eLearning Papers - Special edition 2009


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This publication has been originally published in paper. It's a collection of five selected articles published during 2008/09 in the digital eLearning Papers.

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eLearning Papers - Special edition 2009

  1. 1. eLearning Papers Openness and changing world of learning Special edition 2009 sonal learning environments Personal learning environments ersonal learning environm eracy Openness and learning Openness and learning ness and learning Digital L Open Educational Resources Open Educational Resources Person Training and work Personal learning e Digital Literacy Open Educational Resource nnovation and creativity Innovation and creativity gital Literacy Training and wor Digital Literacy Training and wo Personal learning envir onal Resources Digital Literacy Innovation and creativity http:// www.elearningpapers.eu An initiative of the European Commission
  2. 2. eLearning Papers Editorial Openness and changing world of learning Roberto Carneiro and Lluís Tarín ......................................................................................................................................................... 3 Articles Understanding the learning space Jean Underwood and Philip E. Banyard ............................................................................................................................................ 4 Universities and Web 2.0: Institutional challenges Juan Freire ..................................................................................................................................................................................................13 Virtual action learning: What’s going on? Mollie Dickenson, Mike Pedler and John Burgoyne....................................................................................................................18 Reflections on sustaining Open Educational Resources: an institutional case study Andy Lane ..................................................................................................................................................................................................25 Didactic architectures and organization models: a process of mutual adaptation Laura Gonella and Eleonora Pantò....................................................................................................................................................34 eLearning Papers eLearning Papers is a digital publication created as part of the elearningeuropa.info portal. The portal is an initiative of the European Commission to promote the use of multimedia technologies and Internet at the service of education and training. Edition and production Name of the publication: eLearning Papers Edited by: P.A.U. Education, S.L. Postal address: P.A.U. Education, C/ Muntaner 262, 3º, 08021 Barcelona, Spain Telephone: +34 933 670 400 Email: editorial@elearningeuropa.info Internet: www.elearningpapers.eu Legal notice and copyright By elearningeuropa.info and eLearning Papers. The views expressed are purely those of the authors and may not in any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the European Commission. Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on its behalf is responsible for the use which might be made of the information contained in the present publication. The European Commission is not responsible for the external web sites referred to in the present publication. The texts published in this journal, unless otherwise indicated, are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivativeWorks 2.5 licence. They may be copied, distributed and broadcast provided that the author and the e-journal that publishes them, eLearning Papers, are cited. Commercial use and derivative works are not permitted. 2 eLearning Papers | 2009
  3. 3. Editorial board Submission of articles Director: Roberto Carneiro, Dean, Institute for We publish articles provided by the members of the Distance Learning, Catholic University of Portugal, elearningeuropa.info. Researchers and e-learning Portugal practitioners on every level are invited to submit their work to eLearning Papers. Through these articles, the Lluís Tarín, elearningeuropa.info, content manager, journal promotes the use of ICT for lifelong learning Spain in Europe. Wojciech Zielinski, President of the Board of MakoLab The articles will be peer-reviewed and the authors are Ltd; Secretary of Association of Academic E-learning informed about the reception and acceptance of their in Poland, Poland texts. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Director of the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning; University of Article structure Duisburg-Essen, Germany Language: Full text need to be presented in English. Richard Straub, Director of Development, European Title: The title should be no longer than 15 words. Foundation for Management Development (EFMD); Secretary General, European Learning Industry Group Executive summary: Every submission must include (ELIG), Austria an executive summary of 250-300 words in English. The abstract shall present the main points of the Claire Bélisle, Human and social sciences Research paper and the author’s conclusions. Engineer, CNRS (National Scientific Research Center), in the research unit LIRE (University Lumière Lyon 2), Keywords: 3-6 descriptive keywords need to be France included. Nicolas Balacheff, Kaleidoscope Scientific Manager; Full texts: Full texts must be of 2,000-6,000 words Senior Scientist at CNRS (National Scientific Research divided into chapters with indicative subtitles. The Center), France text may be enriched with non-textual data, such as pictures, tables and figures. Jean Underwood, Professor of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, UK References: All the references need to be cited clearly and listed in alphabetical order at the end of the Antonio Bartolomé, Audiovisual Communication article Professor, University of Barcelona, Spain Author profile: The authors must provide their full Tapio Koskinen, Head of R&D, Lifelong Learning details and a short bio Institute Dipoli, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland Copyright policy and responsibilities: Authors remain responsible for the content of what they submit for Jos Beishuizen, Vrije Ujniversiteit, Amsterdam, The publication. The editors reserve the right to edit the Netherlands contents, to publish or reject the material submitted and to select the publication time. Contact information Email: editorial@elearningeuropa.info Internet: www.elearningpapers.eu Openness and changing world of learning 1
  4. 4. Published issues and articles 2008-2009 April 2008 November 2008 Openness and learning in today’s world (Nº 8) Training & Work (Nº 11) • Is the World Open?, by Richard Straub Guest editor: Alain Nicolas • Web 2.0 and New Learning Paradigms, by Antonio • Microtraining as a support mechanism for informal Bartolomé learning, by Pieter De Vries and Stefan Brall • Universities and Web 2.0: Institutional challenges, by • Enhancing patients’ employability through informal Juan Freire eLearning while at hospital, by Holger Bienzle • “Learning is for everyone. Innovating is for everyone”, • Virtual action learning: What’s going on? by Mollie interview with Anna Kirah Dickenson, Mike Pedler and John Burgoyne • Grandparents and Grandsons: poetics of an inter- • Informal learning and the use of Web 2.0 within SME generational learning experience, by Aina Chabert training strategies, by Ileana Hamburg and Timothy Ramon and Monica Turrini Hall • Need for the qualification of IT competences - the computer and internet Certificates (C2i), by Francis June 2008 Rogard and Gérard-Michel Cochard Personal learning environments (Nº 9) Guest editor: Ulf Ehlers • Understanding the learning space, by Jean Under- February 2009 wood and Philip E. Banyard Digital literacy (Nº 12) • On the way towards Personal Learning Environ- Guest editor: Nikitas Kastis ments: Seven crucial aspects, by Sandra Schaffert • Digital Literacy for the Third Age: Sustaining Identity and Wolf Hilzensauer in an Uncertain World, by Allan Martin • Designing for Change: Mash-Up Personal Learning • Digital Literacy – A Key Competence in the 21st Cen- Environments, by Fridolin Wild, Felix Mödritscher and tury, by Petra Newrly and Michelle Veugelers Steinn E. Sigurdarson • T-learning for social inclusion, by Chiara Sancin, • Didactic architectures and organization models: a Valentina Castello, Vittorio Dell’Aiuto and Daniela Di process of mutual adaptation, by Eleonora Pantò and Genova Laura Gonella • A digital literacy proposal in online higher educa- • Self-Regulated Personalized Learning (SRPL): Devel- tion: the UOC scenario, by Montse Guitert and Teresa oping iClass’s pedagogical model, by Roni (Aharon) Romeu Aviram, Yael Ronen, Smadar Somekh, Amir Winer and • Designing e-tivities to increase learning-to-learn Ariel Sarid abilities, by Maria Chiara Pettenati and Maria Elisa- • Formative Interfaces for Scaffolding Self-Regulated betta Cigognini Learning in PLEs, by Mustafa Ali Türker and Stefan Zingel September 2008 Open Educational Resources (Nº 10) Guest editors: Sandra Schaffert and Riina Vuorikari • Open Educational Resources for Management Edu- cation: Lessons from experience, by Cécile Rébillard, Jean-Philippe Rennard and Marc Humbert • Reflections on sustaining Open Educational Resourc- es: an institutional case study, by Andy Lane • OER Models that Build a Culture of Collaboration: A Case Exemplified by Curriki, by Barbara (Bobbi) Kurshan • Simplicity and design as key success factors of the OER repository LeMill, by Tarmo Toikkanen • Applying Software Development Paradigms to Open Educational Resources, by Seth Gurell 2 eLearning Papers | 2009
