When preparing my speech about The Web 2.0 and the role of the University for the UOC UNESCO Chair in Elearning Fourth International Seminar: Web 2.0 and Education, I gathered a good bunch of references to prepare what I wanted to say. You can find all the references I used — and some more, added after — after this words. But as this is an evolving selection, the up-to-date version of this list can always be consulted here: A Reader on Web 2.0 and Education. Feel free to write back to me with proposals for inclusion in the list and/or corrections for found errors.
The collection is far more than just “Education” or “University” or “Web 2.0” but pretends to give a framework comprehensive enough to approach the Education 2.0 phenomenon. I personally think that a good approach to Education 2.0 should include:
- digital capacity building, including the zilliion different digital literacies: technological, informational, media, e-awareness…
- team working
- digital identity, presence on the Net, e-Portfolios
- creation and importance of social networks and connectivism
- the digital natives concept
- long life learning and student-centered learning
- open educational resources
To which I would add Business 2.0:
- creation based on gift economies
- distributed creation and the wisdom of crowds
- entering the conversation with the consumers… and the prosumers
And a longest etcaetera of concepts, hypes, buzzwords and so — easy to see this is just a superficial reflection, not a deep analysis of the concept. Of course, the categories are arbitrary and just a means not to have 47 references one after the other without a break:
Digital Literacy & Digital Media
, Aalderink, W.
, Cook, J.
, Feijen, M.
, Harvey, J.
, Lee, S.
& Wade, V. P.
(2005). Reflective learning, future thinking: digital repositories, e-portfolios, informal learning and ubiquitous computing
. Briefings from the ALT/SURF/ILTA Spring Conference Research Seminar. Dublin: Trinity College. Retrieved April 12, 2007 from http://www.surf.nl/download/ALT_SURF_ILTA_white_paper_2005%20(2).pdf
Open Access & Open Educational Resources
What is the Web 2.0
Education 2.0 & e-Learning 2.0
One of the recurring debate topics during the Web2forDev Conference was the increasing broadband divide, i.e. the divide that comes not from “those having and those who have not”, but those who can access the web in optimal conditions and those who do it with poor infrastructures and, above all, with poor connectivity. As it can be easily understood, more and more applications demand good connectivity quality, thus creating a (new) barrier to those that still connect to the Internet with lowband connections such as modem over fixed lines.
Even if most Web 2.0 technologies are really low-power demanding ones, one of the promises for knowledge diffusion to developing countries is still quite high-power demanding: teleconferencing and/or audio and video broadcasting. Yes, we’ve seen interesting attempts in this field, but I honestly think that the EyA (Engage your Audience) Automatic Recordings System, developed by the Science Dissemination Unit of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, is one of the most outstanding and promising ones.
I won’t enter the technical details of the project, but just state that EyA helps deliver audio, video and slidecasting with very low demanding requirements:
- low digital literacy required for the user
- low attention (automatic recording) required for the speaker
- low-band required for broadcasting
Thus, in my opinion, the technology is not only good because its technological features, but also because it does not require a highest level of capabilities on the user’s side, another usual downside that is seldom taken into account, making it just perfect for developing countries (and developed ones too!).
Thanks, Marco, for the tip.
Last September 25th, 2007, I had the chance to present my paper The personal research portal: web 2.0 driven individual commitment with open access for development (paper, presentation) at the Web2forDev Conference in Rome.
The hardest criticism I got was that my presentation was too theoretical and lacked practical evidence or, at least, a real example to illustrate what it was thought to be a good theory. Ironically — for me at least — I did have some of these examples, being the one I new better in the field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development my own case: ICTlogy. Ironical, I said, because I did not pretend to be immodest by presenting my own site as a good practice, so I “shifted to theory”. After a good time talking about the differences between pretentiousness, humbleness and plain idiocy, I promised Wang Zhong (Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences) to seize the opportunity of yesterday being the 4th Anniversary of ICTlogy, be completely unhumble and picture some of the benefits that scholarly blogging has given myself, most of them about facts that scholars in developing countries, junior scholars or scholars working on marginal subjects — i.e. people out of the mainstream — could perfectly use to leverage their own digital and offline presence and reputation. And I might add, following Olivier Berthoud’s suggestions, that they could be useful for practitioners too.
There’s an added reason to write such a practical — but grounded, I’d dare add — article about research and development: the Council of Science Editors has proposed all science editors to publish a Global Theme Issue on Poverty and Human Development for today. And ICTlogy has committed to join this proposal.
