Engage staff explain effect of new media on education

By Vanessa Shirley
Professor presenting

"Imagine a university where portfolios were more esteemed than degrees, and production greater than consumption." Presenter David Gagnon shared this thought during his hour-long presentation at the Digital Salon on Friday, April 30th.

"New Media and the Mind: How Participatory Media, Video Games and iPhones are Transforming Education" is a hefty topic to cover and sell to an audience of university faculty. Gagnon, along with fellow Engage staffer Chris Blakesley, worked their multimedia magic. Through audio clips from an iPhone application that make your voice sound like the rapper, "T-pain" to a board game that teaches the nitrogen cycle, the duo shared insight into how media is changing learning by making it fun and interactive. The team used examples from recent Engage award project, "Cool It", an interactive learning game that teaches the complicated subject of cryogenics (Simulation & Games Award). They also shared their excitement about this year's Engage Digital Media Assignments Award and their prediction for how student produced videos will continue to enhance the learning process.

Professor presenting

"Imagine a university where playfulness and passion were on the test," said Gagnon towards the end of the presentation shortly after blasting the audience with a clip from the video game, "Rock Band". If Gagnon's predictions are correct, it won't be long before exams and recess feel more like the same thing.

View the presentation slides of "New Media and the Mind: How Participatory Media, Video Games and iPhones are Transforming Education".