  5. 5. Editorial Openness and changing world of learning In an open world, interactive communication technologies are generating an impact which affects learning processes, people who learn and organisations that intend to improve and become evermore competitive. We have seen that “openness” is readily associated with ideas and values such as individual freedom, intercultural cooperation, lifelong learning, tolerance and innovativeness. This printed issue of eLearning Papers is a showcase of all these aspects, highlighted in the publication during the past year. With this special issue we also want to stress the ongoing European Year of Creativity and Innovation, which aims to raise awareness on the importance of creativity and innovation for personal, social and economic development; to disseminate good practices; to stimulate education and research; and to promote policy debate on relevant issues. There is no innovation without creativity, and the latter will not be fully exploited unless the fruits of creative activities are disseminated and taken into use through business and other societal interactions. Readers will find in this printed issue articles that we have selected among the ones published in the digital publication; articles that we believe are the most representative in describing experiences and ideas present in the current debate about lifelong learning and technology. Philip Banyard and Jean Underwood address an important question of how schools successfully support the personalisation of learning through the use of digital technologies. The article explores the relationship between digital technologies and current moves to provide a more personalised learning experience. Juan Freire analyses in his article the changes at higher education institutions due to web 2.0. He describes a list of bottlenecks which constrain the institutional adoption of web 2.0 when universities and their managers assume an active role to adapt to the new reality. The article concludes pointing out a set of elements for an effective web 2.0 adoption in universities. Mollie Dickenson, Mike Pedler and John Burgoyne present their approach to virtual action learning and propose a new practice of virtual 3D training using avatars, as in Second Life. The paper points out that the blended approach can benefit from the complementarity of the advantages of each method, but also remarks the need of a more complete research on the contribution of new technologies. Andy Lane, in his article about Open Education Resources, shows how first gaining high level policy support within the institution for the initiative of OER was turned into a sustainable institutional practice. Laura Gonella and Eleonora Pantò can help to understand whether eLearning 2.0, based on the tools and approaches typical of web 2.0, can be useful in different frameworks and organisations. The authors present four different organizational models and the corresponding evolution of didactic architectures. Enjoy reading this selection of articles, and remember that you may find more online at www.elearningpapers.eu! Roberto Carneiro, Lluís Tarín, Director of the Editorial Board, eLearning Papers Content Manager, elearningeuropa.info Openness and changing world of learning 3
  6. 6. Understanding the learning space Philip Banyard Jean Underwood Senior Lecturer in Psychology Professor of Psychology Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, U.K. Division of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, U.K. phil.banyard@ntu.ac.uk jean.underwood@ntu.ac.uk Summary How do schools successfully support the personalising of learning though the use of digital technologies? The research reported here explores the relationship between digital technologies and current moves to provide a more personalised learning experience. Recommendations are made that will encourage a better understanding of the learning spaces and the better use of digital technologies. We start by presenting a descriptive model of the relationship between learners, the educational spaces they operate in and digital technologies. We identify four key spaces (personal learning space, teaching space, school space and living space) that have an impact on the educational experience of learners. These spaces are currently not well understood and as a result much of the informal and formal learning of children is not acknowledged and not assessed. We then test the validity of this model using evidence from several national research projects all of which used a mixed-method design collecting qualitative and quantitative data through focus groups, interviews, surveys and national data sets of learner performance. The data reported here comes from the case study reports and includes classroom observations along with first hand comments from teachers, managers and learners. We consider the implications of these data and this model for our understanding of how digital technologies can be used effectively in education. In the traditional model of education the design of the learning space was mainly under the control of the institution and the teacher. The physical characteristics of the personal learning space can still be influenced by teachers and institutions, but the design of that space and the uses of the technology are under the control of the learners. To create effective learning it is necessary to understand the different spaces in the personalising of learning and to respond to the perceptions and behaviours of learners. Keywords Digital literacy, Learning spaces, Learning, Pedagogy, Research, School, Teacher 1 Introduction It will create opportunity for every child, regardless of their background.” (slide 2) The problem addressed in this report concerns our understanding and conceptualization of how There are many ways that digital technologies can digital technologies can best be used in education. support the learner to achieve a more personalised We propose and test a model that describes these experience. In the Impact 2007 report (Underwood processes and allows identification of issues to et al., 2008a) we found two trends: the rise of the be addressed in order to make best use of digital learner as not only recipient but also shaper of the technologies. In doing so we conceptualise educational experience; this was coupled with growth personalising learning, the foundation of a key policy in the range and availability of user-centred, mobile objective of the UK government, and investigate how digital technologies. The synergy between these personalising learning interacts with the use of digital two developments has the potential to extend the technologies. range and access to learning experiences allowing the delivery of the curriculum in more imaginative The UK Department of Education and Skills (DfES, and flexible ways. However, digital technologies do 2006) sees personalization of the learner’s educational not lead to a more personalised learning experience. experience as “the key to tackling the persistent Indeed Impact 2007 showed a complex relationship achievement gaps between different social and ethnic between the e-Maturity (a measure of the level and groups. It means a tailored education for every child effective use of digital resources in a school) and the and young person, that gives them strength in the basics, degree to which a more personalised agenda was stretches their aspirations, and builds their life chances. perceived by pupils to be operating in their schools. 4 eLearning Papers | 2009
