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Transforming Education with New Media

Participatory Pedagogy, Interactive Learning, and Web 2.0

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Peter DePietro

The possibilities that online platforms and new media technologies provide, in terms of human connection and the dissemination of information, are seemingly endless. With Web 2.0 there is an exchange of messages, visions, facts, fictions, contemplations, and declarations buzzing around a network of computers that connects students to the world – fast. Theoretically this digital connectivity, and the availability of information that it provides, is beneficial to curriculum development in higher education. Education is easily available, democratic, and immersive. But is it worthwhile? Is the kind of education one can get from new media platforms and social media resources, with their click-on videos, rollover animations, and unfiltered content, of sufficient quality that educators should integrate these tools into teaching? This book examines the use of new media in pedagogy, as it presents case studies of the integration of technology, tools, and devices in an undergraduate curriculum taught by the author, at an urban research university in the United States.
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1. Web 2.0 and New Education

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WEB 2.0 AND NEW EDUCATION

For the purpose of this book, I am broadly defining Web 2.0 as a movement focused on technologies that engage the user. Typically these technologies are available to users via the Internet and on mobile devices. User-centered design, which involves users in an intuitive way, is necessary. More broadly, Web 2.0 is part of new media.

New media, contrasted with conventional (or old) media, rely on a digital signal instead of an analog signal to communicate message. New media include websites, wikis, interactive forums, e-learning systems, software, hardware, mobile devices, and the list goes on. Many of these items are discussed in this book. When successfully integrated into classroom instruction, new media can facilitate learning. A main reason for this is that technology spurs communication, supports information sharing, and creates access to data around the clock. In education there is an environment focused on technology use and integration that has become commonplace. Moreover, new media and associated Web 2.0 technologies can provide a foundation for the development of a new kind of education, one that is participatory and relies on digital innovation in the classroom. This new education engages students with technology like never before, and it provides unique and effective ways for students to interact with information. Thus, students learn differently. Web 2.0 can produce Education 2.0.

These are lofty terms: Web 2.0 and Education 2.0. But together they describe our advancement to a new...

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