Web 2.0: trendy nonsense?


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Presentation for the JISC-CETIS conference 14-15th November 2006 in Manchester. Session title "Thinking the unthinkable".

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  • Web 2.0: trendy nonsense?

    1. 1. web 2.0: trendy nonsense? <ul><ul><li>Steven Warburton </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>King’s College London </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>
    2. 2. where are we now?
    3. 3. identifying trends <ul><li>social nature of learning </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>social-constructivism and situated learning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>negotiated meaning through dialogue </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>collaboration, community and creativity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>socio-technical and cultural changes </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ambient technology, ubiquitous computing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>fluidity between individual, group, community and networks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>web-natives, digital natives, net generation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>web 2.0 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>read/write web -> consumer becomes producer </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>complexity, emergent behaviour and emergent classifications </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the rise of social software </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. social tools social bookmarks IRC blogs discussion fora social networks instant messaging wikis collaboration social recommendation & discovery
    5. 5. e-learning: dominant models, developments and drivers <ul><li>reusable learning objects </li></ul><ul><li>quality frameworks </li></ul><ul><li>standards (SCORM, LOM, QTI) </li></ul><ul><li>digital repositories (silos) </li></ul><ul><li>scripted learning activities (IMS LD) </li></ul><ul><li>content delivery and assessment driven (VLE) </li></ul><ul><li>a hierarchical industrial model that can respond to increasing student numbers and pressures on staff time </li></ul>
    6. 6. web 2.0 in education <ul><li>what is the problem to which web 2.0 technologies are posited as a solution? </li></ul><ul><li>how does the rhetoric of web 2.0 stand up to close scrutiny? </li></ul><ul><li>what questions are these technologies asking of ‘us’, our values, our teaching and our institutions </li></ul>
    7. 7. problematising web 2.0
    8. 8. consumers becoming producers <ul><li>blogs, wikis, YouTube, podcasts, slideshare, del.icio.us and so on inevitably leads to: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>mass amateurisation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>information rich but knowledge poor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>incoherence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>information overload </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>not what I know but who I know or where to find it? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>open systems = chaos? </li></ul>
    9. 9. collaboration: individual, group, community and networks <ul><li>what are our motives for collaboration and cooperation? </li></ul><ul><li>what conditions support strong community formation? </li></ul><ul><li>emergent behaviours (critical mass) </li></ul><ul><li>groups vs. networks or groups to communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in networks what happens to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>trust </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>identity (work on the self) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>and shared purpose </li></ul></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Stephen Downes whiteboard brain dump on the essence of group vs. network
    11. 11. personalisation <ul><li>personal = choice = problematic (how do we know how to make these choices?) </li></ul><ul><li>personal = private = problematic (institutions should respect privacy?) </li></ul><ul><li>there is a distinct lack of clarity between between customisation and personalisation? </li></ul>
    12. 12. next generation - what generation? <ul><li>where is the evidence for next generation learners? </li></ul><ul><li>where are the next generation tutors </li></ul><ul><li>the student body is always in a state of change unlike our academics? </li></ul>
    13. 13. formal and informal learning spaces <ul><li>in a web 2.0 world of disruption and the blurring of formal and informal how do students: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>develop critical self awareness? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>judge value and quality (disciplinary knowledge boundaries, assessment)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>develop intellectual tools? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>engage in purposeful activities (metacognition, competencies)? </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. what are the ethical issues raised by web 2.0? <ul><li>personal - implies freedom from censorship </li></ul><ul><li>public domain vs. respect for student privacy </li></ul><ul><li>risk - exposing and sharing our thinking </li></ul><ul><li>traces - e.g. permanence of blogs posts </li></ul><ul><li>student visibility / invisibility (the quiet learner) </li></ul><ul><li>tracking as control </li></ul><ul><li>identity - adding personal spin, managing reputation </li></ul><ul><li>what are our responsibilities, where are we accountable? </li></ul>
    15. 15. does a web 2.0 approach work in practice? <ul><li>evaluating wikis: </li></ul><ul><li>introducing new tools does not change practice </li></ul><ul><li>wikis conflict with traditional assumptions about authorship and intellectual property: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>why share?: receiving credit for contributions, selfish motive? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>consent: contributions being revised or deleted </li></ul></ul><ul><li>content knowledge can be improved, but this takes time </li></ul><ul><li>quality can be maintained if versions ready for quality assessment are identified </li></ul><ul><li>students can be reluctant to contribute to wikis </li></ul><ul><li>visual and design options are limited - wikis are not presentation software </li></ul><ul><li>are wikis easy to use? they require network literacy: writing in a distributed, collaborative environment </li></ul>source: a variety of case studies, see http://del.icio.us/stevenw/wiki-workshop-2006-11
    16. 16. <ul><li>the floodgates are open how do we respond? </li></ul><ul><li>architecture or ecology? </li></ul><ul><li>do these technologies support our underpinning educational values? </li></ul>
    17. 17. what do institutions say?
    18. 18. we are afraid, very afraid <ul><li>there seem to be two recurring themes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>fear of losing control by levelling the authority structures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fear of losing control by levelling authority structures </li></ul></ul>is web 2.0 is going to put me out of a job?
    19. 19. we have seen it all before <ul><li>institutional weariness at having to keep pace with constant technological innovation when pedagogy has barely shifted? </li></ul><ul><li>where is the evidence for the rhetoric of the Internet being applicable to education? </li></ul><ul><li>the bubble will burst, these technologies will be socialised and tamed (but to what?) - a natural evolution </li></ul>
    20. 20. are we looking at a paradigm shift? one that is individual, institutional, cultural or?
    21. 21. closed and open systems, hierarchies vs. networks, nupedia to wikipedia <ul><li>Brooks Law (1975) </li></ul><ul><li>As the number of programmers N rises, the work performed also scales as N , but the complexity and vulnerability to mistakes rises as N squared </li></ul><ul><li>“ Conceptual integrity in turn dictates that design must proceed from one mind, or a very small number of agreeing resonant minds” </li></ul><ul><li>Linus’ Law </li></ul><ul><li>“ Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow” (Linus Torvalds) </li></ul><ul><li>or </li></ul><ul><li>Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterised quickly and the fix obvious to someone. </li></ul>
    22. 22. what do we see in the future? what questions do we need to ask?
    23. 23. key ideas <ul><li>appropriation: understanding the use of technologies as being a locally situated phenomenon and a process of negotiation of meaning occurs at these sites </li></ul><ul><li>context: a particular technology (wiki) used in an educational activity or context is not the same as the technology (wiki) used to collaborate and document a workshop </li></ul>
    24. 24. learner at centre context ( pedagogical approach )? collaborative networked e-learning? formal or informal setting? mixed mode or distance education? expectations personalised social software networked collaborative creative learner motivation experience & competencies time negotiation of meaning