ICTlogy began its way in October 21st, 2003, as the blog of both a practitioner and a researcher in the field of ICT4D. Since then, it has evolved into a Personal Research Portal, covering a wide range of disciplines directly or indicrectly related to ICT4D: the Digital Divide, e-Readiness, e-Inclusion, Digital Literacy, Open Access, Nonprofit Technology, ICT Reglulation, the Information Society, e-Learning…
The information gathered here is organized across the following sections:
- ICT4D Blog (, ), with news, links and reflexions.
- ICT4D Events (), a list/calendar of events (congresses, conferences, symposia, etc.).
- ICT4D Wiki (, ), with all “static” data I gather around: people, institutions, resources…
- ICT4D Bibliography (), a good bunch of authors and works.
- ICT4D learning objects repository (), with courseware in the field of nonprofits and development.
In June 2006, retroactively, an edited version of the blog became ICTlogy, review of ICT4D (ISSN 1886-5208), destilling the best blog posts. The reasons to do so were many, but can be summarize as
avoiding establishment allergy.
Quantitative data of the whole site are as follows:
- 550 blog articles
- 70 static pages
- 70 events
- 350 wiki articles
- 760 works references
- 625 authors references
- 100 unique visitors per day
- 200 feed subscribers
All this content is accessible (for me and for each and everyone) everywhere and everywhen. Indeed, it is highly searchable and, hence, findable. The first benefit thus in having such a site is knowledge management: from my notes to my finished and polished articles, from my thoughts to my bibliographical references, from some links to expert dataset sites, everything is here and, at least for my needs, neatly organized.
The second benefit is that from time to time I can extract the essence of some ideas going on and on and feed with it an article, my PhD Thesis, a conference. I (almost) never wrote anything for the blog, but the contrary: the blog helped me in writing something. The story of my Master’s Thesis (e-Learning for Development: a model) or the story of my article The personal research portal: web 2.0 driven individual commitment with open access for development are perfect examples of this.
The third benefit comes from this good amount of content gathered around my digital persona, shaping a live CV that automatically gets updated as soon as I upload new content, news, etc. Thus, searches by keywords representing recent subjects dealt with here usually make the site appear on the first or second pages.
The interesting output of it all is not having a happier ego, but finding people, networking being a third, highly valuable, benefit: doing reverse engineering and replicating the searches helps me to find people, institutions, projects working in the same fields that I do. It happens every time. And same applies with visits to the site coming from links (not searches). I’ve noticed that this site belongs to the list of recommended resources of several other sites and, indeed, courses about ICT4D. Again, the good thing is not knowing you’re there… but knowing they are: thanks to this, I now know of courses and scholars interested in the field that otherwise I maybe wouldn’t.
Of course, it is great when, at last, you get to know personally some of these “e-people” and kindred souls can end doing things together: most of the editorial committees and board of reviewers I belong to either (a) began as a formal invitation through the site or (b) took the site as my CV/e-portfolio in which to base their resolutions to accept me in. Same applies to the conferences, speeches, seminars that I have been invited to impart.
My calculations are that half the visitors of this site come from .edu or related domains. The other half come mostly from the practitioner field — leaving just a very narrow margin for lost people and occasional voyeurs: the site is pretty focused and I believe people are seldom mislead here. And this gets me back to networking, closing a virtuous circle where the more you share the more you find interesting people and can access things they know and share. I think it’s way more useful knowing that this site is a reference for some ICT4D courses than having a six digit number of daily visits. More is OK only if it adds to my general purpose: LEARN, or reach people from whom to LEARN.
- this site does serve my purposes of keeping all my knowledge under control
- having all content open, it helps interesting people coming by
- having all content open makes me findable not by myself, by thanks to the content gathered around me
- interesting people leave their tracks behind them, tracks I can explore and find them, their institutions, their resources
- those people sometimes send me feedback
- sometimes I get invited to events, where I find more interesting people
- sometimes I get invited to review papers, from whom I learn from firsthand interesting approaches and information
- sometimes I get invited to review papers, from whom I learn how to write good papers (and how to avoid not-so-good practices)
- being a reviewer puts me, directly or indirectly, in contact with interesting people once more
- the more you know, and share it, the more these issues repeat along time… and the more you can reach new people to learn more and more
Want to step inside the virtuous circle or let it pass by?
seems to be working quite fine has an error as it does not find some deprecated tables (e.g. post2cat) when autosaving. Going to try to fix it.
