Digital Provide: Education Beyond Borders

Digital Provide: Education Beyond Borders

Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-800-2.ch004
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Abstract

In the last ten years, the world has witnessed immense advances in media and Internet technologies. Through examination of the use of social media, virtual collaboration platforms, and live streamed access to images, graphics, and video, this chapter offers a new approach to education which calls for leaders to use technology to inform and connect teachers, students, and the community. Similar to the changes in the entertainment industry, educational institutions can adopt an interactive, collaborative, and socially aware model of knowledge creation to engage more students and encourage innovation in issues of global scope. The value of making this change is examined through curricula that stress multidisciplinary projects and provide hands on experiential learning. Lacking the market forces of the entertainment industry, being primarily supported by public funds, education institutions face more legal, political and business model barriers. However, the benefits of digital media so far outweigh the risks that the next decade will see the emergence of learning environments that provide as much of a quantum leap in pedagogy as did the advent of the printing press more than five hundred years ago. Examples of the emotional appeal of digital media combined with the relatively low cost of scaling with the Internet are provided as impetus to overcome resistance to change in creating new institutions of learning.
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Born Digital

More media will be created in the next 4 years than in the last 40,000 years combined concludes a UC Berkeley study (Lyman & Varian 2000) and most of it will be multimedia created by novices to media production. Documents are born digital and media creation is no longer controlled by the privileged few. The advent of relatively inexpensive digital video cameras, cheap storage and free platforms like YouTube, GoogleDocs and iTunes has created new opportunity in how we create and share content, how we trade and how we communicate. In terms of quantity, the amount of “user generated” content far outstrips “professional” content and is typically, available at no charge. Net-Geners (Tapscott, 1998) get information from the internet before they get it from a book. They comprise kids, teens, the eldest are graduating college and entering the workforce and to them information is born digital, shared digitally and need not become print or be shared face-to-face to be compelling. In fact, old fashioned text competes with slick multimedia productions for attention and amusement of the young who are often more comfortable with digital information than print.

The combination of books that are born digital and a generation that is vested in digital experiences is novel and will be a disruption for education and pedagogy.

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