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Transforming Education with New Media

Participatory Pedagogy, Interactive Learning, and Web 2.0


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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5. Participatory Pedagogy




When the interact component of interactive learning is taken to the next level, students are more involved in the educational process, and their participation is consequential.

With new media technologies, students become partners in shaping pedagogy. They influence how their own learning occurs by using technology more pervasively than in the process of interactive learning, described in the previous chapter of this book. With Web 2.0 tools and new media devices, students can collaborate with instructors to reinvent the fundamentals of classroom instruction: from establishing course flow, to organizing class modules, to determining how course materials are presented.

With this collaboration, there is a deeper involvement pedagogically than with conducting research and digesting course material during interactive learning, because students actually assist in developing methodologies for instruction, study, and research by using new media tools. This collaboration is made possible by the sophistication, intuitiveness, and ubiquity of new media. This partnership between professor and student results in the development of a new kind of pedagogy: participatory pedagogy. How does this happen? How does the collaboration materialize, and how do students not only engage with learning but also shape the educational process?

Let us begin with the assumption that active is more successful in education than passive. On a basic level, when students are actively involved with education, they learn more and better than students who do not participate as much. In addition, in our device-driven culture, students...

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