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Rethinking the “New” in “New Media”

June 11, 2011

This post found in the DML central blog was written by Antero Garcia, and makes some very valid points. When do we stop calling digital media, “new media?” and why it matters.  Garcia writes:

“New media” acts as a catchall for the kinds of technology and tools that are digital in nature. Other than that, there is little tying these tools together. And so, educators can think of PowerPoint as a new media tool even though the Microsoft product is more than 20 years old. Likewise, photography, video editing, wikis, blogging, social networking, and pretty much anything else that happens on a machine that requires electricity is lumped under the “new” descriptor. It’s not a very useful label in this sense and gives a vague idea of what learning practices are emerging or engaged when educators utilize “new” media.

Collectively, we are stalling the development and adoption of participatory learning practices through the use of this language. As long as teachers (both veteran and “new” teachers) consider tweeting, wiki integration, and the bevy of other exciting learning tools and practices that the digital media community is creating to be “new,” there will be a reluctance to accept them as legitimated components of classroom practice.”  More…

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