  7. 7. 2 Developing a Model of the Ef- There have been three iterations of the model to date. In the first iteration the nested model views the learners’ fective use of digital technologies experience as being structured by the teachers who are themselves working with and contributing to the for the personalising of learning culture of the school. However, on reflection, it is more The model presented here was generated from a wide- helpful to consider the personal learning space that ranging review of literature, as well as our own project the learner occupies rather than the learner himself research data. We have drawn on materials in the public or herself. Put simply, the personal learning space is domain as well as detailed classroom observations the space in which learning takes place. This has some conducted under Impact 2007 (Underwood et al., obvious physical characteristics (such as the technical 2008a) and earlier work from the Broadband Projects facilities that are available) but crucially it also refers (Underwood et al., 2004 & 2005). The model is a to the cognitive space in which the learner operates. description of the interrelationships between core This cognitive space includes the learners’ investment actors (the institution, the staff and the learner) and the in learning, their sense of efficacy and their motivation functional spaces which they inhabit (Figure 1). to learn In the same way, it is helpful to consider the teaching space rather than the teacher. The teaching A number of assumptions underpin this model: space includes the physical environment of the 1. The educational process is a dynamic system classroom and the cognitive structures that generate governed by a complex set of interrelationships. the learning environment. In the case of teachers the additional cognitive features include their awareness of 2. Learning occurs both in informal as well as formal the potential of digital technologies and their own level settings and, after a period in the Twentieth Century of e-Maturity. when formal education dominated, the rise of digital learning spaces has rebalanced the importance In the third and current iteration of the Model (Figure of informal versus formal learning. Learners 1) the space beyond the school also becomes significant. increasingly acquire not only ‘street’ knowledge This living space provides a further input to the learning but also ‘academic’ knowledge from outside of the space and teaching space. Teachers create some of their classroom. In particular their technological world is teaching materials outside the school using resources likely to be richer outside the school than it is inside that might not be available within the school. They the school. As a result they have access to a range of might also belong to networks of teachers from other resources and functionalities that allow for new ways schools who are sharing good practice. Similarly the of learning. These technological skills and new ways learners’ personal learning space is not limited to the of learning can then be brought into the school and school. They might have access to other technical and formal learning. social resources outside the school. 3. Technological advancements such as simulations, The second level of description captures the virtual reality and multi-agent systems have been not characteristics of the participants and also of the only a stimulus but also a driver of a more flexible technologies. In this sense the affordances of the and social conceptualisation of learning. This is technology introduce further enhancements, such as the capacity to support group dynamics. captured in the moves towards just-in-time learning, constructivism, student-centered and collaborative The living space that most commonly provides support learning. for learning is the home, but opportunities for learning go much further than this. With regard to the home, the 4. A fourth assumption is that across the educational affordances of digital technologies create a reciprocal space there is the potential for children to take on traffic with the school so that just as the school can now multiple roles, which may include learner, mentor, be in the living room, the people in the living room can tutor and in some cases assessor. Equally the teacher look into and affect the school. Digital technologies or tutor is also a learner in some contexts. While have helped blur distinctions between work and play parents and guardians have their central role they and now with increasing links between school and are also tutors and learners. Each of these roles is home they are also blurring the distinctions between important, as is evidenced from the Test Bed Project leisure and learning. (Underwood, Dillon & Twining, 2007) where teachers’ skills development was shown to be an In the Model, the first level of description focuses important positive correlate of school performance. on four educational spaces: the school environment In contrast, Lim, Lee, and Richards (2006) have including aspects such as culture and affluence of the reported reduced usage of technology by pupils in institution; the teaching space; the personal learning classes where the teacher was uncomfortable with space and the living space. While pupils as learners technology. find a natural home in the personal learning space, the Openness and changing world of learning 5
  8. 8. ICT and the personalising of learning Behavioural and psychological characteristics Technological characteristics Leadership, school Intranet, E-maturity, Expectation MIS, Learning platform teaching E-maturity, Aware of potentialities, space Facilities, CPD Connectivity, Accessibility personal Self efficacy, Investment in learning, Workstation, Learning platform, learning Motivation Accessories space Merge work and play, living space Availability, Communicating, Expectations (home & beyond) Accessories, Connectivity Figure 1. Model of Personalising of Learning research evidence shows they are becoming more active of personalised learning. Space in this model is partly in the teaching space. Teachers necessarily occupy defined by its physical characteristics and technical the teaching space but they also occupy the learning specifications. It is only fully understood by considering space as they seek to develop their pedagogic and how people behave in that space and how they think out-of-school skills. The Model clearly underscores the about that space. A paved square can be a piazza if importance of out-of-school spaces both for teaching people are sitting at tables drinking coffee or it can be a and learning and for pupils and teachers, and indeed parade ground if soldiers are marching on it. parents, as learners. Some teachers also contribute to the school space in their leadership or technology roles. 3 Validating the Model At first glance the nested model of educational spaces hides a discontinuity. Are the spaces closed or open? Methodology How permeable are the barriers between the spaces? We have endeavoured to test the validity of that model How much of the infrastructure and strategy developed using evidence from several national research projects at school level is appropriate to the needs of teachers in including the roll out of broadband into UK schools. the learning space? How much of the structure of the Detailed methodological descriptions are published in learning space maps onto the understandings and skills the studies identified above. In summary, the studies of learners in their learning space? In previous research have reported on work carried out with UK schools (Underwood et al. 2008a) and the current research over the last five years. The studies on the roll-out of the responses of managers; teachers and learners do broadband (Underwood et al., 2004 & 2005) created not share the same perspective on the personalising of case studies in 37 and 27 schools respectively. These learning, although all groups acknowledge technology case studies were derived from telephone and face- has an important role in supporting the personalisation to-face interviews with school managers, ICT co- agenda. Aligning the perceptions from the different ordinators, and teachers and combined with classroom spaces is key to the delivery of the Harnessing observations and review of learners’ work that allowed Technology agenda. us to build a picture of the digital world of the school. The second level of description captures the Most recently, Impact 2007 (Underwood et al., 2008a) characteristics of the participants and also of the and Personalising Learning (Underwood et al., 2008b)1 technologies. In this sense, the affordances of have explored the relationship between personalising such technologies - for example their capacity to learning and digital technologies. The first of these support group dynamics - create new opportunities studies again used case studies with similar sources of for influencing how learning takes place. At this data with the addition of online survey of learners (n level the model also captures the behavioural and > 3000) and teachers (n > 500). The data from these psychological characteristics that are key to the delivery 1 This series of projects was funded by Becta. 6 eLearning Papers | 2009
