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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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16. New Media’s Transformation of Education




Web 2.0, social media, websites, wikis, interactive forums, e-learning systems—at some point they are all part of the educational process today, no matter what the discipline. New media has transformed education by seamlessly integrating technology into pedagogy. The results of this transformation are sometimes consequential and innovative, sometimes insignificant and uninspiring, sometimes worthy, sometimes not.

Jean Piaget, the psychologist and philosopher, said, “The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.”36 New media technologies provide a means for doing new things—in education, art, community service, and industry. And as long as technologies continue to change, there will always be new things we can do with new media. New media have the potential to enhance the overall quality of an educational experience, even a life experience, as long as educators understand how theory and practice should converge with technology in the classroom and educators put purpose first.

Because convergence is a vital component of our electronic media culture, educators should provide students with a strong conceptual and methodological grasp of issues in the intersecting worlds of emerging ← 183 | 184 → technologies, new media integration, and content creation. That is my approach. I believe that with an understanding of how content, media, and culture converge to engage users—visually, interactively, or otherwise—students will be better...

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