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Education Featured Article

January 30, 2013

The New Digital Educational Generation: N2N

By Ashley Caputo, TMCnet Web Editor

As the educational world vies for the attention of students who live in a technologically advanced realm, it seems that a battle between the two competing forces is inevitable.

The educational sector lags behind the technologically advanced world that students now live it, with the virtual possibilities Web, mobile devices and computers replacing the need for textbooks and classroom attendance. The digital realm opens up a door to a whole new universe that students and teachers didn’t think was possible a decade ago.

With all of the innovational developments in the world, it is no wonder that educational professions have begun to fuse together its digital tools to create a learning platform that embodies all of the opportunities technology can offer for students and teachers alike.

Taking into account these swift changes, Ajay Kapur at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and Ge Wang at Stanford University developed N2N, a new teaching methodology that signifies the future of digital learning.

The N2N, “many-to-many”,  is designed to give each student immediate sonic and visual access to everyone in the room, as students workstations consist of a laptop, hemispherical speaker array, controllers for music making, and a large-scale digital display. To create a collaborative environment, the stations are arranged in a circular shape so students can observe each other’s work on the large-scale screens. Essentially replacing the most common way media education is taught, which is in a “one-to-many” style, with instructors conveying information to students working on individual laptops.

 “By enabling students to actively engage with potentially all other students at every stage of learning, and by developing a dedicated curriculum for this type of classroom, learning processes will not only be enriched and accelerated, but fundamentally transformed,” said Kapur, associate dean for research and development in digital arts, and director of the Music Technology: Interaction, Intelligence and Design (MTIID) at CalArts.

This new learning method, while it is remarkable as it stands alone, is even more important when viewed from a generational standpoint in terms of how education is evolving, like the introduction of video chatting.

 Videoconferencing gives students the opportunity to communicate with other take virtual class trips, eliminating distance as an issue and financial factors that have hindered these possibilities in the past.  teachers and students from around the world and

These videoconferencing technologies have not yet been applied to classroom stands, but we see that with the creation of N2N, the beginning of a new digital educational system is underway.

Edited by Carlos Olivera

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