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Unit 3.1 Multimedia Basics

Easynow (COL)

There are many Open Source software applications and tools in the market for teachers. Easynow, developed by CEMCA (Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia) is the name given to content creation methodology which includes a set of open Source / Free ICT tools that help teachers:

     • adapt material for ODL purposes 

     • mix audio and video elements for content enrichment

     • supplement learning materials with quizzes and questions

     • incorporate self-assessment tools, and

     • package the created materials for distribution

As the name suggests these techniques are easy to learn and utilize by content developers. The raw material for the content can be prepared using a normal computer, an audio recorder and a digital camera. The content can also be prepared on a computer with a headphone and web camera.

The system integrates various open source software and also includes certain easily available software from systems like Windows and allows the teacher/knowledge provider to just use a mouse click and record his message/lecture and then electronically changes the same into various electronic formats such as video, audio, presentations, interactive multimedia, and also sometimes live interactive participatory sessions without much help from professional media personnel or IT experts. There is no need to buy any new software. Easy now takes into account the users available resources.

These techniques integrate the use of various multimedia to develop content in different formats. Once the teachers learn these techniques they can produce good quality educational material for open and distance learning as well as formal education. The multimedia content can be inexpensively developed and can also be distributed through various delivery modes like internet, cd, dvd, flash drives and mobiles.

EasyNowtechniques are not a closed set of software, as new softwares are continuously being added to the package. After learning these techniques, the participants themselves know how to search for new tools that will fulfill their requirements. CEMCA provides a platform where any new useful tool found by the participant is added to the package, thus enriching the EasyNow techniques.

EasyNowtools have been adapted for use in a number of ODL institutions in India, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

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