Multimedia technology allows concepts to be explained and illustrated in a variety of ways.
Technologies such as Macromedia Flash and streaming video and audio permit material to be viewed again and again, anywhere, any time.
Animations can be used to demonstrate continuous change over time in situations ranging from the building up of graphs to the workings of a machine or the human body.
Video can bring otherwise dry theory to life, eg footage of the collapse of a poorly designed bridge can greatly enhance understanding of the equations describing the failure.
Videoconferencing and teleconferencing allow physically distant learners to communicate and collaborate with instructors and peers, and guest speakers to participate from anywhere in the world.
Lectures may be broadcast (or Webcast) to those unable to attend physically and may be captured and made available for review or for those who could not attend.
At the simplest end of the spectrum the lecturer’s commentary may be recorded and added to PowerPoint slides. The slides and sound may be compressed, packaged and streamed and are viewable across even a modem connection.
A more sophisticated approach would involve multi-camera photography, a synchronized transcript and board display, and breaks for questions and reflection.