Development and Trends in Audio Visual Technology

Development and Trends in Audio Visual Technology

It is evident and indeed unarguable that one of significant landmarks in education is not unconnected with the introduction and use of audio visual technology. Historical excavation into the emergence of audio visual materials and their equipment, revealed that even before the invention of photograph in 1839 by Lious Jacques Maud – Daguerne, efforts were made to develop techniques for simulating moment. This journey began in 1832 with platen’s phenakiticope.

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The road did not end there as efforts continued in image taming, projection and  photography, and culminated in the invention of the first practical cinema by Etiene Marcy in 1887. in 1877, however Thrones Edison had patented the phonograph, and by 1904, Eugene- Austin Lauste succeeded in recording both sound and picture on the same film and this inclestone  by Eugene – Austin Lauste Ushered in the audio-visual age, and since then, sound and vision technologies have interacted closely.

The phonograph by Thomas Edison was made possible by recording sound through the mechanical impression which was derived form sound waves on smooth surface.

Valdemar Paulson; a Danish engineer demonstrated an alternative approach by using an electromagnet to create a magnetized “map” of sound waves on a wine. However, the wire was quickly replaced by a sensitized film. Consequently, tape recording existed side by side with phonograph disk.

The use of audio-visual technology as a vital force in modern education came into being during the period of 1918 to 1924. in a work by John W. Stacey, the birth of visual instruction was heralded by four occurrences during this period.

The first course is visual instruction was offered as a credit course for teachers training in 1918 by the University of Minnesota – this earliest course was taught by Albert M. field. Other early courses in visual instruction were offered in 1921 at the University of Kansas and at North Carolina State Teachers’ College. Also, the University of  Taxas and the University of Arkansas respectively offered initial courses in visual instruction in the summers of 1923 and 1925. early courses in visual instruction were very much post of the emphasis on improving pedagogy and the general utilitarian atmosphere in higher education during that time

In 1922, Anna U. Doris of San Francisco State College conducted an early survey instructions of higher education to assess teacher education in visual instruction. Although, her sampling was small and apparently did not extend to the mid- American institutions mentioned earlier, it nonetheless provided early information about visual instruction. Madu (200) in his book, “The Basics of Audio-visual Librarianship”  recaptures this.

“A questionnaire was sent to 171 normal

schools, of which 30 replied, and to 114

college and universities, of which 37 replied.

Among the normal school, four offered

Regular courses in visual education and

two offered summer session course. The

Michigan Normal School offered one non-

Credit course. One university taught graphs,

Another gave a course on photography and

Slide making. 17 of that 37 colleges and

universities  reported that they operated

film distribution centers only 4 normal

schools reported such a series”

  1. Dean Maclusky; a professor at the University of lllonis conducted another survey and discovered valuable information regarding teachers training in visual instruction. In 1922 to 23, some 21 instruction in American offered courses in visual instruction usually in summer sessions. There were conferences of teachers of visual instruction at the University of Mission and Utah and the state Department of Educational in Michigan offered short informal normal school courses in theory and techniques.

During the period of 1917 – 1925, public school system began to organize departments of visual instruction. Newark, Detroit, Kansas City, Pittshurgh, Los Angeles, New York, Sacraments, Atlanta, Berkeley, Buffalo, Oak land and Philadelphia, all implemented department of visual instruction. In 1922, the University of Chcago, Under the sponsorship of the commonwealth fund, began a series of studies in the used film still pictures, charts, maps, slides and stereographs as instructional media. Frank Freeman; the director of this study, undertook series of experiments in eight schools involving over 5, 00 students for a report of three years. The final report was published in 1924, and it concluded:

“motion pictures cold not be substituted for language or verbal instruction and that they should confine themselves to the province of moving objects for greater effectiveness”

in 1923, the National Education Association (NEA) formed the judd committee to conduct a nationwide study on the administration of visual instruction. The committee went into action swiftly, visual instruction was adequately supported financially and teachers were dependent almost entirely on national advertisers. There was no exchange of information on how teachers could better organize and administer their efforts on behalf of each other in visual instruction technology, recording and into phonograph disc, audiotapes introduced by Philips and Sony corporation in 1980. By CD has largely displaced the viry / phonograph record in 1992, Kodak introduced a photo- CD fro displaying photograph on TV monitors.

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Expanding the variety of forms of audiovisual media, Madu (2000) has this to say,

“ One of the most attractive formats for

approaching to a varied audience is a fixed

display, such as is seen at trade shows. In

a library scenario, a video monitor clearly

placed near the on-line public access

catalogue rns a continuous loop

instruction video on catalogue”

Presently, personal computer and computer software which were originally developed as business machines, now serve as platforms for not only business applications, but also for interactive learning programmes thus expanding the boundaries of audio-visual technology.

Corroborating the diversity of audio-visual media in use in libraries, Shaw and Brandt (1987) said:

“Now, the Pc is receiving a major

transformation of video technology that

should to dazzling new hybrid that can

display sharp, moving colour images on the

same screen with spread sheet and test”

Development in audio-visual technology taking into account the current wave in digitalization and globalization, will continue and impact greatly on education.


