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Learning Objects and Web 2.0: Technologies in Search of Pedagogy


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Presentation to the LALCO 2008 conference, Aguascalientes, Mexico

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Learning Objects and Web 2.0: Technologies in Search of Pedagogy

  1. 1. Mark Bullen LALCO 2008 Aguascalientes, México
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Not a learning objects expert </li></ul><ul><li>Expertise in DE, e-learning </li></ul><ul><li>Sophisticated user </li></ul><ul><li>Perspectives of an outsider </li></ul>
  3. 3. Premise <ul><li>Learning objects emerged from the WWW </li></ul><ul><li>Social software and Web 2.0 are also products of the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Neither began with an educational purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Both are technologies in search of educational purpose </li></ul>
  4. 4. Premise <ul><li>Underlying ideology is learner-centered and, in many ways, anti-institutional </li></ul><ul><li>Driven by a non-formal view of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Opposed to the prevailing content, teacher and institution-centered notions of education </li></ul>
  5. 5. Premise <ul><li>Need to approach these technologies critically and skeptically </li></ul>
  6. 6. Learning Objects: Beyond Technology <ul><li>More than creating reusable digital learning resources </li></ul><ul><li>About creating a truly learner-centered educational system </li></ul><ul><li>More than a technological innovation: a pedagogical innovation </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Reality of Institutional Education <ul><li>An idealistic view of education </li></ul><ul><li>Two problems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal education is credential-driven </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depends on widespread development and sharing of objects </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Our Educational System <ul><li>Primarily formal </li></ul><ul><li>Driven by credentials </li></ul><ul><li>Learners tend to be instrumental </li></ul>
  9. 9. Development and Sharing <ul><li>Who is developing learning objects? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is sharing learning objects </li></ul><ul><li>Who is using learning objects? </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UBC: Master of Educational Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UBC: German Reading course </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BCIT: Faculty collective agreement </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Development & Sharing <ul><li>Open access </li></ul><ul><li>Opening Up Education – Iiyoshi & Kumar </li></ul><ul><li>The jury is still out on the sustainability of OEC (C. Mackie) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty lose revenue, career rewards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content requires refinement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright clearance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No tangible benefit to creator or creator’s institution </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Learning Objects: Beyond Technology <ul><li>A technology in search of educational purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogical innovation ignores reality </li></ul><ul><li>Significant barriers to a learning objects pedagogy </li></ul>
  12. 12. A Functionalist Approach to Learning Objects <ul><li>Technical benefits of sharing can be harnessed without subscribing to the new pedagogy </li></ul><ul><li>Reusability can be applied on an institutional or program level </li></ul><ul><li>Trades and vocational training </li></ul><ul><li>In other words we can have the technical innovation without the pedagogical innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Global sharing, OEC approach is unrealistic </li></ul>
  13. 13. Web 2.0: From Transmission to Participation <ul><li>From learning objects to Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Similar story </li></ul><ul><li>Learning objects about exploiting the distributive capability of the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 about exploiting the networking and collaborative capabilitie </li></ul>
  14. 14. Web 2.0: From Transmission to Participation <ul><li>User-generated content </li></ul><ul><li>The power (or wisdom) of the crowd </li></ul><ul><li>Data on an epic scale </li></ul><ul><li>Architecture of participation </li></ul><ul><li>Network effects </li></ul><ul><li>Openness </li></ul>
  15. 15. Web 2.0: From Transmission to Participation <ul><li>Web 2.0 not educational </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative, social and networked nature attract educators </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis, blogs, RSS, social networking sites allow for easy generation and sharing of content </li></ul><ul><li>But too often technology is driving the pedagogy </li></ul>
  16. 16. Web 2.0: From Transmission to Participation <ul><li>Need to separate experimentation from sound instructional planning </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 favors collaboration but there are times when transmission is necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Wisdom of the crowd is given equal status to wisdom of the wise </li></ul>
  17. 17. Web 2.0: From Transmission to Participation <ul><li>Disintermediation of information is seen as a victory for the individual </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Net Generation Myth <ul><li>Web 2.0 use in education driven by net generation hype </li></ul><ul><li>Research-based evidence is lacking </li></ul><ul><li>In fact research tends to show the opposite: that current generation is not technologically savvy </li></ul>
  19. 19. Conclusion <ul><li>Pedagogy before technology </li></ul><ul><li>Educational change must be driven by need </li></ul><ul><li>Need must be clearly identified </li></ul><ul><li>Change should not be driven by the technology </li></ul>