  9. 9. surveys are reported elsewhere. The second project peoples’ questions, share resources etc. Teachers monitor it again developed case studies in 30 schools (primary and and also pose additional questions. secondary) and used focus groups with teachers and learners in addition to the interviews with managers Many of our observations show the interplay of intra and ICT co-ordinators. and internet use and confirms that there is a growing ICT skills base and a sophisticated etiquette of working In addition to the field data these projects analysed among pupils in ICT rich environments. demographic data and national academic performance data (reported elsewhere). A girl entered the classroom and logged onto the school intranet to continue working on a project which she began The findings below are drawn from the reports and by reviewing her progress to date. She then logged onto illustrate the emerging themes that we observed. the internet and, using a search engine, located a short list Examples are included from case study reports and of useful sites. One particularly useful site contained some from interviews and focus groups. audio content and, not wishing to disturb other pupils she obtained a set of headphones from a technician. Having How might the technology help? made notes from the audio files she then used these as a basis for her work, drafting and re-drafting appropriately, Digital technology was seen as a central support for a saving her work to her personal folder on the intranet. more personalised learning experience but the nature Adjacent to her sat a boy who had also entered the room of that support can differ greatly. For some schools the carrying no work materials. He immediately logged onto technology is being used to provide detailed feedback the intranet, checked his in-box and located the comments to pupils, staff and parents. Such feedback, not just on and suggestions that his teacher had provided. Having academic performance but also behaviour, supports accessed his previous work he now made a number of pupils in their attempts to self-regulate their learning. alterations, building upon the advice received. He saved At one secondary school SAM Learning (a UK exam the revised version to his folder. He then began work on revision service for schoolchildren) and ‘P by P’ the new task that he had received from his teacher. He (personalisation by pieces) schemes foster group activities, too logged on to the internet and copy and pasted various independent learning and encourages pupils to present items from a chosen range of web sites. He saved this and discuss work in a positive way. The “P by P scheme” as a rough draft in his personal folder and e-mailed his is fairly new but allows pupils to set their own goals, find teacher to confirm that he had completed the work set. evidence to build skill sets and are assessed by mentors This school, among a number of others in our samples, and other peers (2 years above them) from other parts of uses proprietal software (on the Digital Brain portal) to the country organise work. This software monitors students’ activity, The motivational power of technology is clearly sending an email from the student to the subject recognised by teachers. teacher, when new work has been submitted into the ‘folder’ from which the teacher can collect it. Feedback ICT enthuses and excites children; electronic tasks seem is then emailed back to the student. more exciting and stimulating in many cases. Although a good mix of computer activities and practical activities The boundary between teaching space and works best! personal learning space The teachers all felt that much of the children’s work Teachers and learners engage with technology was better when a smartboard was used for teaching. in different ways. While teachers see the value of They reported higher motivation and levels of interest. technology they are not necessarily comfortable with They gave examples of individual children such as L, the technology. For example, Sandford et al. (2006) who usually needed extension activities to stretch him, found a significant majority of teachers (72%) do not easily done on a computer. Using a computer gave the play computer games for leisure, which they suggest opportunity of presenting one idea in a wide variety of highlights a generational gap between teacher and ways, this way the teachers were able to ensure practice student. However, Taylor (2003) and the ESA (2005) without the children feeling that they were doing the same suggest that this as more a life-style choice, that is many thing every time. teachers choose not to play games, while peers in other However, other schools use the technology in a more occupations do. Equally teachers also appear to have a communal way as in this next example. different understanding of personalised learning to the one held by learners. Preliminary data analyses confirm The school uses software called ‘question wall’ which is the fractured nature of the understanding of this core used outside of lessons to support understanding. For educational concept; while both staff and pupils may example, in a project on religion a question wall was see personalisation of learning as good practice and set up on which pupils can pose questions, answer other a goal to be strived for, pupils often do not recognise Openness and changing world of learning 7
  10. 10. staff efforts to deliver on this concept. This perceptual discontinuity can in part be explained by pupils equating personalisation with ‘me time’ but we also have evidence that some teachers, while accepting the personalisation agenda, are still operating a controlling model of education. That said many of our teachers equated personalisation with pupil voice and choice. They also linked this to the need for a curriculum that engaged pupils and for many this was not the National Curriculum. − The teachers were particularly clear that personalisation was not individualisation – targeting 
 every child’s individual needs because this is unrealistic. It’s a more rounded approach. Figure 2. Technology worlds at home and at school − Personalisation was seen as something that good teachers had been actively involved in for decades. The key issues are meeting individual needs and offering pupils. In those cases where it was seen necessary, differentiated learning programmes. The problem with heads indicated that they were considering a number the rhetoric around Personalising Learning is that of solutions to ameliorate this problem. These included it implies that each child should have an individual opening the school after hours to those who do not learning programme and this is not possible in a class of have quality access at home; targeting out of school 35 children. internet skills lessons to those without home access; loaning laptops to pupils and providing laptops for − P-learning is a two way process (between student and teachers, often through the ‘laptops for teachers’ teacher), not something you can just ‘do to kids’, they scheme. The case study reports suggest this has been a have to be involved in it too. positive move. In this large, well resourced primary school all staff The boundary between school space have been provided with an email address which is and living space also accessible from their homes. The school has placed Effective home school links through digital all formal school documentation online and staff have technologies are seen as central to the implementation a communal on-line diary and message board on the of the personalisation agenda. Indeed Green et web site. Through the web site, schemes of work and al. (2005) argue that the challenges posed by the lessons plans can be shared by all staff, whether at Personalising Learning agenda may prove difficult to home or at school. Teachers report that it is easier to meet without digital technologies as there will be a use the material in school, however, since few of them specific requirement for “the communication, archiving have broadband access at home, which is confirmation and multimedia affordances of digital resources” (Green of the head teachers’ perceptions reported earlier. The et al., 2005 p. 5). availability of this resource has resulted in teachers at this school staying later and doing more preparation on Schools are being encouraged to reach out into the site. home and, to a lesser extent, the home is reaching into the school. Many homes are rich in technology. Teachers selecting to work in the school rather than Figure 2 is a visual representations of secondary school at home is a finding contrary to that of the iSociety pupils’ active use of a variety of technologies at home (Crabtree & Roberts, 2003). Their study found that and school. The data are taken from the Personalising teachers were downloading through a home broadband Learning Project focus group interviews (Underwood link because the school net was too slow, but with our et al., 2008b) and they clearly show the richness of the schools the quality of the school provision outstripped home as compared to the school digital world. This many teachers’ homes (Underwood, et al., 2005). In suggests that linking the school and home digitally is contrast most learners appear to live in a technology eminently doable. However, not all of homes will have rich world. the necessary facilities at an appropriate level, to link to the school. The digital links between school and home are not universally welcomed and some teachers expressed Frustration is one outcome of the disparity between concern that the private space of the school was being the quality of home and school connectivity, but heads eroded, threatening the development of the learners’ were also concerned about disenfranchising their independence. The safety of the home was threatened 8 eLearning Papers | 2009
