems to be an underlying assumption that if technology is involved it must be better.  While advances in technology and the internet have certainly improved the reach and speed that information can be delivered, simply sending content out in a digital manner does not make it superior content by any means.  It is more accessible, easier to manipulate, break apart, search, distribute, and organize; despite those benefits the manner in which the student is exposed to the material and the means of instruction used to elaborate on the topic are more important factors in determining the success of the students.

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