Sunday, 30 April 2006

Coming of Age: An Introduction to the New World Wide Web

Terry Freedman, an independent education consultant in London, coraled some pretty forward thinking educators, and me, to write a little something about Web 2.0. The contributors are listed below. I think that the project came out very well, and it’s free, as a downloaded PDF file.

I have a quick look at the 92-page pdf. It is mainly about the use of blog in education, some chapters on podcast, vidoecast and a discussion of wiki. While there are plenty of interesting ideas, most would be quite familiar with people constantly reading blogs.

Blogs, podcast, videocast are still publishing mode - albeit allowing more people to publish including students. There is no inherent structure or requirement to collaborate.

Wiki is a document-focus collaboration. The focus is on the collaborative construction of a wiki-page which, of course, is never final and will continue to be edited by future reader/editor.

I still think learning is a PROCESS in which students' active participation is essential. Discussion forum seems to at least imply active participation by students in response to discussions posted by the moderator. Blog, podcast and videocast do not have this implicit requirement.

Technology is TOOL. If you ever use only one tool, every problem will be a nail (if your tool is a hammer).

Blog, podcast, videocast and wiki are technological tools. I hope the new world wide web for education is more than just these.

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