How Web 2.0 apps are shaping a new pedagogy.

August 27, 2007

The (slowly) burning question is how exactly wikis, blogs, handheld devices, YouTube, MUVEs, and social networking sites fit into a new pedagogy for learning. For people working in this space FUD (F = Fear, U = Uncertainty, D = Doubt) faded in their rear view mirrors long ago.Employing the “new” methods and applications is inevitable and unavoidable. street%20kids%20%234.jpg Those who are already in the “new” mainstream (some may not know it) post digital images (Mongolian street children here, Dede powerpoint screenshot below) online so our friends and family can see them (flickr), post or access videos online (YouTube, see below), and keep up to date on topics of interest where thoughts can be shared (blogs).
How are these platforms, applications, devices and networks actually shaping a new pedagogy? You might download and review Chris Dede’s powerpoint from 2005-2006 from the AACU site for big picture concepts, such as “distributed learning across time, space and media”.
A streaming video (“The Machine is US/ing us”) created by Kansas State professor Mike Wesch entertains while it teaches. He plays with what Web 2.0 means in the most concrete and abstract senses. The subtext is that anyone with well-developed basic skills can entertain and educate using the new methods for communicating…on no-cost platforms featuring tools formerly reserved for DOD contractors and media giants. By contrast, a more traditional lecture describing Web 2.0 is linked from the Wesch video. Production values are less impressive but the content does provide relevant overview information.
Wesch and Dede grapple with large scale ideas about where and how Web 2.0 fits in the educational landscape. Both teachers are moving quickly to keep up with a reality being shaped faster than it is being understood.
How can we be sure Web 2.0 has legs? The world’s largest survey vendor/opinion researcher announced their new opinion gathering tool, Hey! Nielsen? It’s a survey! It’s an exit poll! It’s a social networking community created for the express purpose of extracting tons of data! Here is a recent news article weighing the strategic risks.
I have a ground-level story about how reality has changed my brother-in-law’s business. For the first time he is using a blog to help manage a large scale project. The participants/partners learn (at their convenience) what other important players in the project (around the state) are thinking about topics that must be digested in order to move the project forward. What are the participants posting to the blog? Opinions, articles, images, videos. How does this move things forward? “We reserve face-to-face meetings for the most consequential decisions. Everyone arrives informed on the basic choices and the relevant issues”.
Professional schools that ensure students have every opportunity to master these emerging technologies will become more competitive as their graduates (and faculty) become leaders in shaping the new pedagogy.
4levels.jpgThe new communication methods are not replacements for face-to-face learning. They enhance, enrich, deepen and broaden learning in new and individualized ways. This entry is an example of how I like to mix media using these new platforms. Be sure you look at the Chris Dede presentation. He describes four levels of learning technologies: device, application, medium, infrastructure (are they hierarchical?).

Exciting isn’t it? Let us know your thoughts.

One Response to “How Web 2.0 apps are shaping a new pedagogy.”

  1. Two challenges to consider managing in the blog world on a project. How do we ensure FPE (Full Participant Exposure)?. It’s similar to the public meeting conundrum. Opinion is only that of those who chose to attend the meeting. “Blogcasts” don’t ensure participation, only full availability of materials and data.
    The second challenge is the more universal one — when does it end and how do we make it stop? Just clicked off a survey half-way through from the manufactureur of my new car because it was taking too long. Transferred next to the Junior High School message/site for my son, to learn about goings on (and tend to my guilt for not spending more time with family). Next went to a colleagues site that updated me on their latest Blog postings that they now have available, only to turn to this site and now I find myself blogging about blogs! And I’ve got a day job. We’re going to have to quickly develop a priority/organizational system for this type of communication or we’ll quickly be overcome (if we haven’t already).
    Gotta run, Guidedogs for the Blind blog just popped up. Got to see if there is any word about the reject dogs that might find a place in my home.

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