People today expect multi-media. It isn’t just a frill or unexpected surprise; we expect it. We expect it everywhere. Even within digital books, we want more than words and pictures.

Our students especially spend hours a day immersed in media. But then they come to school where they may not have access to media or are not involved in lessons that use multi-media. They may become disengaged and sneak out their cell phones or iPods to get their media fix. Research has shown that there are benefits to using multi-media well in the classroom.

Of course, it would not be good pedagogy to use media for the sake of using media. Teachers need to match the media to the lesson objective. It is important to select or create multi-media that engages students, but doesn’t overwhelm the lesson. In other words, the lesson needs to hold its own with the media.

Media can also be used to better communicate to community and parents what is going on inside the classroom. Teachers can include photos, videos, sounds, audio to better illustrate their classrooms. Imagine for a moment the difference of understanding of a parent reading, “The students were amazed at what they learned at the museum today.” with viewing a video clip showing the students and their reactions to the museum experience? Which would give them a better appreciation for the benefit of museum visits?

Today most of us have our iPhones with us. Our iPhone gives us the capability to create and share media quickly and easily. As educators, we should be using this tool as a major part of our teaching arsenal.