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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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13. Interdisciplinary Idea Exchange

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13

INTERDISCIPLINARY IDEA EXCHANGE

New and interesting combinations of interdisciplinary study are necessary in higher education in the 21st century, because the professional worlds we are preparing students for are varied and interconnected. New media technology is fast becoming a bridge that connects disparate disciplines: healthcare with arts, media with natural sciences, journalism with design, and the list goes on. In order to meet the social, economic, educational, and cultural needs of society in the future, institutions of higher learning are creating interdisciplinary areas of study that will prepare students for specialized professions. The educated person who will achieve success in this mash-up of disciplines is the creative thinker, the visionary who can think out of the box and produce innovative work in collaboration with other people in various disciplines.

Much of the global economy is shifting away from manufacturing, as we have historically known it, and toward arenas where creative output is the focus—arenas such as design, culture, environment, and science—in which success seems to depend on innovation. In the classroom, it is difficult to teach students innovation per se, but we can prepare students for interdisciplinary arenas of employment by exposing them to new concepts, encouraging them to think creatively, and teaching them to make unique works. New media is ideal for this. Students, who work with technologies and tools that change all the time, will be more adept as professionals at thinking spontaneously and coming up with creative solutions...

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