Pedagogy and the New Literacies in Higher Education

Pedagogy and the New Literacies in Higher Education

Carol A. Brown (East Carolina University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3417-4.ch044
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Having the ability to understand and use digital technology is an important skill needed for the 21st century workforce (Goodfellow, 2011). In higher education, Web 2.0 and other collaborative resources impact pedagogy, research methodology, and relationships with colleagues and students. Creative use of digital resources enhances traditional instructional methods such as inquiry-based learning, situated learning, and collaborative project-based learning. Generative learning theory is applied through organizational, integrative, and elaborative strategies, which are supported through a variety of digital tools all within a constructivist environment. Digital resources are best applied using 1) collaborative spaces in cloud computing, 2) digital tools for engaged learning, 3) presentation software for course content, and 4) access to electronic textbooks. Pedagogical decisions associated with use of these tools are an important part of the new literacies for 21st century learning. The relationship between digital resources and pedagogical practices in higher education are explored in this chapter.
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Use Of Digital Resources And Constructivist Learning Experiences

Constructivist learning is well known to educators as a paradigm in which the learner uses prior knowledge to support the acquisition of new skills and understanding (Abbott & Ryan, 1999). According to John Abbott, former director of 21st Century Learning Initiative (Abbott, 2008), all knowledge is embedded into an idea, image, or emotion experienced prior to the new learning. Because of the distinctiveness of each individual learner, no two people will acquire the same conceptual understanding as any other person. Thus flexibility in methods, varied instructional resources, and open-ended outcomes lead to individually constructed knowledge. Constructivist environments are supported by several instructional methods employing a variety of tools, activities and resources. For 21st century learners, many of the resources are digital in format, requiring special skills for adapting resources to the learning experiences (Beetham, & Sharpe, 2013; Gill, 2013). This chapter begins with a discussion on generative learning strategies which are reported useful for enhancing reading comprehension (Wittrock, 1989).

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