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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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11. The Cost of Technology

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11

THE COST OF TECHNOLOGY

I am a technology guy, in terms of understanding new media technologies and integrating them into my teaching. I get the appeal of gizmos and gadgets. I understand the power of some technologies and the silliness of others. But I am a teacher first. I want to be sure that what I use to teach students, empower them, and open their minds, will serve their education and future careers. If, in my pedagogy, I rely on some technology just because it is mobile, wireless, smaller, and faster, I have simply taught my students how to rely on something that is mobile, wireless, smaller, and faster. That would be a disservice to my students, because tomorrow there will be some new technology that is more mobile, wireless, smaller, and faster. And the substance of what I teach my students, I hope, is greater than inevitable obsolescence. I want what I teach my students in their device-driven, technology-focused education to be lasting, to go on.

In a recent book about using mobile devices in higher education, published by a well-known academic publisher, the book’s author asserted that higher education is missing the boat when it comes to fully integrating new technologies, namely mobile devices, into teaching protocols. The author cites examples of how other arenas, such as the corporate sector, agriculture and farming, even retail advertising and marketing, are using mobile devices to communicate, conduct business, and reach clientele. The author...

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