In a classic work on the theory of signs and meanings, the philosopher Charles Moris pointed out that the visual sign has never been supplanted by its traditional rival; language. “One reason for the effectiveness of the former is its iconic nature; an iconic sign gives some of the satisfactions the things denoted could give were it experienced directly”

He also remarked that

“while it is virtually impossible to measure

experimentally the relative stimulus value of

picture and works, still there is experimental

evidence to show that pictures are

remembered better than words”.

In his comment on “Birth of the Movies”, Marshall Mchuham noted that,

“Motion pictures bring more of an illusion of actuality; the moment that translated us beyond mechanism into the world of growth and organic interaction:.

Plain experience suggests that for carrying some kind of messages, sound recording and similar media are better vehicles that the  printed symbols of typography. It is also evident that in sound recordings, the iconic element also is an aspect of crucial importance. Again when several media are assembled and presented to an audience in one program, the impact can be undoubtedly enormous. The alternation of film, sound recording, life person, etc. can make the most effective use of each mode.

In his book on “Non print materials, Robert N. Broadus (1978) note that:

“Text (words), not being iconic do not appeal

to so broad an audience while considerable

background and experience are required to

understand the writing in a medical book,

printed pictures and film slides on the subject

require impressions”

Also  throwing more lights on the value and relevance of audio visual materials David Riesman; Deand of the Graduate school of Education, University of California at Los Angeles has this to say:

“The cant in audio visual education is that the

audio visual presentation must be built into or s

make an extension of whatever the conventional

teaching procedure maby. It is

rarely assumed that youngsters are free to use

such materials on their own initiative to record

to prepare films or to use any of those which

are available. Invariably the teacher intervenes

in some way between students and the learning

device. Herein I think lies the heart of problem”

Robert N. Bradus (1978) also reiterated that

“May ideas and raw data are captured

in their original state on film and recording.”

He maintains that the libraries have a responsibility for preserving the most significant of these materials. Just as the alert public libraries serves the most useful printed archival records of local interest.

Lending more credence on the value and relevance of audio visual technology, E.C. Madu and T.N. Adeniran (2000) in the book “information Technology,: Uses and Presentation of resources in libraries and information centers stated that:

“Video provides a sense of immediacy and

realism that is seemed only to a life

presentation. In its simple form, it can be just

a taped recording of a live demonstration that

fulfills its function over again to a large audience”

“Audio visuals take the print index to the

mainframe computer with

database tapes the micro computer where

the database is searched by the patron”.

The also added that:

“these visual connections accompanied by

narration, provide the patron with a behind-

the-screen understanding of how the system

works, showing a computer search in the

context of the material being searched, gives

the viewer a video perspective on the entire


Another dimension to audiovisual technology is visual literacy as:

“Visual competency that somebody can

develop by seeing and at the same time

understanding all the sensory and verbal

experiences involved”

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They contend that:

“this competency is fundamental  to human

beings learning when  it is developed”



                   The Chinese proverb “I see, I remember, I hear, I forget; I read I understand obviously underscores the impact of the use of audio-visual instruction on the students. This undoubtedly points to the fact that audio-visual instruction have tremendous positive impact on students.

Agreeing to this assertion, Alan and Terry (1980) in their survey noted that:

“Audiovisuals aid tradition; children who view

must often show the highest gains. Younger

children gain as much as elder children.

A/V techniques play the role of catalyst;

Perhaps, preparing the child for a new area of  

Knowledge by inculcating a favourable attitude.

The distinction might equally be made in

terms of individual effects. If a questionnaire is

used after a film may be studied, such as the

content of the factual information on the

relative advantage of one mode of relative

presentation against another, but an intended

side affect on the subsequent behavior of the

child will normally remain unknown

Alan and Terry are not alone in their assertion of the impacts if the audiovisual techniques have on students. Hoston (1978) in his works similarly stated that:

“The tape recorded encourages a child to

listen critically to his classmates and himself.

It encourages correct oral expression and

Creative work in drama”

On his part, Theodore (1981) declared that:

“ The use of A/V materials on schools

increase the effectiveness of learning by

helping the pupils to assimilate ideas in a

more meaningful and interesting manner

Though they appeal to the eyes and ears,

they provide for a systematic improvement of

knowledge and skills, as well as a favourable

influence on attitude and appreciation. These

objectives of course are attained only if the

most suitable materials for a given  learning

are selected and if the people are prepared in


Hence , Theodore underscores the impact of A/V instruction on pupils. He asserts that the use of A/V materials are helpful to pupils but goes to give conditions for their effectiveness. The most suitable material shave to be selected and the pupils must be prepared in readiness for the instruction.

Also adding his voice, Xavier (1960) stated that:

“Non-print materials have a place in the

school library.

Both audio and visual media (with exception

Of transparences and slides) are expanding

Their coverage into particularly all fields of

Interest among several users of the media.

There are some which are especially pertinent

To the school library” 20.

