Wk 18 A2: The researchers’ perspective

The following questions refer to “ Education 2.0? Designing the Web for Teaching and Learning,” which has been produced by leading UK researchers of technology-enhanced learning.

Read ‘What are web 2.0 technologies and why do they matter?’ by Charles Crook.
See if you can answer the question in the title for yourself. Make notes in your blog.

I would define web 2.0 as web based resources and content which allow the average user to create, rate and edit content and provides a greater choice in how it can be used and viewed.

Web 2.0 provides learners with the opportunity to create and collaborate in new ways, shifting the focus from learning provider/teacher to the learner.  The explosion in content created by web 2.0 requires learners to develop skills in judgement regarding its appropriateness.


What does Crook mean by the ‘virtualisation of exchange practices’?

I think this refers to the move towards using web tools to interact with others and resources which would have been traditionally been done offline eg;

–          Google Docs instead of MS Office

–          Flickr instead of a folder of photos

–          Amazon Wish list instead of a handwritten wish list


Would you agree that the learning dimensions that Crook sets out as characteristic of Web 2.0 can be grouped as either more social or more cognitive?

I can see how the 4 dimensions listed can be separated into social (Collaboration & Publication) and Cognitive (Literacy’s and Inquiry)although in my mind this causes confusion as I don’t think the 4 dimensions should be listed as equals.  The social dimensions are more than the benefits of web 2.0, they define what web 2.0 is.  While the cognitive dimensions are ‘side affects’, skills required to make the best of web 2.0.

Read ‘Educational hopes and fears for Web 2.0’ by Neil Selwyn. Selwyn raises a number of fears on page 11, including disengagement and impact on ‘traditional’ literacies. Weller takes a different view. Which side of the argument do you favour at this stage?

I agree that web 2.0 could lead to a decline in traditional skills such as making handwritten notes in a lecture theatre, in the same way the advent of the printing press led to decline in people remembering information.   I think this just means that different skills are required in the real world.  If there is a distance between the realities of formal education and learners uses using web 2.0 tools, I would argue it is formal education that needs to catch up.

I disagree that web 2.0 could contribute to a generation incapable of independent thought.  I would argue the opposite that the nature of content such as Wikipedia encourage learners to question everything.


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