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The Future of Web 2.0 Technologies in Learning

Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor of learning technology in the Faculty of Education at the University of Plymouth.

"For the first time we are preparing students for a future we cannot clearly describe."
-David Warlick

It's not about the distance learning or the blended learning, but whether learning is formal and informal and bring this into the learning environment.

"I never teach my students. I only provide the conditions in which they can learn."
- Albert Einstein

Everyone is engaging in technology some way or another. We all connect to information, but it is not about digital natives it becomes about what students the needs? Students want engaging and fun learning. Although they are playing games, they learn a great deal - interactive narratives, role play simulations, massively online role playing games, etc. All of these things are part of the future of education. As soon as we can start bringing in these types of learning resources, learning for students will expand.

Students will use more personalize learning spaces. As in the 80's and 90's in the secondary and post secondary environments, students were learning in the typical lecture halls or classrooms where the teacher used the chalk board to do most of the teaching. In the 21st century, classrooms has students with laptops allowing each individual to personalize their learning. They may or may not be jotting down everything the instructor or teacher is saying, but they are personalizing their window of learning.

Personalization of learning means ensuring that individual differences are acknowledged. Looking at the infographic, the personal learning environment (PLE) is not just the tools it is the network that is created inside and out. Most learning environments do not allow enough of this type of learning.

We need our students to have the ability to communicate inside and outside of technology. Sharing common interesting and the 'wisdom of the crowds'. It is an aggregated knowledge of the social media landscape allowing individuals to connect.

Social media gives everyone a voice, even if they are shy introverted individuals. You are able to make mistakes without being criticized and take the risk versus in a face to face setting, most of these individuals go incognito.

The architecture of participation is really about generated content. The web has become a conversation. Daniel Chandler said, "In the act of writing... we are written." Blogging is exactly that. It takes our thoughts and allows for informal peer reviews and comments from others. Moblogging is the same, which is blogging on the move to capture images, sounds, and experiences. Citizen journalism is recording live experiences being sent to the world. Microblogging such as Twitter allows people to tweet, but also retweet someone's post. Retweeting is not repetition, but it is amplification of ideas. It is greater than repetition. Microblogging has potential for the future of learning. If we see it as a new communication channel. Vygotsky (1978) talks about human activities are mediated by culturally established instruments such as tools and language, which today represents social learning and mind tools.

Just think of the future. First it was Web 1.0 and then Web 2.0. Now, as we start to move to Web 3.0, who knows what lies ahead.


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