Seems to be working fine now.
Cache problems? Looks like.
Google Sitemaps plugin? Yep.
Another problem with feeds.
Tag adding now added to the platform — and not as a plugin.
Please let me know if anything is not working fine. Thank you.
Julià Minguillón draws some conclusions (that I adapt too):
The web is changing (us): from centralized information crunching to distributed personal presence, in a pervasive networked environment.
Learning happens everywhere, and in the space between — in part thanks to new (mobile) devices — and accordingly learning spaces must adapt.
Institutions are far behind users, but not all users are 2.0 yet.
- much more than technology
- a cultural change
- doing new things with new tools (not old things with new tools)
- crowdsourcing, innovation, creation
The person is the center. Of the learning process. Of his network. Thus the personal learning environment or space is crucial. And crucial to gather the knowledge that has split outside the walls of the university.
BUT, all this information (overload) needs to be managed, needs to be managed now, and needs to be managed at an incredible speed (of change). The semantic web, personal filters, social networks, technology… teachers! can help in this commitment.
One of the things that can make all this amount of information governable will be the ability to “rip, mix, burn” the found content, aggregating data from different sources, to open the results through open licenses. And, of course, metadata and open technologies.
I have to heartily thank Alfredo J. Charques, Julià Minguillón, Josep M. Duart and Raquel Xalabarder for the impressive effort — and success! — to organize the event and gather in Barcelona this most interesting community of speakers and attendants to the seminar, that enrichened to a highest level both the on-seminar sessions and off-seminar coffees, beers and unrestful nights. To everyone, a big thank you.
UOC UNESCO Chair in Elearning Fourth International Seminar. Web 2.0 for Education (2007)
Carmen Candioti, Head of web contents and educational Television, CNICE (Spain);
Jordi Vivancos, Head of the ICT Educational Projects Office. Education Department, Generalitat de Catalunya (Spain);
Ismael Peña-López, Law and Political Sciences School, UOC, (Spain)
Web 2.0 and the role of the public sector
Need for new skills, abilities, competences — the digital competence — that need to be taken into account on curricula design.
The role of the instructor as a mentor, a facilitator, a mediator… and maybe even the creator of his own didactic resources. On the other hand, the student can no more learn alone, but in a shared/sharing environment.
Do ICTs favour learning?
- Interest in the subject
- Collaborative work and environment
- Problem solving
- Creativity and imagination
ICTs as a means, not a goal.
Appropriate technology not separate today from the need for connectivity.
Goals of an “ICTs on schools” policy
- Technical support services to schools
- “Connected families” initiative to have an online computer at home for the school-aged children
- Strong bet on open content production, accessible — with emphasis in especial education needs — and in multiple languages
From Information and Communication Technologies to the Knowledge and Learning Tecnologies. [
De les TIC a les TAC]
Main conclusions from the Internet Catalonia Project
- Both teachers and students have access to ICTs and are some of the best equipped collectives in the society, but they don’t use it when they meet together at school
- When technology is used is to do tasks that actually do not require technology (e.g. chalkboard vs. powerpoint)
- There is no evidence that technology enhances the learning process or experience: no more learning, no better learning…
Key points for a governmental policy:
- Digital inclusion
- Digital and communication competences
- Advanced infrastructures
- Methodological innovation
Use of ICTs at school is not spontaneous, good practices have to be shared to encourage ICTs use.
A strong will to decentralize power and give it to end schools to self-manage their own resources and policies, but, again, with a strong will to enhance networking both at the horizontal and the vertical levels: among schools, among teachers, among schools and the government, among schools and students and families, etc.
Key competences not only for students, but also for teachers, with the accent on the competences and not the tools.
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(Answering to a question) the importance in media literacy of learning by doing: by editing videos, by (net)working in social software platforms and environments…
Larry Johnson: Media literacy is not just mastering the tools, but also, the narrative.
Ambjörn Naeve: There’s another kind of digital divide created between content that has proper metadata and the one that has not. And among content that has metadata that can interact with other content and/or platforms — thus enabling a semantic web.
Juan Freire: Besides legal issues, the role of the governments should be to design the devices, the environments where creators can build content and share it comfortably, and this includes — or should include — also the private sector (not only teachers and students), because it’ll be a need for them in the nearest future to enter the “open” arena. Thus, let’s get them in as soon as possible and not in opposition with other not-for-profit creators.
UOC UNESCO Chair in Elearning Fourth International Seminar. Web 2.0 for Education (2007)