New Media EdTech: Let Us Take Sides Now


New Media EdTech: Let Us Take Sides Now

Every Communication, by and large, has one thing in common: The Communicators must connect to the expectations and needs of the receivers, and this only leads to the desired response for them.

World has taught us to customise our messages, word selection, graphics and all sort of expressive tools. As a communicator, I or you will surely give a thought to the desired outcome of the whole communication journey. After coding the messages in the best possible form, one has to look for mediums, tools, equipment, apparatus or the vehicles for these communiqués.

A lively and engaging medium will pay back in good; an inappropriate selection gets you where you never wanted to. This is what we know as Communication Management and it corresponds to advancements with the time and age. In this age of EduSoMedia (Education through Social Media), a teacher, parents, mentors, counselors, or even the students/learners themselves, cannot neglect the originality of experiences gained through the use of New Media.

When a teacher ethically ‘conspires’ student learning outcomes, the prime focus is on the right selection of the weapon he or she intends to take along. We talk of the Smart Classes, mainly at school level, and we widely acknowledge the upcoming teaching technologies. This paradigm shift has been incorporated in the higher education as well. The western education thinkers have been successfully evolving new ways to utilize the new media tools like, Blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr etc.

“The power of social media can be easily known by the number of tasks we can perform through it like collaborate, moderate, debate, comment, question, contribute, post, chat, video conference, microblog, instant message and text.”

The educational advantages that these modes of social connectivity give are numerous and can be very fruitful in creating participatory learning. Stephen Gilfus, president and CEO of a research and advisory group focused on global education innovation, says: “I sincerely believe that we have now entered the ‘dot edu’ era which will stimulate and transform students, instructors, institutions and the global economy to reach new horizons”.

Educational Technology has been transformed significantly as to what was a mere group of distance learning and online learning agencies, has become a big world in itself. There have been substantial changes, experiments, innovations, adaptations, modifications, rejections, mergers and break-ups in the last two decades. We talk of India and we see that the globalization of economy not only brought foreign hands and machines to India, it brought minds too. The opening of India to the world, coming of cable television, setting up of educational channels and developing dedicated satellites to education have paved the way to what we call New Media for Education. The conventional face-to-face (F2F) ritualized teaching and learning has got tough challenge from the ‘Blended Environment’, ‘Flipped Classroom’, ‘Online Learning’, ‘EduSoMedia’ and has successfully negotiated to integrate itself with the new technologies.

Collaborative Learning Models (CLM) have been evolved through this transition from traditional pedagogical approaches to the hybrid model of learning and training. McKnight says that “The transition [will continue] en masse to online and hybrid models for collaborative learning.” There is better connectivity and collaboration now.

Some of the gizmos supporting this expedition are as follows:

  • Online Class Rooms (over the Web/Internet)
  • Collaborative Class Rooms on the Institutional Network (Intranet)
  • Video Conferencing, Tele-Conferencing, Audio-Conferencing, Video Portals etc
  • Webinars, Hangouts etc.
  • Flipped Classrooms
  • Blogging, Discussion Forums
  • Personal Learning Network (PLN)
  • Online Education Video Lectures for Traditional Courses
  • Programmed Instructions (Softwares and Apps)
  • Social Media Tools i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram etc.

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