  11. 11. by the school reaching into home. They were acutely The Savvy Students and Empowered Citizens aware of the threat of bullying going beyond the school The argument that the younger generation must be and into the home leaving learners with no escape from rescued from the clutches of digital technologies is tormentors. loudly voiced and while there are worrying examples This technologically advanced primary school has an in- of abuse and misuse of technology, are pupils really in house VLE system called Home School Learning (HSL). need of being rescued? For many working in the field This is fully accessible from home and contains details there is a growing acceptance that, as Southwell and of all of the children’s classwork as well as homework Doyle (2004) have argued the answer cannot be a simple assignments. This is very popular with majority of yes or no. While there is evidence of the net generation parents who track of their child’s progress. However, some being overly cavalier with personal data, there are savvy parents feel that this level of accessibility puts undue pupils with a full understanding of the importance of pressure on the children to work at home. protecting data. This was evident in discussions with a mixed group of year 9 pupils. As identified elsewhere (Underwood, Dillon & Twining, 2007) the thorny issue of lack of home These pupils had a good understanding of some of the internet access for some 20% of pupils remains and is issues relating to Internet use, citing for example, inherent being met largely through after school access time for dangers in using social networking sites like Facebook these pupils. in comparison to using MSN messenger, which they all seemed to use regularly. They were fully aware that such Technology inversion sites were not private and their details could be accessed by unfamiliar adults, which they found threatening. They The technology is developing from the bottom of the also recognised the potential for cyber bullying and the educational system upwards. Pupils of eleven years are possibility of their identity being compromised now and engaged in tasks as a matter of routine while adults trail in the future. MSN messenger was a preferred method in their wake. of contact outside school as it is a direct and exclusive A year six literacy session involved pupils in parallel link between you and the person you had invited to chat classes writing shared reports about the Antarctic on the with you. Whilst there were no gender differences in interactive whiteboard. When each class had prepared pupils’ overt response to Facebook, both boys and girls their report there was a tick box on their half of the were aware of the issues hence chose not to use Facebook; split screen for them to register they were ready to however it was the girls who were most concerned and exchange files with the parallel class. They then received, who felt most vulnerable. marked and returned the other class’s report. The pupils This awareness raises pupils to the level of discerning commented that their teachers were beginning to let consumers rather than naïve victims; this was also them use the whiteboards now, since the teachers had apparent in some pupils’ attitudes toward their data become more confident themselves. files. Across the focus groups a number of pupils Responses to focus group questions repeatedly found identified their data stick as a ‘must have’ tool. Their learners with the expectation that they had greater reasons for this were generally pragmatic; the stick experience and expertise with ICT than their teachers allowed ease of transfer between home and school, and parents. They describe themselves as being so was great for homework, and file sharing between immersed in digital technologies and perceive the adult friends. groups as still sat on the side of the pool building up However, one Year 9 pupil pointed out that he favoured courage to jump in. In observations of class activities the data stick because ‘school can’t steal it’ –‘ it’ in this we collected numerous instances of learners as young case being his data. He could bring material to and as year 2 helping the teacher to manage the technology from school without it being tracked, thus maintaining by correcting errors and troubleshooting gliches. his privacy and independence. This made the data stick One rural middle school had turned the low level of preferable to the VLE, which had echoes of ‘big brother’ in specialist support into an educational opportunity. this young man’s eyes. Pupils are being used as mentors to less skilled pupils. The boundary between school space and They have to achieve five competency tests to become a webwizard, after which they are allowed to contribute teaching space to the general maintenance of the ICT facilities by, for Personalising of Learning and the example, ensuring that laptops are stored appropriately UK National Curriculum and are left on charge. One year eight child has a special One of the misalignments between the school space position in this process and appears to fulfil the role of an and the teaching space concerns the need of the school onsite technician. for measurable outputs in the form of results from high Openness and changing world of learning 9
  12. 12. stakes tests such as SATs and GCSEs and the ambition development of not only the discerning consumer but of teachers to personalise learning for their learners. For also the discerning citizen. some schools the National Curriculum is antithetical to the personalising of learning agenda. − The pupils who so ably articulated their rejection of Facebook are drawn from a school (secondary: socially The National Curriculum needs to be more flexible and disadvantaged) whose policy is one of openness, engaging in order to achieve p-learning. The national particularly in regard to the Internet and digital curriculum causes problems with this (individualised technologies in general. In the focus group, teachers at learning and differentiation) however – personalisation this school expressed the need for pupils to be exposed needs pupils to be engaged and this not always happening to both the ills as well as the joys of surfing the net with the curriculum as it is presently. Further, the while, they the staff, could provide a positive context in National Curriculum is very prescriptive in its outline which to debate issues. and does not always allow teachers to be creative. Needs to be more flexible. − In a second school (secondary: socially advantaged) which operated a similar monitoring system, the pupils The allocation of children to classes in schools can viewed this surveillance with equanimity and not as create groups who are less focused on SATs and an infringement of liberty. However, in this school therefore able to work beyond the National Curriculum. pupils were allowed considerable freedom in their use of digital tools, as exemplified by the school by-passing the The unusual mix of years 4 and 5 in this rural primary local RBC controls to give pupils exposure to the wider school provided an opportunity to be more bold with Internet. the curriculum. The teacher chose to design her lessons using the ‘Mantle of the Expert’. This is a particular − A third school (primary: socially advantaged) has style of teaching where pupils and teacher use drama extended this sense of openness in that it declares itself and role play to learn together. They learn for a reason, as a school without rules. Pupils here choose their own undertaking shared research to become ‘experts’ in their learning pathways and modes of working. The pupils own right. The class at the time of the visit was focused have learnt to take responsibility from a very young on saving orangutans in Borneo. KORC (Kingabantan age. The school is successful on all objective measures Orangutan Rescue Centre) was led by Anna, played and the children here are empowered and empowering. by the teacher, and the children were scientists and volunteers. Other schools however, operated a policy of containment where social networking software was In the previous lesson it had been discovered that KORC concerned. These schools are in the majority here, a impoverished and needed to develop some fundraising finding mirrored in the Harnessing Technology 2008 activities to keep the operation going. Different groups Survey, which showed that “software was not overly of children were working mainly in pairs to tackle this encouraged by teachers in supporting pupils with their issue in a wide variety of ways including cooking banana learning” (Smith & Rudd, 2008, p.30). buns, which appear to be an essential part of the diet of orangutans and small children. 4 Reflections Inculcating Discerning Consumers The data collected here provides a partial validation of the Personalising of Learning Model. By capturing Many pupils, it emerges from our learner data, may space, behaviour and opportunity we have been able be described as digitally savvy. Are these savvy pupils to describe the ebb and flow of activity between the simply street wise, collecting their knowledge from school and home, and teaching and learning. In the world beyond the classroom or is there evidence of particular we have highlighted the boundaries between schools aiding the development of the critical analysis different digital worlds and shown the potential exhibited here? In the descriptive model (Figure1) barriers to effective teaching and learning. it was argued that the culture, ethos or vision of a school would be an important predictor of educational Underwood and Banyard (2008) have reported outcomes. Is there evidence to support this argument? that managers, teachers and learners understand In the case of the student rejecting the VLE because personalising learning in different ways. Our analyses of its ’big brother’ connotations, it seems unlikely that confirm the fractured nature of different stakeholders’ the school has impacted on him in a positive way. The understanding of this core educational concept: while school operates a full digital monitoring programme both staff and pupils may see the personalising of with lesson-by-lesson registration and rapid feedback learning as good practice and a goal to be strived for, to parents. This pupil sought to reduce the school’s pupils often do not recognise staff efforts to deliver data collection on his activities and in this sense we on this concept. Pupils equating personalisation might call him street wise. However, there are schools with ‘me time’ can in part explain this perceptual whose vision and practice have a clear focus on the 10 eLearning Papers | 2009
