Thursday, December 01, 2011

Multimedia cases

Halverson, R., Linnekin, B., Gomez, L. M., & Spillane, J. P. (2004). Multimedia cases of practice: On-line learning opportunities for school leaders. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 7(1), 30-35.

As I read around the use of digital stories for professional development, I came across the term 'multimedia cases'. This seemed like a fitting term for the stories that we produce for NZC Online. They are multimedia cases of actual events in schools and classrooms.

Halverson et al. conducted research around the use of multimedia cases to support the professional development of principals.

They assert that leaders often find it difficult to know where to start when leading change. Good leaders have what the authors term 'professional practical wisdom' which means they reflect on experience to apply solutions to varying problems over time. Professional practical wisdom also involves the ability to transfer ideas into your own particular context. Leithwood and Steinbach (1989) suggest that expert leaders rely on collaboration and information gathering to support their problem solving. This is where NZC digital stories come in.

Leaders need to access rich representations of practice in context. Video makes these rich examples more accessible. Cases can engage readers to relate the situation to their own experience and can act as a catalyst for discussion and reflection on practice. Cases can also be used to produce as well as represent knowledge.

The authors reference Banks (1994) as being skeptical about the benefits of multimedia cases, and counter with Barron Goldman 1994 and Lampert and Ball 1998 as proponents of cases being positive for stimulating reflection on practice.

Banks, M. (1994). “Interactive multimedia and anthropology - a sceptical view.” Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, 1-7.
Barron, L. & Goldman, E. (1994). "Integrating technology with teacher preparation," in B. Means ed., Technology and Education Reform: The Reality Behind the Promise. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 67-89.
Lampert, M. & Ball, D.L. (1998). Mathematics, teaching, and multimedia: Investigations of real practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
Leithwood, K. & Steinbach, M. (1989). “Expertise in principals’ problem solving.” Educational Administration Quarterly, 25(2), 126-61.

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