Towards a Social Science of Web 2.0 (III): Education 2.0

David Cummings
Personalised Learning, Foucault and the Web 2.0 Revolution

Shift to student centered learning.

Learning management systems still have the instructor at its center, with the student never really interacting with the teacher nor other students. LMSs lock things out: if you’re not logged, you cannot access. Not meant for community teaching. You can’t have spontaneity, it’s a frozen space.

What do we want for our students? To be creative, flexible, student generated, collaborative, engaged, etc.

Digital identity mapping.

What about the Personal Learning Environment?

  • Instant messaging vs. chat
  • Collaboration not directed learning
  • Online communities that look like real communities
  • Students’ ability to create peer groups from other institutions
  • Ability to bring information in from the outside world
  • Reflective not just demonstrable
  • Interpretive rather than repetitive

Students supporting students through wikis, Elgg…

Wilson, S. (2005). “Future VLE – The Visual Vision”

Jane Secker & Gwyneth Price
Libraries, distance learners and social software: providing social spaces to support learning”

The Lassie Project: libraries and social software in education (blog). Trying to find out what the “participatory library” could be about.

Some librarians view social software as a way to enhance services, to innovate and engage library users. Some concepts cause unease in the library community e.g. tagging vs. metadata.

Real examples from libraries:

  • User comments & reviews in the catalogue
  • Libraries using social networking sites: MySpace and Facebook library accounts; Groups for libraries and librarians; useful for professional networking e.g. Ning and
  • LinkedIn
  • Library success
  • Penn Tags
  • Libraries using blogs

Social software presents information literacy issues: new tools, new skills needed

Libraries as social spaces: not work, not home, but a third place.

PREEL Project: developments in information literacy, developments in e-resources and e-learning.

Paz Peña Ochoa
Education for Public Individuals: the possibilities of web 2.0

Web 2.0 as a relationship device.
Has public education something to do with the development of individuals? Is education a pubolic matter?

Hanna Arendt: education as a space into which action takes place, people legitimate themselves, appear in front of others

Learning to be implies the application of knowledge in the development of skills to achieve a role into the society. Under this train of though, Web 2.0 apps. seem to perfectly fit into this purpose, as they are social networking tools per excellence. But can really Web 2.0 help the public development of individuals?

Folksonomies describe my relationship with the world through me tagging same “objects” that other people, thus generating a consensus.

Comments and debate

  • David Cummings states that Learning Management Systems where created to manage the massification of education. Hence, the problem is not that shifting to a Personal Learning Environment puts stress in the University system, but in the social arena: how are we going to cope with this raising need for personalization, increasing costs of it, and the highest amount of students (increasing too, ’cause they learn along their lives)?
  • It’s true that we have to engage students, make processes flexible, appealing; and it’s true that “power” has not to be retained at all costs, and that power retention strategies have blocked other ways of doing things. But, if we forget about “power retention strategies” it might well be legitimate to try and fix your educative goals and don’t let them be a matter of debate, while the means can. So, is the wisdom of crowds that wise? What if I think this is the best book even if zillions of students tagged as better another one (stress to the librarian)? What if I can debate how to learn things but not give up on you learning integers?


Towards a Social Science of Web 2.0 related posts (2007)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2007) “Towards a Social Science of Web 2.0 (III): Education 2.0” In ICTlogy, #48, September 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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