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The Arts and Play as Educational Media in the Digital Age

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Robert Albrecht and Carmine Tabone

The digital revolution we are now entering as educators is an unchartered sea pregnant with wondrous possibilities but laden with a minefield of unforeseen consequences. A pedagogy that overlooks or downplays the disruptive and often dangerous influence of digital media on childhood development is necessarily a very shortsighted one.

More than just highlighting our misgivings about digital media, however, this book has a purpose far more ambitious and infinitely more useful. Based upon 45 years of work with young people in Jersey City classrooms, day camps, housing projects, libraries, church basements and community centers, the authors propose a pedagogical strategy that uses hands-on experiences in the arts as a strategy to offset and counterbalance the dominance of digital media in the lives of children.

Rather than call for the elimination of digital media—clearly an impossibility even if it were desirable—the authors maintain that children need to be exposed to non-digital, non-electronic experiences that cultivate alternative ways of thinking, feeling, and being in the world. In sum, the book does not call for an end to the digital, but outlines ways in which the arts and creative forms of play help to establish a balance in the education and socialization of children as we enter more deeply into the Digital Age.

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Lance Strate

General Editor

This series is devoted to scholarship relating to media ecology, a field of inquiry defined as the study of media as environments. Within this field, the term “medium” can be defined broadly to refer to any human technology or technique, code or symbol system, invention or innovation, system or environment. Media ecology scholarship typically focuses on how technology, media, and symbolic form relate to communication, consciousness, and culture, past, present and future. This series is looking to publish research that furthers the formal development of media ecology as a field; that brings a media ecology approach to bear on specific topics of interest, including research and theoretical or philosophical investigations concerning the nature and effects of media or a specific medium; that includes studies of new and emerging technologies and the contemporary media environment as well as historical studies of media, technology, and modes and codes of communication; scholarship regarding technique and the technological society; scholarship on specific types of media and culture (e.g., oral and literate cultures, image, etc.), or of specific aspects of culture such as religion, politics, education, journalism, etc.; critical analyses of art and popular culture; and studies of how physical and symbolic environments function as media.

For additional information about this series or for the submission of manuscripts, please contact:

Lance Strate, Series Editor | strate@fordham.edu

Erika Hendrix, Acquisitions Editor | erika.hendrix@plang.com

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