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Putting the 'Me' in Media Studies: Teaching with and about technology

This is an interactive digital poster presentation for the 2014 Teaching and Learning Conference at the University of Denver.
by

Stephen Barnard

on 4 April 2014

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Transcript of Putting the 'Me' in Media Studies: Teaching with and about technology

Putting the 'Me' in Media Studies:
Teaching With and About Technology

Learner-Focused Products & Processes
1) Social Media-driven discussion questions
2) Innovative, digital storytelling
3) Reflective essays and discussion with real-world examples
4) Analytical Research Papers (or group projects)
1) Social Media-Driven Discussion
2) Innovative, digital storytelling
3) Reflective essays and real- world applications
Getting down to the root of it: Student Involvement
Introduction
My classes always seem to be structured around a more or less ‘meta’ format. Meaning, I teach
with
new media and communication technologies (NMCTs), while also teaching
about
them. In a typical course,
students pose and discuss reading questions on Twitter, blog on WordPress, and write a term paper analyzing the social implications of NMCTs through a case study of their choice
. The success of this approach in improving student learning is evidenced by the daily interest and engagement displayed by students, their performance throughout the term, and student responses in personal communications and course evaluations.
4) Analytical Research Papers
Paper focus:
Creatively review literature and apply theory to contribute to knowledge-production
Multiple revisions and peer-review process
An array of student-designed topics
Steps to facilitating student engagement and self-directed learning:
Meet them in their world
Materials, Examples, Formats
Give them tools
Theoretical & Empirical knowledge
Analytical mindset
Teach and encourage them to apply them
Projects, big and small
Show them the results
Fruitful discussions, successful analyses, external recognition
We even received a little outside attention...
Showcasing student accomplishments
This strategy works in other classes, too!
The Proof is in the Pudding
Student Feedback
The class...
ASeM 2732: new media, Conflict & Control
Class particulars:
Upper-level seminar (16 students, half non-MFJS majors)
Writing-intensive
Focused on the 'double-edged sword' of new media and communication technologies (NMCTs) to facilitate:
Digital democracy & social movements
Surveillance and social control
Student Progress
1) Increased knowledge of subject matter
2) More critical, reflexive thinking
3) Greater comfortability with theory
4) Stronger written & verbal skills
5) Growth in digital literacies
6) Exercised intellectual curiosity


Students post questions, unpack issues, and provide examples using class hashtag: #NewMediaCC
Instructor uses Storify to organize the narrative, provide context, and showcase student contributions
Class time dedicated to discussing key issues
Students explain their question, then others respond



Students are encouraged to utilize digital media effectively to convey their argument
Like a tech-savvy term paper
Selection of Topics:
Social Media & Social Movements
KONY 2012
Twitter & Journalism
Social Media & Self-Surveillance
Digital Media & the News
Augmented Reality
Social Media & Medical Ethics
Pedagogical Foundations : active learning with technology
Identifying needs and opportunities
"Part of the change needed is to recognize the potential of Web 2.0 to enable the transformation of pedagogy, design of learning tasks, and promotion of learner autonomy and creativity." (McLoughlin & Lee 2008: 11).

"digital...tools enable engagement in self-directed activities, and learners exercise agency in moving beyond mere participation in communities of inquiry to become active creators of ideas, resources, and knowledge artifacts" (McLoughlin and Lee 2008: 14).

Key Elements of "Pedagogy 2.0"
Source: McLouglin C and Lee MJW (2008) The Three P's of Pedagogy for the Networked Society: Personalization, Participation, and Productivity.
International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
. 20(1): 10-27.
"Great discussions both in class and online...I liked how students were able to spread their own readings to the class via the hashtag, and many people did. Shows a good level of engagement."

"I thoroughly enjoyed the incorporation of Twitter in facilitating discussion on class readings. In addition to keeping a constant conversation going, it allowed us to...[keep] up-to-date and engaged with global and national events occurring that were relevant to our course."

"This class was student discussion based for the most part, which fostered an environment highly focused on learning both from the instructor and each other. Barnard was very interested in student learning and open to all and any ideas."
Orienting Concerns
"How learners perceive the possibilities of the tools and their 'ideal' uses(s) in the context of their learning may be markedly different to the ideas and intentions of the educators and educational technologists who design them" (McLoughlin & Lee 2008: 11).
Therefore, we should:
1) Teach
about
the tools while also teaching
with
them
2) Utilize a variety of tools
3) Encourage students to use separate/anonymous web identity
Their lives are augmented. Their learning should be too.
Conclusions
Technology has many affordances. So, select tools and cater assignments to specific topics and contexts.
Use the tools, don't let them use you. Think: sublation.
Define
use
and
abuse
Set a good example. Contribute, encourage, and moderate participation.
Full transcript