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Web 2.0: trendy nonsense?

Web 2.0: trendy nonsense?



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

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



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  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • This is an important question. Neil Postman always encourage us to ask what problems are our technologies trying to address? Technology is not supreme. It has to have a context to become a blessing.
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  • Social Nature of Learning: A great slide.
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  • Thanks. I am pleased that you found something useful in it.
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  • Hi Stevenw,

    This is really a great presentation. Thank you for sharing this.
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  • Great slideshow!

    I think I get it. Yet I'm still going to try and harness Web 2.0 to help raise money for drought relief for footy at my blog http://www.savefooty.com
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Web 2.0: trendy nonsense? Web 2.0: trendy nonsense? Presentation Transcript

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