Teaching on a Web 2.0 Environment


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Challenges 2009 Paper, UMinho, May 2009

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Teaching on a Web 2.0 Environment

  1. 1. Teaching on a Web 2.0 Environment Luís Simões, PhD Student (UFP) Luís Borges Gouveia, Associate Professor (UFP)
  2. 2. The Challenge How to teach and to learn In a “knowledge society” where there are tools that allow for collaborative networked and personalized interactions
  3. 3. The Internet, itself, has changed Web “2.0” is conceived as a platform for services that allows “two-way” communication
  4. 4. Web 2.0 and Social Software Not all Web 2.0 tools are focused on meeting social needs
  5. 5. Social software, in the context of learning “ networked tools that support and encourage individuals to learn together while retaining individual control over time, space, presence, activity, identity and relationship” (Anderson, 2005, p. 4)
  6. 6. Teachers, Students and Web 2.0 Most powerful driver for the use of Web 2.0: Student engagement and motivation (The base of the educational process)
  7. 7. Challenges for the Teacher Skills used in face-to-face communication not directly applicable online Teacher has to: - learn new interaction methods - unlearn some previous ones...
  8. 8. Important strategy for effective teaching Try the role of the learner - understand the experience the student has - develops same motivation that students have
  9. 9. Social software changes the classroom dynamics
  10. 10. The context becomes wider and conversations' audience extends
  11. 11. Becta Report (2008) UK 100s of teachers / managers, 1000s of students
  12. 12. Becta Report (2008) Web 2.0... 1. Promotes new modes of inquiry 2. Enhances collaborative learning activities 3. Facilitates new forms of participation 4. Develops competences needed to publish
  13. 13. Observatory on Borderless HE (2008) Blogs and other social software technologies enhance authenticity Also, can be catalysts of student commitment and responsibility
  14. 14. Why Education has to include Web 2.0 Web 2.0 tools are widespread in society Using them is clearly an advantage (in professional, cultural and social terms)
  15. 15. Major Risk Using Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts traditionally... (e.g. inside “controled” LMS's like Moodle)
  16. 16. Traditional ICT-mediated learning Three actors... 1. The teacher 2. The learner 3. Content (Dron, 2006)
  17. 17. Next Generation of Online Learning Not teacher-centered Not content-centered But... Learner-centered
  18. 18. The generational gap between teachers and students is not problematic but...
  19. 19. Educators must understand the digital culture where students are immersed
  20. 20. Significant adjustments required: 1- emphasis in collaboration 2- quality assurance in integrating external inputs
  21. 21. Collaborative vs Cooperative Learning Cooperative learning emphasizes the product Collaborative learning emphasizes the process Gaspar (2007)
  22. 22. Also, in cooperation: control by the teacher whereas, in collaboration: the whole class is responsible
  23. 23. Social Software Systems: The group is a Gestalt The individual: 1- Guides his/her own learning, 2- Is guided by the environment
  24. 24. Knowledge Not finite Not detachable from social context Not possessed by the teacher
  25. 25. Giving Away of Control Current generation of students require: 1- Greater autonomy 2- Greater connectivity (McLoughlin & Lee, 2007)
  26. 26. Giving Away of Control “ Traditional” LMS's (e.g. Moodle): - do enable the expression of personal viewpoints - but, still close to the classroom model
  27. 27. Pedagogy and Social Software Web 2.0 can enhance application of constructivist principles Allows teachers and students to engage in more: authentic, flexible, open ways
  28. 28. Pedagogy and Social Software Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, Tagging, etc can be used in “scaffolding” but are open, by their own nature
  29. 29. Example: in the context of a Wiki... Scaffolding is... 1- structuring the entry, or 2- entering some main themes to be developed
  30. 30. Two ways of using Web 2.0... 1- as a repository of resources (e.g. “guided-tour”, by the teacher) 2- as a complete educational platform (where learners produce content) Any of these ways lead to the mixture of formal and informal elements in learning
  31. 31. Two important concepts 1- “Personal publishing” 2- Syndication of learning contents (Downes, 2005)
  32. 32. The question of Quality Assurance web 2.0 is less prone to “centralized authority” but.. students have a fine-tuned ability to evaluate individual contribution in the work of a group (Franklin & Van Harmelen 2007)
  33. 33. Strategies for teachers a) integrate assessment along the course b) promote high degrees of interaction c) develop good tolerance for ambiguity d) use scaffolding and mentoring e) use activities that operationalize course contents Fox and Helford (1999)
  34. 34. Useful suggestions Caplan & Graham (2008) give useful suggestions: 1. create a FAQ 2. make the student pass through a course Forum 3. separate teacher's from help-desk's functions but...
  35. 35. Not so good suggestions (we think) “ Think of online environment as just another classroom environment to interact with students” “ Rewarding faculty” as being “more meaningful” than establishing a supportive context
  36. 36. Final Recommendations 1. start with simple steps (like creating a wiki) 2. depart from traditional models of education (based on the teacher or the classroom) 3. extend learning beyond the walls of the school 4. encourage collaboration through IT tools
  37. 37. Conclusions - 1 1. teaching / learning processes must take new perspectives 2. teachers must deal with a much more dynamic context than they were trained for
  38. 38. Conclusions - 2 3. Collaboration is a main tool to stay informed (huge amount and diversity of digital data) 4. Collaboration is not just between teachers and students: modification of power relationships
  39. 39. Conclusions - 3 5. The control is now in the interaction process (not anymore a prime responsibility of the teacher)