New media, new genres

by | Friday, December 12, 2008

There is an interesting article in today’s NYTimes titled Content and its discontents by Virginia Heffernan. In this article she makes the argument the new digital, online media require new ways of representing information, new ways of thinking about how ideas are wrapped and presented, in short they require the development of new genres. As the article says, and I quote:

This argument concedes that it’s not possible to translate or extend traditional analog content like news reports and soap operas into pixels without fundamentally changing them. So we have to invent new forms. All of the fascinating, particular, sometimes beautiful and already quaint ways of organizing words and images that evolved in the previous centuries — music reviews, fashion spreads, page-one news reports, action movies, late-night talk shows — are designed for a world that no longer exists. They fail to address existing desires, while conscientiously responding to desires people no longer have.

There is a parallel here to the way in which Matt Koehler and I have articulated the TPACK framework.

New technologies are not merely an add-on to the standard forms of pedagogy but rather require that teachers and educators develop new forms of pedagogy that best exploit the affordances of these new technologies. This is a non-trivial task, requiring a deep knowledge not just of the disciplines and pedagogical techniques but also of what is best possible using these new technologies. This means that as technologies evolve, we will need to develop new pedagogical techniques as well – and it seems to me that we are at the very beginning of some interesting new approaches and genres. The rise of online learning (something I had written about here) is just the tip of the iceberg.

The first line of dialog in the movies (in the 1927 movie The Jazz Singer) was the following, “”Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.” These words hold true even today. Truly we haven’t heard (or seen) nothin’ yet! You can see the clip below, approximately 4:20 into the clip.


Some previous postings related to these issues can be found here and here

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1 Comment

  1. Ben Mitchell

    Hi, I’m currently researching for an article that I am writing for my own site. I have found this article extremely helpful and I was wondering if I may link to this article as it will be of great interest to my readers? Best wishes. Ben Mitchell


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