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In the course participants will examine a myriad of ways the Internet may function within teaching and learning contexts through internet-supported technologies (e.g., web, apps etc.). The course will focus on these technologies’ capabilities for instructional use, learning, professional development, and research. The course will provide a set of foundational readings to situate your thinking in this educative space. Then you will lead your own experiences with a diverse array of Internet-based instructional and learning tools; it will also encourage you to consider these tools with a critical eye, always determining the advantages and disadvantages of using particular web-supported or web-based tools.
This course focuses on the role of Internet-based technologies within face-to-face or hybrid learning situations and mostly within PK-12 realms. For all uses we consider, we will use the following questions (as well as any you offer) to structure our analysis of Internet uses:
• What assumptions about the nature of knowledge and learning does this innovation make (either explicitly or implicitly)?
• What unique role does the technology play in facilitating learning?
• How is this innovation seen to fit with existing school curriculum (e.g., Is the innovation intended to supplement or supplant existing curriculum? Is it intended to enhance the learning of something already central to the curriculum or some new set of understandings or competencies?)
• What demands does the innovation place on the knowledge of teachers or other “users”? What knowledge supports does the innovation provide?
• How does the technology fit or interact with the social context of learning? (e.g., Are computers used by individuals or groups? Does the technology support collaboration or individual work? What sorts of interaction does the technology facilitate or hinder? Does it change or reify social systems?)
Course goals include:
• Understanding the historical context of uses of the Internet and Web for teaching and learning
• Experiencing what it is like to be an actor in the ‘participatory’ or ‘semantic’ or ‘connected’ culture of the Web
• Developing a critical framework for evaluating web uses in educational contexts
• Interpreting (i.e., reading, understanding, interpreting, adapting) educational research that focuses on teaching/learning with the Internet-supported technologies
This course is not about fully online or distance education topics. If you are interested in that topic, consider taking LT’s “Online Learning” course(s).