I suspect that over 80% of today’s youth find all of their information (school work, sports, weather, news, music,) on the internet. As digital services and technologies become more prevalent and complex, students need the skills and confidence to navigate the learning environment and interpret the range and qualify of information available on line.
Digital materials are important for universal accessibility (e.g., text to speech, graphics, large print) and even for preservation of resources that would be lost if only maintained in hard copy text. To design curricula that meets the needs of all students, digital materials must have “an inherent flexibility…and enable the assembly, storage, and maintenance of a large collection of examples in the form of text, sound or video – all in the modest space of a classroom.” (Hall, Strangman & Meyer, 2003)
My daughter has cortical visual impairment and is challenged to process a 2 dimensional photo. I think many of us with different learning and processing styles also have an inability to mentally transfer 2D pictures into 3D objects. I learned of several studies and resources, including ChemSense, software that students can use to create animations. This link http://chemsense.sri.com/classroom/examples/hanmeltingice.mov shows an example of this (sorry – it wouldn’t let me embed the video without purchasing it as a movie).
Hall, T., Strangman, N. & Meyer, A. (2003). Differentiated instructions and implications for UDL implementation. Retrieved from http://aim.cast.org/learn/historyarchive/backgroundpapers/differentiated_instruction_udl