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, accusations, exclamations and declarations buzzing around a network of computers that connects students to the world, fast. Theoretically this digital connectivity is beneficial to curriculum development in higher education. It provides a bountiful repository of information accessible in a browser at the click of a mouse, all the time. Education is available, democratic and immersive. But is it worthwhile? Is the kind of education you can get from new media platforms and social media resources, with their click-on videos, rollover animations and unfiltered content, of a quality that educators should teach with Web 2.0 tools? This paper examines the use of new media in pedagogy, as it presents case studies of the integration of online tools and social media in an undergraduate course taught by the paper’s author, at an urban research university in the United States. This paper includes an assessment of the use of new media tools in instruction, in terms of benefits and risks to students; an analysis of interactive learning, as it pertains to the case study; and, an investigation into the future potential of new media technologies in higher education teaching. Technology can transform the process of education. However, educators need to create standards that will guide students in the appropriate and responsible use of these tools. That way, this “new” education with its technology-based models for teaching will produce meaningful learning. Web 2.0 will produce Education 2.0.
|Keywords:||New Media, Social Networks, Interactive Learning, Participatory Pedagogy, Web 2.0, Education 2.0, Online Community, Digital Tools, “New” Curriculum, Micro-blogging|
Assistant Professor, Electronic Media Division, University of Cincinnati, Cincinatti, OH, USA
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