This statement underlines the increasing use of A/V material in school libraries and their overwhelming importance. This assertion by Xavier is corroborated by Trundle (1962) in his work. Newness Guide To TV and Video teaching, “ He maintained that:

“since a picture has tow dimensions, it is only

possible to transmit all the information

contained in it in serial form. It requires a

tming element to define the rate of analysis.

This timing element must be present at both

sending and receiving ends, so the analysis of

the image at the  sending end , the

simultaneous build up of the picture at the

receiver occur in synchronis.” 21 

Trundle in this contribution, brings to the fore the facilities required for effective and efficient use of A/V technology.

Also contributing, Jacob Broruowski (1965) emphasize that:

“to  remain a dynamic society require the

outputs of countless creative persons.

School serve such a society by making sure

That creative experience becomes as trend in

The education of children that can be taken for

Granted. Children must grow up at ease with

Innovation if they are to contribute to it”

In his own examination on the impacts of A/V materials on students Madu (2000) asserts that:

“audio-visual media help to individualize    learning,    thereby making possible for students to learn at their own pace. What this

implies is that with use of a medium like

tape recording, it is possible for a student to

record a lecture take a cassette home and

play it at his or her own time and space”.

In another view,  Madu (2000) also examining the value and  impact of A/V media and instruction has this to say:

“Audio-visual  increase the motivation of both

teachers and students, add clarity to topics

taught and make lectures more interesting”

This explains the fact that audiovisual have far-reaching impacts on not only students, but teachers also. The knowledge of the teacher is enhanced and students are motivated to learn and they understand better because of  the is therefore clearly and interest the use of audiovisual media brings. It is therefore clearly evident that the use and application of audio-visual technology impacts very much on both students and teachers. Its value and significance is in fact inestimable.


The value of audio-visual media in libraries of all kinds and particularly school  libraries are enormous and they impact very much positively on the academic performance of students and immensely enhance teachers performance. Nevertheless, effective and  efficient use of audiovisual materials and equipment are generally hampered by a number of variables

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One of such constraints as identified is lack of skilled man-power. Supporting this, Madu (2000) in “The Basics of Audio-Visual librarianship says that:

“While it is time that some of these equipment are

easy to operate, some of them are so

sophisticated that they require skills to be able

to operate them.”

Similarly Broadus (1973) in “Non-print materials for libraries advises this:

….. “furthermore, to do justice to the handing of                                       these media and to advise patrons on use, it

is necessary to have staff members with special                               qualification”.

Additionally too, the non-availability of these materials and the equipment for using them added to cost in developing world like Nigeria is another contributing factor. Lending credence Aurthus Brodus (1975) revealed that:

“One dimension of the problem is the amount

of non-print materials on the market.”

In contrast, the materials are abundantly available in developed countries, but the skills, needed to use them effectively seems not to match the available materials. Thus, the chairman of the commission on instructional technology of the National Center for Educational Media warned of:

“…..two kinds of schoolman who likely to

short-change their schools in the future, those

ultraconservatives who refuse to believe, that

the new development in educational

technology has something genuinely

important to bring to the improvement of

instruction, and those ultras at the other

extreme who plunge too hastily into expensive

investment without reliable knowledge of their

value and without adequate competence to

employ the equipment effectively”.

Another problem confronting the use of audiovisual media and equipment in developing countries and particularly Nigeria is frequent power outage. Bringing this to mind, Madu (2000) asserted that:

“Apart from power failure disrupting work

and activities in the factories, schools that make use

of these equipment, it causes the  damage of

these equipment.”

Sophisticated, professionally produced programmes. A Ukoh (1984) identified that video popularity as a medium of instruction is a problem of its own. He supported this by saying that:

“Today’s viewing audience is accustomed to shoddy,                      amateurish work will stand out and loose the respect of                           the audience”

again, Oatern (1979) in Audio visual Equipment self-instruction manual, printed out the difficulty in updating as another major problem inhibiting the use of audiovisual materials. He says:                              “Once completed, a video production is difficult to

update although a new sound track can be recorded to

include new subject materials, updating the visual

sequence is time-consuming and expensive”..

Also, Minor and Harney (1970) in Techniques for                            producing visual Instructional Media, identified that                        repair and spare parts of the equipment are yet                             another problem. He says:

“One of the conditions a media

librarian must consider before

acquiring any of the media equipment

is to ensure that the spare parts are

readily available and that the equipment

can be easily repaired:.

Supporting him and relating the problem to the Nigeria situation, Madu (2000) says:

“In Nigeria, there are many cases of

abandoned equipment it is either there

is no person to repair

them or that the spare parts are not


Finally, Madu (2000) discovered that another problem is the use of audio-visual equipment is their maintenance and storage. Discussing this taking the case of Nigerian situation, he says:

“In Nigeria, the heat from the sun

can be detrimental to the use of equipment”.

As a way out, he however suggested that.

“the solution to the problem is the

full air-conditioning of the room where

they are kept.”

However, it is worth noting that full air-conditioning of the room where the equipment are kept as suggested by Madu, makes maintenance of the materials and equipment expensive.

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