Rich Media is different from typical media in the sense that it has some point of interactivity. (To be honest, I’m not sure if Rich or Interactive is the preferred nomenclature.) Advertisers are all over this. The web is increasingly splattered with flashy little ad widgets inducing you to click on them.
Teachers like to rant about the failing attention spans of young people. Never mind that they’ve been doing that since the classroom was invented, instead lets pay attention to the fact that teachers can now upgrade the delivery of their material.
The pedagogy behind this lies on three central tenants – chunking, inquiry-based learning, safe self-remediation. Material can be broken down into bites manageable by our 8 minute attention spans. Students can explore information as they develop questions. And, students capable of monitoring their understanding can interact with the material more to be sure they do understand it without revealing to their peers that they needed a little extra help.
Teachers: not so savvy with Rich Media. Of course, this will change over time. Online services are popping up to get this show on the road. Of the services available, I recommend Omnisio to make interactive media out of your PowerPoints and Apture to make it out of your texts. These are basic start points to get you on the road to interactive media.
Omnisio allows you to chunk a video with slides and allows both the author and users to make comment bubbles on the fly. Your video, in addition to supporting the jumping from one slide to another, will now become an interactive discussion.
Apture allows hyperlinks in online text to become an interactive, inquiry-based learning object. Links pop up embedded content, from simple text to rich media in itself. Students browsing your articles or blog can jump from perusal to in depth understanding just by following the click trail.
In general, there is a scale of interactivity and the simple ability to fast forward, rewind, speed up and slow down is a huge advantage to the static continuum of information delivery in the classroom. Of course, technology can also offer more sophisticated ways to monitor understanding and get richer and more interactive. But if I was trying to set you off on a path to building a Massively Multiplayer Onling Role Playing Game you’d probably not start.