LEARNING MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGIES ACROSS THE LIFESPAN
Stephen Petrina, Principal Investigator
Franc Feng, Co-Investigator
SSHRC Standard Research Grant (2009-Present)
The primary objective of this project is to investigate how properties of new technologies and new modes of engagement interact to affect learning across the lifespan. Whereas in the not too distant past Canadians could draw lines between how, when and where they were learning and not learning, nowadays flexible or mobile devices offer the potential for learning virtually anything, anywhere at any time. One implication is that the “basic” skill set of competencies and literacies required by a capable student or citizen is evolving. Another implication is that emphases are shifting in business and education to the process of learning, or meta-learning. Commentators increasingly identify various activities outside classrooms (e.g., gaming, mobile device texting and recording) as indicative that the properties of new technologies (e.g., flexibility, interactivity, mobility, modularity) and new modes of engagement (e.g., continuous partial attention, asynchronous, synchronous, semi-synchronous) are changing the process of learning (Jenkins et al., 2006), but there is little empirical evidence. The interaction of these two primary variables is fundamental to the learning sciences but is poorly understood, and field and laboratory-based research is urgently needed to help educators and managers take advantage of new media and technologies.
New media technologies have intensified and transformed the way we communicate, the way we learn, and the way we teach. They have, we might say, transformed the student and transformed the teacher. However, the result of the convergence of education and new media is not so unidirectional. Educators and students have had much to do about how the new technologies are designed and used. Our research into media studies and cultural and new media studies provides a forum for exploring and studying this intensification and transformation. How are new media being taken up by children, youth, adults, or seniors? What is the status of media education in the schools?
See Also the Media & Technology Studies course blog.