  13. 13. discontinuity but we also have evidence that some that teachers had a very real awareness of what the teachers, while accepting the personalisation agenda, technology could deliver but were frustrated by the are still operating a controlling model of education. current curricula and assessments. Many teachers, however, equate personalising learning with pupil voice and choice. They also link this to Assessment is still largely conducted in the UK the need for a curriculum that engages pupils and for using traditional (i.e. pre-digital technologies) many teachers this is not the UK National Curriculum. techniques, and focuses on traditional (i.e. pre- ICT can provide opportunities for developing digital technologies) academic skills. The origin of the personalising agenda but it can also provide these techniques in UK education can be traced the illusion of individual learning while actually back through the University of Cambridge Local restricting innovative work. Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) to 1858, when a group of academics were invited by some Durham The people who predominantly occupy the learning, schools to develop assessment techniques for their teaching and institutional spaces have very different pupils. The schools were observed to capture how the experiences and expectations of digital technologies. pupils were being taught. Tests were devised to match The digital world is the norm for pupils, even those the teaching and learning that was taking place. The of a very young age, and this is not always recognised techniques for external examination are largely the by teachers. It is aspirational and functional, and same today even though the style of teaching and is an important way of defining and expressing an learning has moved on dramatically. There is a clear individual’s identity. However, learners engage with need to create assessments that better measure the digital technologies in ways that are only partially shifts in learning activities that accompany effective recognised and explored by schools. Schools have use of digital technology. For example what form of very different responses to this digital world. Some assessment best captures the move from essay to story schools have policies of containment while others seek boarding or the rise in visual as opposed to verbal to engage with pupils and through these burgeoning presentational skill. technologies. In the traditional model of education the design of the The digital divide between teachers and pupils remains learning space was mainly under the control of the a reality. It can be argued that this is a transient institution and the teacher. The physical characteristics problem that will disappear as a new, more e-mature of the personal learning space can still be influenced generation of teachers takes its place in the classroom. by teachers and institutions, but the design of that However, new technologies continue to evolve and space and the uses of the technology are under the change rapidly and early adopters and innovators will control of the learners. At our university our library continue to be over-represented in children and young information services provides academic search people and under-represented in adults. There are also facilities and e-learning support but the students further digital divides between parents and children choose to Google. To create effective learning it and it is clear that children are claiming part of this is necessary to understand the different spaces in digital world as their own and using it as a vehicle for the personalising of learning and to respond to the personal independence. perceptions and behaviours of learners. As in previous studies there are concerns about home school links that can be encapsulated first under 5 Recommendations work-life balance (when do the youngest children get 1. The various stakeholders (managers, teachers, to play?) and secondly equity issues. Although, in this learners, parents) should develop better sample of schools, pupils in socially disadvantaged understandings of each others’ experience and use of areas who, it was anticipated, would be technologically digital technologies. disadvantaged, still had high access to technology. The model presented here draws attention to the overlap 2. Curricula need to be adapted to take account of the of these spaces and challenges schools to respond to digital technologies to allow for the personalising of these new ways of learning. learning. There is a need to create greater alignment between 3. Assessment of learners needs to be reviewed to better curriculum, assessment and pedagogy for the digital capture the learning, both formal and informal, that school. Wood (2006) has argued that the misalignment is taking place. of assessment and an ICT rich educational experience 4. Policy makes and managers need to respond to the requires radical rethinking. Many schools do not grasp digital divides that exist by age, professional status and the importance of ICT for assessment and therefore economic disadvantage. holistic change (McClusky, 2005). However, the e-Mature schools within this sample demonstrated Openness and changing world of learning 11
  14. 14. References ➜ Crabtree, J. & Roberts, S. (2003). Fat Pipes, Connected People Rethinking Broadband Britain. London: iSociety. http://www.theworkfoundation.com/pdf/fat_pipes.pdf ➜ DfES (2006). The Primary National Strategy: Personalisation. London: DFES. http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/local/ePDs/leading_on_intervention/site/u1/s3/index.htm ➜ ESA (2005). Essential Facts about the computer and video game industry http://www.theesa.com/files/2005EssentialFacts.pdf ➜ Green, H., Facer, K. & Rudd, T (2005). Personalisation and Digital Technologies. Bristol: Futurelab. ➜ Lim, C.P., Lee, S.L. & Richards, C. (2006). Developing interactive learning objects for a computing mathematics models. International Journal on E-Learning, 5, 221-244. ➜ McClusky, A. (2005). Policy Peer reviews: ICT in Schools in Northern Ireland. Brussels EUN Schoolnet. http://insight.eun.org/ww/en/pub/insight/policy/peer_reviews/ ➜ Pollard A & James, M. (2004). Personalised Learning A Commentary by the Teaching and Learning Research Programme, London: TLRP. ➜ Smith, P. & Rudd, P. (2008). Harnessing Technology: School Survey 2008: Draft Preliminary Report. NFER. ➜ Southwell, B.G. & Doyle, K.O. (2004). The Good, the Bad, or the Ugly? A Multilevel Perspective on Electronic Game Effects. American Behavioral Scientist, 48, 391-401. ➜ Taylor, L. (2003). When seams fall apart: Video game space and the player. Game Studies 3 (2). http://www. gamestudies. org/0302/taylor/ (accessed March 31, 2006). ➜ Underwood, J., Ault, A., Banyard, P., Bird, K. Dillon, G., Hayes, M., Selwood, I., Somekh, B. & Twining, P. (2005). The Impact of Broadband in Schools. Final project report for Becta Coventry. ➜ Underwood, J., Ault, A., Banyard, P., Durbin, C., Hayes, M., Selwood, I., et al. (2004a). Connecting with Broadband: Evidence from the Field. Coventry: Final project report for Becta. ➜ Underwood, J., Baguley, T., Banyard, P. Dillon, G., Farrington Flint, L., Hayes, M., Hick, P., Le Geyt, G., Murphy, J., Selwood, I. & Wright, M. (2008b). Personalising of Learning. Unpublished Final Report submitted to BECTA. ➜ Underwood, J., Baguley, T., Banyard,P., Coyne, E., Farrington-Flint, L., & Selwood, I. (2008a). Impact 2007: Personalising Learning with Technology: Final Report. Coventry: Becta. http://partners.becta.org.uk/upload-dir/downloads/page_documents/research/impact_July2007.doc ➜ Underwood, J.D.M. & Banyard (2008). Self-regulated learning in a digital world. Technology, Pedagogy and Education. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, in press. ➜ Underwood, J., Dillon, G. & Twining, P. (2007), Evaluation of the ICT Test Bed Project Questionnaire Data: Summary of Findings - Year 4, 2006,Coventry: Becta. http://www.evaluation.icttestbed.org.uk/reports ➜ Wood, D.W. (2006). The Think Report. SchoolNet http://eminent.eun.org/THINK_FULL_DRAFT_2pp.doc 12 eLearning Papers | 2009
