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Using New Media

by Clara Chung-wai Shih and David E. Weekly
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Introduction (Home)
1) Distribute print media electronically
2) Use CD/DVD
3) Use Internet media
4) Encourage reading on computer monitors
5) Select appropriate materials using proven methods
6) If possible, teach computer use
7) The trend is in technology's favor
8) Conclusions
About the International Academy of Education

Distribute Print Media Electronically

Agencies can employ a mix of electronic media and traditional print media to reach as many educators, tutors, and students as possible while minimizing cost.

Research findings
Because of the high costs of shipping printed materials, electronic distribution can offer a wide selection of content while saving money. Education leaders can choose the most appropriate content for their purposes and programs.

Practical applications
Selected materials can be electronically distributed and then locally printed in education centers, schools, and libraries. Traditional print distribution can be helpful in many locations where staff lack resources, do not know how, or do not feel comfortable accessing these materials in electronic form.

There are two levels at which materials can be selected: centrally and locally. Central selection is more appropriate for countries and localities that require a uniform curriculum. Local selection is more appropriate for areas where local leaders, educators, tutors, and students themselves can make the choices that best fit their distinctive purposes, conditions, and preferences.

There are three main areas of focus in considering electronic distribution of materials.
  1. Selection - picking what material to make available
    We encourage a wide selection encompassing many disciplines and teaching methods (Section 7 goes into greater detail) presented in small, quickly downloaded, universally accessible formats such as text (TXT) and hypertext markup language (HTML), in favor of larger formats such as portable document format (PDF) and Microsoft PowerPoint (PPT). Many poor communities have low-speed Internet connections, slow computers, or both.

  2. Cataloging - letting users search the selected materials
    There should be a quick and easy-to-use search mechanism where those wishing to access materials can either search for specific keywords or browse materials by category.

  3. Delivery - getting the selected materials to users
    Providers should consider two content delivery mechanisms: CDs (or DVDs) and the Internet. CDs have an initial cost for production and shipping, but afford greater convenience for end-users, as many locations have computers that can use CDs but have no Internet access. Please see the following two sections for more information about when to use CDs and when to use Internet-based solutions.

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