Web 2.0 Technologies

Emerging Web 2.0 Technologies and Learning (EDTEC 498A)

Web 2.0 tools and social media are becoming an increasingly more pervasive part of our daily lives. From online social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs, etc., to collaborative platforms such as Wikis, Diigo, Youtube, etc., technology tools are allowing individuals to move from consumers to prosumers of information, and allowing individuals to become active participants and creators of content and content dissemination. This unprecedented level of participation and interaction has resulted in the formation of online “communities” around specific topics and interests, with an increased and visible use of tools to support knowledge building and sharing. For educators, examining the tools, practices, and communities that form around specific interests can lead to fruitful methods of engaging the learners in practices and interactions that are familiar from their everyday engagement with these tools. Additionally, social media tools offer a variety of professional development opportunities to engage learners in building and sharing their expertise.

Learning Objectives:

The objectives of this course are for participants to:

  • engage in various social media technologies as both observers and participants
  • document and reflect on interesting practices surrounding various social media that can be turned into educational or personal knowledge development opportunities
  • formulate a personal statement about learning and teaching with Web 2.0 tools
  • formulate a policy paper on the opportunities and challenges of using specific Web 2.0 tools for learning and teaching

The majority of homework assignments for this course are to post to the EDTEC blog and reply to others blog postings.

My ongoing EDTEC 498A Blog <– We’re required to read texts weekly and then post our thoughts on the blog.  We’re then required to reply to each others reflections weekly.


Week 1 -Orientation and Introduction Week

  • Activity 1a: Introduce yourself on the discussion board
  • Activity 1b: Set up personal blog
  • Activity 1c: Set up Diigo account
  • Activity 1d: Set up a Google account (if you don’t already have one)
  • Activity 1e: Set up RSS reader
  • Activity 1f: Sign up for announcement updates
  • Read Community of practice (Bielacyzc & Collins, 2000; p1-6; pp. 16-20)

Discussion board introduction (your personal philosophy about learning and teaching)


Week 2- Learning and Web 2.0

  • Use Diigo to comment on Minds on Fire (Brown and Adler)
  • Read Learning and working in the digital age (Brown)
  • Read Tips on commenting

Blog post: What is different in the way learning is envisioned in these two texts? How does this differ from your existing conceptions?


Week 3 – Changing roles of learner and teacher

  • Read Changing roles of teacher/learner (parts 1 and 2) (Jenkins)
  • Read Future of learning institutions (Davidson and Goldberg, p. 8 – 35)

Optional materials:

  • Watch 21st century learner
  • Explore Schools 2.0
  • Read Udacity – a free online university

Blog post: What do you see as your context in 2025 and your role?

DB: What are changing roles of teachers, learners and institutions?


Week 4- Educational applications of Web 2.0

  • Read Horizon report 2008  (p. 3-7; p. 10-12)
  • Read Horizon report 2011 (p. 2-7; pp. 12-19)
  • Read Web 2.0 technologies as cognitive tools (Hsu, Ching & Grabowski)

Blog: What do you see as the main takeaway points from the Horizon reports? And how would you compare this to the HCG article?


Week 5- Blogs and learning

  • Use Diigo to comment on Personal webpublishing (Paquet) (Recent years para onwards)
  • Read Blogging to learn (Bartlett-Bragg)
  • Case study: Blogs for learning

Blog: How do the readings relate to your experience of using blogs in this course?


Week 6- Wikis and learning

  • Read Theoretical framework of collaborative knowledge building (Cress & Kimmerle)
  • Case study: Vicki Davis wiki/Wikipedia university sites

Blog about wiki article

DB: What kinds of engagement and learning are supported with Diigo/discussion board/wiki type of work?


