Integrate Information Across Diverse Media Formats

Posted on April 16, 2017

Integrate Information Across Diverse Media Formats

QUESTION: What does it mean to "integrate information across diverse media formats?" And how do you teach it?

ANSWER: Digital devices, Internet access, and technology in general have broadened the text types students encounter every day. Within a typical unit, students may read various print texts, audio texts, visual texts, and video texts. This standard expects students to be able to integrate the information from multiple sources such as these to deepen their understanding of a concept/theme.

This requires teachers to show students how to "read" videos. For example, students may first read about a scientific process as described in the textbook. Then, they may view the same concept explained in a YouTube video. After integrating the information from both sources, ask students to evaluate the diverse formats. What specific information was learned from each text? Which text did a better job of conveying the information?

Like print text, videos require multiple "readings." This is necessary because there is more information to comprehend. Now the reader must digest visual information and audio text. This requires explicit instruction and multiple viewings. (Execute the following four steps using a simple T-Chart organizer--one column for what viewers see and the other for what they hear. Download PDF or editable Word version.)

  1. Play a short (1-4 minute) clip with the initial purpose of simply identifying the main idea(s).
  2. Play the video again, pausing multiple times for students to look away and take notes. Encourage them to jot observations about the people, the concept, or the subject matter. What's in the setting? What is going on?
  3. On the third "view" of the short video, remove the visual in order to note what they hear. When students are seeing things happen on the screen, their sense of sight takes over and dominates the audio. When the visual is removed, students are free to focus on only what they hear: the music, sound effects, voices, noises, silence, etc.
  4. Now students infer how the visual and audio work together to convey the information.

The above outlines reading a video. What if there is only audio? For example, students may initially read the transcript of a speech and then compare it to the audio version. Within a T-Chart (Download PDF or editable Word version) print the speech in the left column. Read closely, annotating their noticings within that left column. Then, play the audio version of the speech, adding observations about how the speaker delivered those words in the right column. (Download a third organizer for comparing a print text versus a video version--PDF or editable Word version.)

Once students have "read" and comprehended each of the "texts," then the conversation begins. This includes questioning what was stated in the print text that wasn't included in the video? What was added to the video that the text did not mention? How did the information within two texts help the reader better understand the concept, event, action? Was one format more effective than the other?

Using their notes from the graphic organizer, students analyze and evaluate the content and its presentation. Students need to learn that the delivery of the content (how it's said/presented) can impact the author's message.

Article originally posted April 12, 2016.


Love using a video and paper document to compare/contrast rhetorical strategies author used to achieve a purpose.

Posted by rhonda on October 18, 2018 @ 10:50 am