  15. 15. Universities and Web 2.0: Institutional challenges Juan Freire Associate Professor University of A Coruña, Spain http://juanfreire.net/ Summary The irruption of the web 2.0 internet in universities does not modify only learning models - organizative models are also challenged, creating important fears among the managers of the institutions. Teachers, researchers and students started some years ago to use social software tools, but in few cases these experiences have allowed any scaling from the individual to the institutional level. The promises and potential of web 2.0 in universities need an adequate strategy for their development, which has to confront the bottlenecks and fears common in these institutions that could explain the lack of adaptation. Some of the bottlenecks highlighted in this paper are: a) the rejection by the users, personnel and students, b) the lack of an incentive system, c) the available pre-web 2.0 technology, and d) universities show in some cases a culture of aversion to innovation and entrepreneurship. The adoption of a web 2.0 approach to learning in universities is a complex process confronting important technological, managerial and human barriers. For these reasons, the design of a set of objectives and a strategy accepted and promoted by the managers, especially those in charge of knowledge management, is absolutely needed. This first step requires in many cases radical cultural changes for people used to work and make decisions in a different scenario. The introduction for the web 2.0 approach to learning in universities must be done through an adaptive strategy, one that may be designed integrating previous experiences of educational, research and business organizations. Keywords Web 2.0, universities, openness, knowledge, managers, establishment, bottlenecks 1 The promises OECD 2007). Some of these experiences are successful, but in few cases have allowed any scaling from the and reality of web 2.0 individual to the institutional level. Institutional, top- Web 2.0 could facilitate a change of paradigm in down, adaptations have been considerably slower or learning; from a top-down system focused in teachers absent, widening in many cases the “digital divide” and established knowledge to a networked approach between universities and some of their personnel and where teachers should change their roles to become among teachers using or not web 2.0 in their work. coaches and facilitators of the learning process (Anderson 2007, Brown & Adler 2008, O’Reilly 2 What is web 2.0? Beyond 2005). The objectives of the new European Space for Higher Education and the needs of our contemporary technology; open knowledge and societies both pay special attention to innovation and network collaboration entrepreneurship as basic abilities for the future of our graduates. Learning by doing and applying methods Web 2.0 could be defined from a technological point for collaborative and active learning are essential of view as a loosely-coupled system of Internet approaches to attain these objectives, and the web 2.0 applications (Fumero & Roca 2007), but it also could be an instrumental and strategic tool in their represents a “Troyan horse” for a new social and development (Anderson 2006). cultural paradigm (Shirky 2008, Weinberger 2007). In this sense it could be defined as technologies for the However, the irruption of the new internet in social creation of knowledge, comprising three main universities does not modify only learning models. characteristics: Organizative models are also challenged causing some acute crisis in institutions (Brown & Adler 2008). Web a) Technology: Internet moves from “push” to “pull”; 2.0 has already entered the university walls in a bottom- from an era 1.0 associated to the old hierarchical up process. Teachers, researchers and students, in most portals and a restricted group of content creators cases without any institutional stimulus, started some to searching engines, aggregators and user-based years ago to use social software tools (Anderson 2007, content typical of the era 2.0. Openness and changing world of learning 13
  16. 16. b) Knowledge: web 2.0 is challenging copyright (the is critical to introduce and expand a new knowledge strict protection of intellectual property) because culture based in active users able to create, modify, the open source paradigm (open access and creative search, communicate and share information and remix of contents) has demonstrated important knowledge. This new role model differs from the competitive advantages, allowing for more creativity conventional students and, in many cases, teachers and productivity (Lessig 2004). This new open found nowadays at our universities. In any case, knowledge paradigm is grounded in the success the imminent arrival of the digital natives (Palfrey of free software and the old tradition of scientific & Gasser 2008, Prensky 2001a,b) to university communities (Benkler 2006, Weber 2005), and is could revolutionize this situation, probably making characterized by four properties: independent (“free easier the introduction of web 2.0 approaches but speech”), cost of distribution is zero or very low (“free increasing the cultural gap between students and beer”), modularity and generative capacity. In this teachers. sense, the modularity or granularity of open content shared in networks allows for the development of b) Lack of an incentive system or perverse effects. the complete creative potential of remix (Baldwin & This topic has been discussed above in relation to Clark 2000, Zittrain 2006). user changes. For instance, sometimes institutional strategies are designed with the goal of a global c) Users: the shift from consumers to active users change, conducting to the adaptation of the complete participating as curators and creators that university community in the short term. These characterize web 2.0 has been sometimes defined approaches fail due to the institution inertia that as the “revenge of amateurs” and modifies the impedes to develop adequate incentives with the traditional roles of the agents of the chain value of required timing and/or to the excessive support to knowledge creation and consumption. the reluctant users, giving a perverse example to the lead users. The promises and potential of web 2.0 in universities need an adequate strategy for their development c) Available pre-web 2.0 technology. Universities have that have to confront different bottlenecks and fears made large investments during 1980 and the 90s to common in these institutions. In the following sections develop in-house or buy software platforms. This these topics will be analyzed. infrastructure could become a barrier more than an active. Most of this technology is starting a phase of 3 Bottlenecks for institutional accelerated obsolescence and has to be changed by tools available in the market (and in most cases at a adoption of web 2.0 very low cost), that have to be configured, integrated Universities and their managers, when they assume and remixed to create new applications or mashups an active role for the adaptation to the new paradigm adapted to the needs of local users. Low cost is in described above, discover a series of internal many cases a matter of distrust in the decision- bottlenecks: makers, due to the misunderstandings that the concepts of free software and open source continue to a) Rejection by the users, personnel and students. generate. In many cases the best scenario to introduce Many of the users of the tools available in the web 2.0 could be the lack of technology, and we could Internet 1.0 are reluctant and fearful of learning the paraphrase the classical question of Nicholas Carr abilities needed to use new software and change their (2004), IT doesn’t matter?, at least the traditional attitudes about education and knowledge. Also, in concept of IT. most cases, change is a matter of personal interest and work without any specific incentive system d) Universities show in some cases a culture of adapted to these objectives. aversion to innovation and entrepreneurship. Bureaucracy, governance, procedures for decision- The journal and editorial group Nature is an excellent making and inertia in large institutions are in many example of the users’ bottleneck. This group has cases the worst environment for inside innovation developed in the last years an extremely innovative and entrepreneurship. However, the adoption of and experimental strategy for web publishing technology and working methods associated with (Hannay 2007). However, some of its projects have web 2.0 requires a high dose of experimentation and been restrained by users (scientists in this case). For creativity. example, the experiment about “open peer review” failed due to the lack of interest of the scientific community (Nature 2006). 4 Institutional fears of web 2.0 Besides bottlenecks, web 2.0 challenges the core Learning from these experiences, it seems clear that, structure of universities creating important fears among in parallel to the deployment of new technologies, it the managers of the institutions. Probably, the ultimate 14 eLearning Papers | 2009
