Monday, 21 September 2009

Module Ten - And Now The End Is Near... (Web 2.0)

Wikis really sum up the best of Web 2.0 as it relates to 21st Century Learning. They are all about collaboration!

Essentially wikis about collaborating to create a shared document or collective knowledge. In my classroom I am always trying to get students to understand the concept of sharing and the difference between sharing and copying. When doing any sort of project based work I encourage students to share their knowledge. If i share something I find – and someone else does the same we are halving the work for each other!

One of the great advantages of Wikis is the ability to track changes. Provided you set them up correctly, the administrator has the ability to see who is making changes and what changes they are making. Within the classroom situation it proves to be a great way that students can monitor each others’ contributions.

It has also been an interesting exercise for me in seeing students actually stop one another from “copy and pasting” from other sources as they are constantly checking up on one another.

The other beauty of Wikis is they are not restricted to a physical classroom. Contributions can be made by anyone with appropriate access. The mother of all Wikis – Wikipedia – is a great example of what can be achieved through collaboration and self monitoring.

Web 2.0 tools are constantly growing and evolving. part of this natural evolution is that previously free sites ask payment – some add advertising – and then along comes a free one to replace what was there pr along comes a completely new technology. It is important in education that we as teachers are constantly evolving with the technologies – that we remain open to change and new learning. That we continue to explore the educational opportunities presented to us by Web 2.0 and beyond…