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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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3. Tool Literacy

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3

TOOL LITERACY

We are at a point in the digital revolution where technology is integrated into many aspects of our lives, especially education. To think that using software, hardware, online tools, and digital devices in education is unnecessary, experimental, or frivolous is shortsighted, limiting in terms of creative and academic possibility, and, more straightforward, old school.

Tools, both hardware and software, should be used in education. They facilitate a new kind of learning that is right for our digital age. It is education that embraces the purposeful use of technology in pedagogy. It is new education. Software tools like the Adobe Creative Suite, tablet computers like Apple’s iPad and Sony’s Tablet, and e-readers like Kindle and Nook provide new and effective means for teaching students. Because of their widespread use in education, it is obvious that these tools and technologies are here to stay, in some form or another. Therefore, we just need to carefully examine how they work or, better, how they should work in education.

I advocate for tool literacy in higher education. Tool literacy guarantees that students graduating from institutions of higher learning will possess a broad skill set for using new media tools, a skill set that is required in many professions changed by the digital revolution. Tool literacy is not limited to use of the tools. It includes understanding the theories that inform the meaningful use of these tools. Again, this is the theory/practice balance mentioned...

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