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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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6. Social Media and Collaborative Learning

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6

SOCIAL MEDIA ANDCOLLABORATIVE LEARNING

More and more, instructors are integrating social media into curriculum in order to engage students and prompt collaborative learning. The popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus in class sessions is gaining, as is the use of new technologies such as tablet computers and smartphones, on which social media can easily be accessed. Though more conventional technologies such as computers, laptops, and so forth, are still used in instruction, there is a shift away from these and toward handheld devices. Two reasons for this may be cost and ease of use. Because these technologies and platforms are relatively new in education, it is difficult to determine exactly why they are so popular, but research points to a definite trend in education: Social media use is on the rise.

In new media, we accept that current becomes obsolete. However, none of us can predict with accuracy how quickly this will happen. Advancements in new media will marginalize the use of current technologies. That seems certain. And there is a definite trend in technology turnover in education. The cycle of change in new media is a recurring issue in this book. The question educators must ask is this: Is the use of social media in education a trend, like some other new media, or are social media tools here to stay and, therefore, different?

According to a national survey, the number of faculty who...

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