Participatory Pedagogy, Interactive Learning, and Web 2.0
7. Backchannels and Multitasking
BACKCHANNELS AND MULTITASKING
Educators ask and sometimes require students to go online for educational purposes: as a component of a learning module, the focus of a class exercise, a method of research, and/or a means to engage with other students. Human interaction with online platforms and digital devices is so prevalent in education today that it is common for students to assume that technology, not just devices but entire systems, will be a part of their studies. Moreover, educators and the institutions where they teach are building technology-based systems specifically to facilitate student interaction in the classroom. It seems that these systems can do positive things for education. These systems can engage students in virtual learning environments, enhance communication between students and teachers, and support peer-to-peer collaboration.
In the classroom, these systems can be in the foreground, the background, or both. When in the foreground, these systems constitute a main communication stream and support primary communication activities, such as surfing the web, answering e-mail, reading a magazine on a tablet computer, and engaging with a mobile application. A main communication stream involves human-to-human exchanges—people talking to and with one another. A main communication stream in the classroom is typically one of the following:
1)A teacher instructing a class of students.
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