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Increasing Student Learning Through Multimedia Projects.

INCREASING STUDENT LEARNING THROUGH MULTIMEDIA PROJECTS. Michael Simkins, Karen Cole, Fern Tavalin, & Barbara Means. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2002. 140 pp. $21.95. "There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away ..." claims Emily Dickinson. Increasing Student Learning Through Multimedia Projects is the digital-age frigate providing the bird's-eye-view of far-away places. As books provide the means to "travel" to these distant places, multimedia provides the scenery along the way. Milton Chen's Foreword introduces the key idea of this book: "Project-based learning redefines the boundaries of the classroom. No longer are students confined to learning within the four walls" (p. v).

Simkins, Cole, Tavalin, and Means tender a user-friendly guidebook for all teachers who use computers in the classroom. The book, an excellent travel guide to project-based multimedia learning, gives teachers various instructional models to apply in the classroom. Teachers will enjoy moving students from one project to the next, exploring each chapter, and surveying each page for a project that blends both artistry and technology to achieve an aesthetic effect.

Activities in the book supply teachers with step-by-step processes for thinking, planning, gathering, organizing, completing, and presenting quality projects in the classroom. The chapter "Making a Real-World Connection," for instance, combines "curriculum, multimedia, real-world connection, assessment, collaboration, extended time, and student decision-making" (p. 33), all of which are dimensions of appropriate project-based multimedia projects. The projects will engage students' learning while providing them practice in using different types of multimedia tools. These tools give them access to information outside the classroom and advice from other professionals, and assistance in pulling together their work and sharing it with their classmates.

Increasing Student Learning Through Multimedia Projects is a valuable book for all teachers engaged in computer-based learning. It is simple, easy to follow, and provides guidelines for assessing students' finished projects. Reviewed by Neil Mercurius, Administrator, Jurupa Unified School District, Riverside, CA
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Author:Mercurius, Neil
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 22, 2004
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