Higher Education, web 2.0

Higher Education 2.0

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Technology has become quite accessible, especially in higher education. Whether you like the term web 2.0 or have caught the social media bug, the fact is, technology is present in many learning environments. The “alternate” forms of education are no more – it’s now just learning.

“Web 2.0 technologies and open education learning design, employed by imaginative teachers, create a landscape of learning–collaborative, problem-based, experiential–that is closer to our nature than the ranked, single voice classrooms so abundant in recent times. The single voice classroom developed because of the lack of other ways to help students learn. We no longer lack the resources and tools to develop learning designs that fit how people learn.”c/o Why Web 2.0 is Important in Higher Education, T. Baston, Campus Technology

Although this though is not widely embraced by faculty and administrators alike, it will be the challenge for the new generations of students entering into our colleges and univerisities.

Here are some interesting comments about this Campus Technology article’s message about web 2.0 in higher education:

Wed, Apr 15, 2009

I want someone, an actual human to talk to. Interaction with other humans. and the Web is not personal. I enjoy learning on line but getting the information and hearing the emotional delivery of a lecture is critical.

[Who is talking about online lectures? We are talking about engaging students in 2-way conversations online. Dialogging about relevant course material. Sharing ideas, thoughts, facts and opinions.]

Wed, Apr 15, 2009 tim

I still don’t see this. With the busy lives most of our students (mine are older) live, they need a lot of direction to get things done. My job as an instructor (I hate the instructor/professor paradigm) is to provide them with the initial stimulation to show them what they need to know and to make it interesting enough for them to pursue later (Web?). My students actually WANT me to talk to them, to help them see the framework things can be seen in, and to set the challenges for them. I wouldn’t dare say this always happens, but I try. And it is congruent with my own experience. I always loved great lectures from people who thoroughly understood and integrated knowledge (perhaps that’s why I still spend so much money on Teach12.com). I don’t say this as a Luddite. I’ve been involved in technology education for 25 years, and I am still uncertain where it can help ….

[GREAT! Keep talking to your students in-person… then engage & challenge them online and beyond the classroom/office hours environment – to share research, ask questions, and grow your learning community.]

Perhaps the misconception for technology in higher education is the thought it has to be ALL or NOTHING. I would encourage educators to think more broadly on how to support those adult learners, and seek out online mediums to to compliment and make your teaching practice more effective to cultivate learning communities at your institutions. It is never about the technology, it’s really the reason and purpose it plays in education.

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