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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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14. The Power of Games

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14

THE POWER OF GAMES

In education, the discipline of game design and development—once little known in traditional classrooms—is rapidly growing in popularity. There are majors, minors, academic programs, inter-departmental initiatives, and entire colleges focused on game design and development at various levels. More and more institutions of higher learning are developing curricula focused on game design, electronic and otherwise, because games in society are pervasive, useful, curious, alluring, and available. Games engage people in many ways. Games entertain, motivate, educate, tell stories, resolve conflicts, solve problems, and even assist in healing personal ills, such as substance addiction and depression. Games exist in arenas as varied as business, entertainment, politics, science, marketing, medicine, advertising, journalism, sports, history, performing arts, ecology, and literature. Games seem to be everywhere, and they appeal to a wide demographic of players. Games know no geographical boundaries and are cross-cultural.

Another reason why games are popular in education is that the discipline of game design and development is complex, artistic, technical, and evolutionary. The discipline morphs and grows as technology changes. The constant inconstancy of new media is especially relevant here. With its constant learning curve, game design and development is a contemporary discipline that keeps education interesting, topical, and moving forward techno-creatively, while requiring both instructors and students to stay current with the latest design and production concepts and techniques. Balancing why and how is important in this discipline, because, in order for a game of any...

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