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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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4. Interactive Learning

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4

INTERACTIVE LEARNING

The use of technology in education creates an interactive exchange of information—from teachers to students, and from students to teachers—that reinvents the way we educators teach. The conventional stand and present model of teaching gives way to a stand, present, and interact one. In the former model, students receive information, digest it, and react to it. This is a process of hearing lecture material on a particular topic, taking notes as study material, and offering verbal comment in class as part of a discussion or critique. This is conventional class participation. In the latter model, students receive information, digest it, react to it, and interact with it. This process engages students significantly more. Students still may react verbally, such as in a standard question-and-answer scenario. However, with this new model, students engage with electronic devices as well. Class participation happens via mobile devices, tablet computers, smartphones, and the like—in addition to and sometimes instead of verbal offerings. This is the fundamental principle of interactive learning.

To further differentiate the two approaches, let us define verbal involvement as reaction, and participation via devices as interaction. In a single class, reaction and interaction may occur simultaneously or separately, but in order for students to have a successful instructional experience in which they will learn new material using new media devices, both reaction and interaction should be present. It seems quite basic, but, in short, students should both talk and use...

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