Meanwhile, hyperlinking between related items is also a significant benefit of using a digital encyclopedia.The multimedia technology is gaining popularity worldwide and brought a new dimension to the use of technology in education.Among the topics covered in this chapter are defined of the encyclopedia, the technology of multimedia, interactive multimedia, component of interactive multimedia, active learning through interactive multimedia and children's learning styles.
The information of encyclopedia divided into articles and entries and it was arranged alphabetically, cross referencing and indexing enable the reader to find any topic relative to another.
Encyclopedias are composed of one or many volumes such as the Encyclopedia Britannica and the world’s largest Encyclopedia Universal Americana in huge multi volumes (Wikipedia, 2012).
The encyclopedia has existed around 2,000 years ago and the oldest encyclopedia that still exists is Naturalist Historian which was written by Pliny the Elder around the year of Common Era 77 (Wikipedia, 2012).
The encyclopedia is established to collect the knowledge and research of preceding centuries to benefit those will come after.
The use of multimedia application has been found to enhance student learning outcome (Adegoke, 2011).
Multimedia application methods of teaching make the abstract knowledge into vivid contents and can stimulate student interest in learning to achieve intuitive nature of classroom teaching (Ying et al., 2011).The learning environment can be customized according to learners learning requirements.Furthermore, it has the greatest impact on education and allowing immediate enhancement and encouraging in the curriculum.Yoon & Eenjun (2008), created an interactive aquatic plant encyclopedia that can handle various types of user requirements which are more accurate and enable faster image retrieval through e-mobile.Meanwhile, DVD-ROM or CD-ROM format of encyclopedia publications has the advantage of easily portable.Lastly, the open source encyclopedias such as Wikipedia which is comprehensively general encyclopedia comprising over 12 million articles in over a hundred languages and it is freely available on the Internet (Chittu et al. The digital encyclopedia allows the user referencing easier and annotated the pages.Furthermore, it offers greater search abilities than the printed version.In line with the advancement of technology, people will go for digital publishing encyclopedia rather than printed books.Therefore, most printed encyclopedias such as Britannica had moved to deliver in a form of digital publishing in the 20th century.According to Gordon (2010), a great number of traditional teaching and learning course materials are transformed in the multimedia environment.Generally multimedia learning aims at helping individuals to construct knowledge structures about a subject matter or to update their knowledge about a specific topic (Wolfgang & Holger, 2010).