The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Digital Disruptions: Media, Communication, and New Learning Environments

Martin Laba, School of Communication Simon Fraser University (Canada)

Abstract

New and emerging digital learning environments clearly mirror the accelerated and ongoing expansion of digital media and communication in broader social and cultural currents.  In both actual physical and pedagogical terms, the traditional classroom is under considerable stress.  There is vigorous debate among educators on how to re-imagine teaching and learning practices, and there are calls to renovate the learning environment of embrace a more expansive landscape.  Such calls are properly motivated by the broader dynamics and transformations in the continuing emergence of digital culture.  These transformations demand that educational practices pursue the assets of an unbounded and malleable concept of the classroom. 

This paper arises out of a major research project concerned with the design of a university-level educational technology platform that pursued the needs and demands for participatory, collaborative, kinetic models of educational engagement.  The project was less about technology, and more about teaching and learning strategies that are compelled to meet students at least partway on their own cultural ground—a ground of intense and daily engagement with digital media and communication.  Educational technologies that are above all, driven by the values and principles of teaching and learning, become enabling tools that are deeply embedded in, and consonant with the socio-cultural realities of students.

Changes in pedagogical approaches are necessarily informed by the accelerated pace and the quality of social and cultural transformation in the ongoing emergence of digital media and communication.  Key in these transformations has been the democratizing dimensions of digital media and communication, new and emergent capacities for engagement and participation in digital media, and the erosion of distinctions between producers and consumers.  This paper proposes new perspectives in the contexts and demands of broader currents in media and communication.

 

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