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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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9. Presumption of Connectedness




Web 2.0 technologies permeate the consciousness of students in ways we educators may have never imagined. There is never-ending connectedness with digital communications and an expectation that all of us in education, no matter what our demographic, should want this connectedness. It is widely accepted by the majority of the students I teach that, whether via a main communication stream or a backchannel, they should have access to whatever information they want when they want it, as well as communication with whomever they choose whenever they choose to have it. Their lives in front of computer monitors, on smartphones, with tablet computers, and with whatever other devices may be popular, have provided persistent connections to people, data, merchandise, events, information, commentary, entertainment, news, and the list goes on. Once students have all this connectivity, it is difficult to not have it. It is easy to expect it.

In this book thus far, I have advocated for the integration of Web 2.0 technologies in education, within reasonable parameters and with purpose. Sometimes I believe it is necessary to push beyond what is reasonable in order to keep education fresh, innovative, and progressive. Engaging students with interactive learning and including students in the creation of pedagogy—through their participation with tools during learning, which I described earlier as participatory pedagogy—are things I support and practice in my teaching. ← 85 | 86 →

But I wonder if I can support absolute expectation...

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