American Studies Web Resources: Are They Keeping Up with the Joneses?
In the last decade the marriage between ICT (Internet and Communication Technologies) and American Studies has become a fact. An immeasurable number of online resources have been placed at the disposal of American Studies’ students and educators, giving them an unprecedented opportunity to experience teaching and learning in an array of new ways. Since English departments in Polish universities, colleges, professional schools and private higher education institutions have always included American Studies (usually culture and history) in their curricula, it seems reasonable to investigate whether – in this day and age – students and teachers of American Studies can count on the Internet as not only a reliable source of information but also a modern pedagogical tool. Therefore, a methodical investigation of selected, easily available and popular online resources has been devised to assess both the substance, form as well as the general usability of the sites chosen for analysis. The paper will present the outcome of the research by offering a critical look at popular American Studies online resources in the contexts of (1) modern approaches to teaching and learning, (2) attitudes and learning styles of the present day digitally-native students, and (3) the newest trends in technology (e.g. Web 2.0 or Web 3.0 tools and applications). This will hopefully reveal whether the online representation of the American Studies domain keeps pace with the freshest offerings of the Web or whether online American Studies resources lag behind the newest pedagogical trends.
KeywordsAmerican Study Collective Intelligence Cognitive Apprenticeship Private High Education Educational Potential
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