New Digital Shoreline

How Web 2.0 and Millennials Are Revolutionizing Higher Education

Two forces beyond our control – the advent of Web 2.0 and tech-savvy Millennials on campus – are shaping what Roger McHaney calls “The New Digital Shoreline” of higher education. These forces demand that we reconsider learning theories, pedagogies, and practices, and modify our interactions with students and peers—all without sacrificing good teaching, or lowering standards, to improve student outcomes.

Achieving these goals requires understanding how the indigenous population of this new shoreline is different. These students aren’t necessarily smarter or technologically superior, but they do have different expectations. Their approaches to learning are shaped by social networking and other forms of convenient, computer-enabled and mobile communication devices; by instant access to an over-abundance of information; by technologies that have conferred the ability to personalize and customize their world to a degree never seen before; and by time-shifting and time-slicing.

As well as understanding students’ assumptions and expectations, we have no option but to familiarize ourselves with the characteristics and applications of Web 2.0—essentially a new mind-set about how to use Internet technologies around the concepts of social computing, social media, content sharing, filtering, and user experience.

Roger McHaney not only deftly analyzes how Web 2.0 is shaping the attitudes and motivations of today’s students, but guides us through the topography of existing and emerging digital media, environments, applications, platforms and devices – not least the impact of e-readers and tablets on the future of the textbook – and the potential they have for disrupting teacher-student relationships; and, if appropriately used, for engaging students in their learning.

This book argues for nothing less than a reinvention of higher education to meet these new realities. Just adding technology to our teaching practices will not suffice. McHaney calls for a complete rethinking of our practice of teaching to meet the needs of this emerging world and envisioning ourselves as connected, co-learners with our students.

About the Author

Roger McHaney is a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar and professor of management information systems in Kansas State University’s College of Business Administration. He currently serves as the Daniel D. Burke Chair for Exceptional Faculty. A K-State faculty member since 1995, McHaney teaches courses in enterprise systems and computing. His research areas include simulation, education technology, virtual worlds, and organizational computing. McHaney holds a doctorate in computer information systems and quantitative analysis from the University of Arkansas. He has lectured in many countries including New Zealand, Australia, China, UK, India, Greece and Italy. McHaney has published in numerous journals, written textbooks, and developed an array of instructional materials including ELATEwiki.org. He is currently working on several projects that investigate how technology and Web 2.0 impact higher education.

Sir John Daniel is President, The Commonwealth of Learning, and formerly Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO, and Vice-Chancellor of The Open University.

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