Higher Education – What is the role of Web 2.0 in learning?

I resonate with the views on this Higher Education 2.0.

There are also different perspectives from educators, where we could see a “spectrum” of ideas ranging from the teacher-centred approach to the student-centred approach, with blended learning, technology mediated learning, on-line learning and distance learning all in bags of choices for educators and learners to mix and match, and mashup to their needs and expectations.

In Why is Web 2.0 Important to Higher Education by Trent Batson.

Culturally speaking, with the advent of Web 2.0, the “traditional classroom” with one speaker and many listeners is now an oddity, a throwback, a form that should represent 15 percent of undergraduate interaction with faculty, not 85 percent as it does now. With so many ways to create knowledge now very rapidly and collaboratively, we are freed from the necessity of a singular approach to teaching. It no longer makes sense. If you are a faculty member and you are still walking into the classroom with a lecture in mind and “the points to cover,” as I did for many years, you are living in the past, a past that is now obsolete. Granted, your job is easier and the students love it if you just talk, but do you feel right about what you are doing?

So, will education be virtual?

Are you teaching for it?

I think we have come to a convergence when education means learning, and it will be virtual. 

Learning is the creation of knowledge and information, individually and over the networks.  And education is a life-long and life-wide process where learning takes on different landscapes and technological platforms, and is morphing in an emergence manner throughout our life. 

How far do you think we are approaching a Web 2.0 teaching and learning paradigm in our Higher Education?  I wonder!



E-learning, faculty training

Tony writes in his E-learning, faculty training and the value of subscription journals

“I agree completely. But let’s go back to what drives academics, and that is research rather than teaching. The fact that academics in Faculties of Education are rewarded for publishing in a journal that is not easily accessible to practising teachers says it all. Currently, the Ph.D. is a training in research, not teaching …… Virtually every occupation that requires people to use technology in their work requires training in the use of that technology – except for post-secondary teaching.”

I agree.

I don’t see much emphasis in the pure training in teaching to doctorate level, and even Doctor of Education is based on research in education. Research has long been hailed as the creation of knowledge, not the teaching I suppose. But I would think that nowadays, every teacher (professor) and learner are either creating the knowledge or co-creating or facilitating the creation of knowledge using Web 2.0 tools – via blogs, wikis, Nings etc. Such research and learning creation are happening in billions ways under an adaptive complex learning ecology.

The heuristics are complex, and to a great extent the learning is based on the learner centred principles, especially for adults.  These form the basis of learning under a social environment – the social learning, where people interact not only with resources, but people and artifacts.  These also form the basis of Education Networks, Social Networks and Communities of Practice, where learning is not confined to any single individual, but is embraced by “networks”, “groups” and “teams”, and in certain circumstances mediated by information and communication technology and education technology. 

 They are ephemeral. They are ubiquitous.

Learning and research is multi-faceted, and has become an emergence phenomena.

Collaborative Research

This is my response to Our class on how we run our class  by Prof Wesch.

Prof Wesch,

Great to learn about how your class is run – using a collaborative research project as a basis. Very innovative and inspiring. Would like to learn how your group develops their learning throughout their project.

1. How has the group identified themselves in the research project?

2. Were they seeing or perceiving themselves as a closed group or network or community in the University course?

We would like to share our experience with your group if you like.

Our research team is working on a research project using a collaborative research approach too. We started off in Feb 2009 and has completed the first stage of the survey. You could find further details and members involved in my blog https://suifaijohnmak.wordpress.com  or http://connectivismeducationlearning.ning.com

Our research pbwiki will be open to members for viewing soon (by early May).

Our research is based on a peer researchers methodology, and there is shared leadership and facilitation in the research – every one is a facilitator and researcher in the research team. This research team was formed after the Connectivism course CCK08 was held in last fall 2008.

Creation and Creativity in Connectivism

Is creation and creativity an important vocabulary in learning, education, metaphors and Connectivism?

Here we have creation of connections, networks, information, knowledge – learning, education, social, political, financial and economical, religious, business, political and government networks – under global complex adaptive networks and ecology.

We also have creators of connections, networks, information, knowledge – which include each of you.

We have creation and creators of communication and information technologiesWeb 2.0: Blogs, Wikis, Nings, Twitters, Facebook, Delicious, RSS, Mobile technologies, LearningManagement Systems, e-learning, etc.

We have a creation of learning and instructional models, formal and informal learningsystems and models, formal and informal education system, corporate training systems, models and networks, and global multi-domains networks, all interwoven and interacting under a complex dynamic emergent environment or ecology.

What are we missing? Creativity? Metaphors? Communication? Interaction? Contribution? Collaboration? Cooperation? Networks? Communities? Communities of Practice? Access and equity in education? Human values? Humanity? Sustainability of our economy? Management? Power and control? Leadership?


Networks, groups and academic knowledge

I am interested in reading both Tony’s and Stephen’s views on knowledge.
How about?
The primacy of learning is connections (adapted from George)
Learning is about creation of knowledge via those network connections, where
That’s what I have found from the application of connectivism and networked learning.

My concept of learning is this: if we are supporting the notion that learning allows for mistakes – even in our interpretation of each others views, then we could be innovative and creative in exploring about learning and learning theories, without worrying about criticisms, comments, control and judgment, which often leads to arguments and unnecessary ill-feelings between academics and non-academics.
The concept of academic knowledge versus practical knowledge lies also with the value one attached to his/her life experience. So, for an educator with a theorist’s perspective, academic knowledge is highly important. For an educator who has to facilitate a course with a group of learners, with the learners’ first in mind, a pedagogy that works with that group of learners is more important to the theory itself. In other words, a theory that doesn’t apply to that context will not be proved useful or successful. Another example is the use of andragogy versus heutagogy. It seems that heutagogy would offer a more practical solution when applied in informal social learning – especially with Web 2.0.
When everyone becomes a creator (such as a blogger, a writer, a poet, even an actor (in the early ages)), then learning is fun, and learner-centred, and that explains how learning occurs individually and socially (especially when people are given a free choice in how, when, what, where and who to learn with under our current ecology).
There are implications with such mode of learning – security issues, confusing knowledge sources and misinterpretation of knowledge, the injustice, the prejudice, loss of identity associated with such “applied knowledge creation process towards learning”, loss of control from the instructor’s perspective, loss of “students” by the institution, loss of a common education foundation (especially if people are educated at home or unregistered virtual school etc). So, the implications could be huge – on the individuals, the community and the whole education system. What will be the role of higher institutions? What will be the role of educators – professors, and administrators?

I resonate with Tony’s views that:
Most importantly, they widen the participation in the creation of academic knowledge, and help to speed up its dissemination, but this still depends on those participating following the values and principles of academic knowledge.

I think the knowledge creation process could define the learning process to some extent, whether we value the knowledge created could also be scrutinised under the lenses of the people, of the community and the academic circles. But would that be part of education in the 21st century for everyone? This would allow for people to learn through mistakes, and not blindly believe in the presence of pure academic knowledge or “in search of excellence” in knowledge, which is having a short life span, and would result in ephemeral academic knowledge. Rather, we could be educating ourselves through an emergence process, with the creation of emergence knowledge which keep us creative and innovative, so we could prepare ourselves and next generation in tackling the challenges and complex problems – like the financial crisis that we are facing.
I have discussed these further in my blog and http://connectivismeducationlearning.ning.com

With renewed thanks.