Week 7- Media sharing and learning

  • Case study: Pedagogical uses of Flickr
  • Case study: Video ethnography
  • Case study: World simulation

Blog: Your reactions to the use of media for learning


Week 8- Learning revisited

  • Use Diigo to comment on Seismic shift in epistemology (Dede)
  • Use Diigo to comment on Connectivism (Siemens)
  • Watch Networked student

Blog: Your reactions to Dede/Siemens

DB: Your definition of learning and how it changed


Week 9- Teaching revisited

  • Read Teachers as master learners (Richardson)
  • Use Diigo to comment on Teaching in social and technological networks (Siemens)

Blog: Role of educators


Week 10- Opening education and learning

  • Read Badges earned online
  • Read Personal learning networks (Richardson)
  • Read Badges for lifelong learning

DB: How do we combine our understanding of formal and informal learning given these new developments?


Week 11- Policy paper discussions

  • Read policy papers for groups 1 and 2

DB: Policy paper discussions

This paper was co-written by Edward Bender, John Burton, Antonius Tanan, and myself.

Policy paper guidelines:
Given that these are emerging technologies, there is some level of speculation/prediction/assumption that needs to be made in the descriptions. This is a professional paper, the language should be appropriately professional, avoiding too much jargon or colloquial constructions. I would suggest using APA style for citations and bibliography, but you can format the document in any way the group decides is best.

  1. Executive summary
  2. Overview of Web 2.0 tool (repeat for each tool)
    1. Relevance for teaching, learning, research (as much as possible, base your explanations in learning/teaching/research philosophies/theories that you are aware of)
      1. What do you see as specific applications/implications for teaching (i.e., directed facilitation) using this tool?
      2. What do you see as specific applications/implications for learning (i.e., possibly self-directed, informal, or learner-centered practices) for using this tool?
      3. What do you see as applications/implications for doing research with these tools (i.e., are there ways in which it could support examination of learning by the facilitator, the learner, and/or the institution?)
    2. Examples of tool in practice
      1. Identify at least 5-6 examples (case studies such as the blogs or wikis we saw in this course) of where the tool has been used for education (formal school, or corporate setting) or informal learning (self-directed, non-formal, individual driven uses). Give a brief description of the use, the outcomes, benefits/challenges for learning, and the source.
    3. Opportunities for engaging learning and teaching
      1. Based on the examples, what do you see as emerging opportunities/next steps for using these tools for supporting teaching and learning within formal environments?
      2. Based on the examples, what do you see as emerging opportunities/next steps for using these tools for informal learning/teaching?
    4. Challenges that are likely to be encountered
      1. What are challenges likely to be encountered in using these tools both formally and informally? (Administrative, contextual, technological, people-related, etc.,)
    5. Additional resources for reading
      1. Provide a link to any sources you think will help further our understanding of these technologies. For each link, provide a brief (1-2 sentence) description of why that link might be useful to our understanding (sort of a brief annotation on the utility of the reference).

Week 12- Policy paper discussions

  • Read policy papers for groups 3 and 4

DB: Policy paper discussions


Week 13- Reflections and final thoughts

  • Personal teaching and learning statement

“Shannon, very nice work on this paper. I think you should feel confident about your choice to continue with a masters degree in this field because it does feel like you have a good understanding of the teaching  /learning process (even without all the formal jargon) so it’ll be a good move for you to solidify your instincts with some training. 10/10”

The paper will be 3-4 single spaced pages, APA format for citations and bibliography, using professional language and style for presentation.

Personal learning/teaching philosophy

  1. When you came into this course, how would you describe your thoughts about how the learners in your context learn best and how they can be ‘taught’ best? (this may have different answers if you are in a K-12 vs. higher ed context, of course). If you were to select a philosophy that best matched your approach to learning, what would it be? (For example, would you consider yourself a behaviorist, cognitivist, constructivist, etc.,)
  2. How, if at all, has your philosophy about learning, learners, and teachers/facilitators changed or been refined through this course? What are the influential factors (texts, practices, discussions, etc., that you have engaged with in this course) that affected your thinking and why?
  3. What implications does your philosophy have for your professional context? I.e., how would you change the way you look at your role and your work? Specifically, how would you approach the notion of learning and teaching in your context – provide specific examples from your context to support these thoughts.
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