  17. 17. causes of these fears are both 1) the implicit criticism to especially those in charge of knowledge management, the traditional model of university respect to knowledge is absolutely needed. This first step requires in many production and education and 2) the need for control and cases radical cultural changes for people used to work power of the IT departments that, as discussed above, are and make decisions in a different scenario. The strategy sometimes considered irrelevant in a “world 2.0”. should be supported for at least some of these elements: A recent report of Forrester Research (Koplowitz a) Learning from previous and on-going experiences. & Young 2007) identifies risks that an organization Successful uses of web 2.0 are yet an experimental (the original report refers to enterprises) perceives field where trial-and-error is the basic approach. A associated to web 2.0: reliability, security, governance, considerable base of experience is being developed compliance and privacy. These risks are associated to (and shared) by lead users and organizations that the uncontrolled entry of web 2.0 in institutions giving could be mined by other interested parties to gain rise to a growing trend of “unsanctioned employee efficiency in their processes of adoption. Basically, we usage” and to some unintended consequences as could find two sources of experience: violations of intellectual property and/or contracts (i.e., client, or student, data located outside of institutional • Lead (or passionate) users inside the organization firewalls). The response of some companies, establishing (Young 2007, Von Hippel 2005,). Instead of web 2.0 policies and usage guidelines could kill the developing a learning platform with functionalities opportunities provided by web 2.0, mainly its openness, defined a priori, universities could let the producing a perverse effect of the reduction of users’ community (teachers and students) explore, test innovation. and adapt tools. The institution should focus in the monitoring of this activity and the integration of Strategically the fears of web 2.0 illustrate the the successful experiences, and associated tools and confrontation between trust and openness. practices, in their platforms and procedures. Organizations have two competing needs: 1) visibility that obligates to be open to the exterior (and important • Other organizations involved in the adoption efforts are made in marketing, communication and of web 2.0 tools and open paradigms, especially collaboration with external clients and partners) and other universities and research institutions and 2) security and trust that obligates to restrict most enterprises. Universities provide some excellent of management and activities to the interior of the experiences. To cite only a few: MIT Open enterprise. Probably, new developments in social Course Ware; Stanford on iTunes U; the web networks based in web 2.0 tools, i.e. Facebook, could be 2.0 experiences of the Harvard Law School or a potential useful solution to this compromise, because the University of Warwick; the web 2.0 strategy they provide the combination of web 2.0 tools used in and action plan developed in the University of a controlled environment (allowing a flexible system of Edinburgh, or the recent proposal of a Harvard restricting users and content). Open Access Policy. In Spain, some universities are starting to explore the utility web 2.0 tools, but Finally, web 2.0 posses some important infrastructural probably the most complete experiences are those challenges to organizations; another side of the security of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and of some vs. openness debate. How to provide a trusted system business schools (for instance the communities of for key administrative and managerial processes blogs and the master programs based in a blended allowing, at the same time, the exploratory and risky model using intensively eLearning and web 2.0 use that provides the most rewards with web 2.0? tools of the Instituto de Empresa). (Havenstein 2007). There are different proposals to solve this paradox with the deployment of a double physical Institutions involved in research provide other network: one closed and designed for Internet 1.0 (for interesting examples with cases as InnoCentive or critical processes) and other open for web 2.0 allowing Nature Web Publishing. As explained previously, the development of social networks and a considerable in the case of Nature, the world’s most prestigious dose of experimentation. scientific journal (pertaining to a strong editorial group) is at the forefront of the innovative experiences in the use of web 2.0 for scientific 5 Elements for a strategy of communication and development of communities of web 2.0 adoption in universities interest. The adoption of a web 2.0 approach to learning in b) Open access and use of contents. Web 2.0 is universities is a complex process confronting important especially useful and creative when knowledge technological, managerial and human barriers. For is digitized, modular and allowed to be used and these reasons the design of a set of objectives and a distributed in a flexible way. New models of licences, strategy accepted and promoted by the managers, as Creative Commons or ColorIuris, introduce this Openness and changing world of learning 15
  18. 18. needed flexibility respect to the absolute restriction 6 Conclusions of uses and distribution that characterized copyright. Web 2.0 is an emergent key driver changing learning The use of technological and social standards (i.e., and organizative paradigms at universities. Besides formats of databases or the use of tagging to allow the technology, web 2.0 challenges intellectual property and discovery of pieces of information) is also especially transforms consumers into active users creating and relevant to make the information available in search curating knowledge. However, until now, universities engines and aggregators (basic tools to navigate the have not made the needed efforts to adapt to the new overabundance of information) and to allow its reuse needs of the network society and digital natives and in the different web 2.0 tools (Weinberger 2007). immigrants studying and working there. c) Design the organization as an open platform for Different bottlenecks and fears could explain this knowledge creation and sharing, both among lack of adaptation. Among the bottlenecks facing the members of the internal community and with universities for the integration of web 2.0 are: a) the the participation of external users. This proposal rejection by the users, personnel and students, b) the is a consequence of the experience of evolving lack of an incentive system, c) the available pre-web 2.0 organizations, academic, focused on research and technology, and d) universities show in some cases a companies (Chesbrough 2003, Tapscott & Williams culture of aversion to innovation and entrepreneurship. 2006). The experiences with the management of Complimentarily, universities show two main kinds of business moving to an open model for innovation fears about the changes needed for web 2.0 adoption: (similar to the uses proposed here for web 2.0 in 1) the implicit criticism that web 2.0 includes to the universities) allow identifying three main benefits: traditional model of university respect to knowledge • Lowering costs using crowdsourcing (Freire 2008, production and education and 2) the need for control Howe 2006), i.e., the external development of web and power of the IT departments that are sometimes 2.0 tools would reduce considerably the costs of IT considered irrelevant in a “world 2.0”. infrastructure and software. Due to those barriers, the adoption of a web 2.0 • Accelerating innovation and knowledge creation. approach to learning in universities is a complex process The Internet has produced an exponential growth confronting important technological, managerial and of available information, where the main cost for human barriers, and an adaptive strategy is needed users is the searching and filtering of sources. In that could be designed from previous experiences of parallel, cycles of creation of new products and educational, research and business organizations. This services, marketing and obsolescence are becoming strategy could include the following lines: shorter. An open approach is in many cases the only a) Learning from previous and on-going experiences, opportunity to keep both the user of information before developing a priori technology and protocols and knowledge and the enterprises in the course inside the institutions. Both lead users inside the (The Economist 2006). organization and other organizations adopting web • Increasing creativity. The generation of new ideas, 2.0 tools and paradigms should be especially useful. one of the main objectives of universities, benefits b) Opening the access and use of contents. Web 2.0 from open collaboration. Many enterprises have is especially useful and creative when knowledge discovered in the last years that this process is more is digitized, modular and allowed to be used and creative than the traditional developed inside de distributed in a flexible way. R+D departments. c) Designing organizations as open platforms for Similarly to the evolutionary path followed by knowledge creation and sharing, both among enterprises transforming in open platforms, universities members of the internal community and with the approach web 2.0 in the first phase to reduce costs. participation of external users. However, successful enterprises enter a second phase where they transform in an open platform to increase innovation rate and creativity. This trend opens new threats: how to manage intellectual property?, how to compete being open? or how to manage human resources? 16 eLearning Papers | 2009
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