Chapter 9: Using Audio and Video to Learn
In addition to the use of images to learn, students also use audio and video to learn as part of multimodal experiences. Whether you believe in the importance of learning styles or modlities or not, it is logical, and supported by research, that multiple modalities can foster learning in situations when a single modality like print cannot. If a struggling reader cannot understand a difficult text by reading, could he or she access the content via an auditory channel instead? Indeed accommodations employed to support youth with learning disabilities might use an audio rendition of a portion of a difficult biology text allowing a struggling to access the text via an auditory modality. Likewise, youth who struggling with writing in disciplinary learning genere like writing lab reports might choose to summarize a lab by having each member of the lab team summarize on video, allowing the members to not only talk through important points but to show viewers what they are talking about. The key work from this perspective is accessibility, or more accurately for our purposes, modal accessbility.
The caveat is that research has yet to established, due to the lightening speed with which multimodality has come upon educators, which kinds of combinations of print with audio and video, or which spatial arrangement or juxtapositions or temporal orders work best. That is, it is not always clear what is the best "value added" instructional desin or learning context audio and video modalities. To make suggestions, we will draw upon what we do know from a range of fields. We’ve organized this chapter into two sections: apps to foster use of audio for learning and apps to foster use of video for learning. Students use audio apps to listen to podcasts, presentations, music, and audio books, as well as to create their own podcasts and audio books, add audio comments to images and texts, and produce music. And, students view online videos for learning and entertainment, as well as create their own videos to share experience and communicate information and ideas.