Thursday, 11 September 2008

Web2.0 for active learning

At a recent presentation I was asked to comment upon web 2.0 tools and their usefulness to promote active learning. I've posted before on web 2.0 & mashups and even co-written an article for the Escalate subject centre, but this post is a bit more concise, and should give you some ideas on promoting active learning/ student centred learning.

The tableidea below is adapted from the JISC document entitled Web 2.0 and social software (September 2007)

An introduction:

How to these tools to encourage student centered learning: (use these free guides)

  • Access my presentation on Active Learning with Web 2.0 and Moodle here:

  • Want to see someone actually using all of this stuff? Well, I stumbled across this blog to day. It really is quite something to see a school kid getting to grips with linking and embedding many different web 2.0 tools together. It puts my blog to shame :o( . If you wanted tangible evidence of the digitally aware generation. Look here >>

The Web 2.0 principle:




The web as a platform

Allowing applications to be delivered and used through a web browser.

Online word processing such as Google Docs or , which can edit photos and link to flickr a huge database of shared images. This is a slideshow I made with flickr :

As an alternative to Picnik you could use the new Adobe Express web application to edit images online:

Photoexpress also links to your Flickr account allowing you to open and edit and re-save back your own Flickr account - which can be shared with the world. Don't forget the
flickrCC website that allows you search for images that can be used
copyright free for education, etc.

Another tool is the online mind mapping software , which you can embed in a blog. Or the excellent Zoho creator which allows you to build applications online.

An architecture of participation

Systems that have been designed to

encourage and support users in contributing to them.

Blogs and wikis form the backbone of this group of tools. My old blog + esnips or my new
blog + slideshare or my old blog + my videos on vimeo give you an idea of just how versatile blogging as a platform can be. Reflection, peer review, collaborate, mash up, comment, link to others, etc. Most eportfolios are not far removed from blogs. blogs are available free for UK academics.

some wikis : basic principles of making a wiki work in education, or some recent pointers

Photo sharing such as , which can add geotags to images (together with the new iphone). New mapping tools allow active collaboration also allows you to share your bookmarks.

Data consumption and remixing

Often these are referred to as mash-ups, where content is often sourced from third parties via an API (Application Programming

Interface). Essentially making a new web application from two unrelated web tools.

One of the best I've seen is , others can be found here

One of the new web 2.0 tools to hit the web is Twitter. This mirco-blogging tool is often mashed with other web applications, one of the best examples is :

A rich, interactive, user-friendly interface

Many of the tools, websites and applications are developed with user consultation, leading to developments based on user

needs and wants.

One of the best ideas I've seen recently that covers this is . This concept is explained further here:

Personalisation is key in the use of online media. The iGoogle homepage allows users to create their own look and feel, and access material from a wide range of sources . You can do a similar thing with

that aggregates RSS feeds or . RSS feeds can be combined to push the web to you, here's an example I have created from a feed of my blog, my bookmarks and my wiki all together

Elements of social networking

Whilst not necessarily a requisite, the social elements of these technologies are important in generating the engagement

and user data.

Two new free social networking tools that "we've" used are &, both of these are a bit like Facebook or Myspace, but with less distractions and are also closed communities.

Google groups provide a simple solution, that you can add Google docs and Google sites onto to create a modular platform and network.
I know some people who have experimented with ecto :

A slightly more elaborate (Open Source) solution might make use of is the
platform, which is a social network of blogs.

Brighton University have their own social network :

West Suffolk College have used these tools to create a platform :
& http://newlearning.wor

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