Learning With Multiple Forms of Media

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Dan Zen

I was fascinated by this tweet this morning from #CanEdu13:

I thought about the way that our students do “assignments” and many of them still write traditional “essays” that would never necessarily reference a “tweet”, blog, or YouTube video, yet there is a lot of learning that can happen from these digital spaces, they are just not what we are used to. For example, recently talking to an educator currently finishing her thesis, she told me how she was not able to reference a “blog” as it was discouraged in her cohort.


Should we not be able to curate, assess, and evaluate information from a blog as we would from a paper?  Information often loses accuracy in many instances because it is time sensitive, and a journal takes a while to be published, as well as a book.  Is there not any relevance in the “real-time” web?

Thinking about this, I found the following quote from Henry Jenkins’ paper on “Media Education for the 21st Century”:

“Adolescents need to learn how to integrate knowledge from multiple sources, including music, video, online databases, and other media.They need to think critically about information that can be found nearly instantaneously through out the world. They need to participate in the kinds of collaboration that new communication and information technologies enable, but increasingly demand. Considerations of globalization lead us toward the importance of understanding the perspective of others, developing a historical grounding, and seeing the interconnectedness of economic and ecological systems.”
—Bertram C. Bruce (2002)

If we are looking at how people are “moved”, some are through what they have read, but many are from what they see and hear.  I am not saying to get rid of looking at “traditional” media in assignments, but how often do we encourage our students to use a YouTube video as a resource?  Is this not a skill that our students need?



  1. Thank you for bringing up this issue in a blog post.
    I too am finding that certain social media and even internet links to surveys, such as the MetLife Survey on teacher’s work, are being discouraged as sources in scholarly work. I agree with you that the boundaries are blurring and that we need to adjust to contemporary modes of communication and knowledge sharing.

  2. George,

    You raise an interesting point. A part of the transition to interconnected learning, it’s imperative for schools to encourage and respect the use of real-time web based resources. I’ve noticed your posts include more quotes from presenters and authors, thus provided support for your comments. As more people use this format to blog, I believe teachers/professors may be more accepting of web-based resources.

    As always, thanks forgiving us something to think about!

    Be Great,


  3. Not to worry! Not every level of higher education disallows such work. In fact, my Master of Arts in Professional Communications often focusses only on these forms of new media technology that MUST be explored. Then again, my course of study is precisely what Henry Jenkins teaches. Perhaps Henry needs to make the rounds…

  4. This is becoming very important.the question is how propagate this skill to learners every where specifically to developing countries.

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