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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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10. Interactive Content and Online Agenda

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10

INTERACTIVE CONTENT AND ONLINE AGENDA

The infinite repository of interconnected, digital content on the Internet that lies behind computer screens is alluring. Any demographic of user can easily engage with these worlds in a process that has become so very familiar: log on to the web, access one bit of information, then click to find more, then scroll to see more, then swipe and click for even more. Going back to the time when the Internet first became a publicly accessed medium, it was not unusual for users to click on hyperlinks for hours on end. One leads to another, then to another, then another. This practice of non-linear surfing, or becoming lost in webpages, continues today. It is a practice that, because of the intuitive nature of surfing the web, immerses the user in online content through a process of discovery.

This activity is one of the reasons for the success of wikis, such as the popular Wikipedia. It is a captivating journey, when one immerses oneself in the hyperlinked content of wikis, where a curious tour can start on a webpage about New York City and after some clicks end up on a page about the Synod of Dort: a meeting in 1619 Holland to settle a controversy initiated by the rise of Arminianism. This is the kind of journey that can only happen in the seemingly endless web of online content.

Beyond being expansive, wikis are powerful communication...

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