Web 2.0 Technologies. How Much Changed When Printing Arrived?


Essay, 2018

10 Pages, Grade: 79


Excerpt

Index

I. Critical Reflection on the module activities
1.1. How Much Changed When Printing Arrived?
I.1.1. Change suggestion on A
I.2. DEFINING LEARNING
I.2.1. Change suggestion
I.3. The Current Wave of Technology – Web 2
I.3.1. Change suggestion

2. Extended Discussions

References

The Current Wave of Technology – Web 2.0: How Much Changed When Printing Arrived?

Sixbert Sangwa

2018

Abstract: This paper consists of a student's reflection on his early work on the Technology-Enhanced Learning Module. The reflection focuses on three selected activities that the student has deemed appropriate to have enabled him to understand in relation to aspects of his own and / or others' use of technology for learning. Not only did the reflection involve examples from personal or professional contexts, but also a suggestion for improvement of the activity in terms of social media use, student engagement and relevance to the current learner.

Key words: Technology-Enhanced Learning, Web 2.0 Technologies, Social Media in Learning, Student Engagement, Web-base and Computer-based Learning, Learning Metaphors, Pedagogical Approaches.

I. Critical Reflection on the module activities

1.1. How Much Changed When Printing Arrived?

From the early beginning of this module, this activity helped me gain broader understanding about the use of various technological tools in leaning as well as their suspected impacts on the learning environment.

Contrary to Naughton (2008) who includes printing, my view on technology was only limited to web-base and computer-based learning which, according to him, we don’t even know the half of it. With this narrowed view, I obviously validated the first law of technology because it has what I see as good impact on how we build knowledge and access information but I had negative perception on long-term impact of learning technology on students’ behaviour, given their suspected dependency on internet and horizontal information seeking, characterized by multitasking and skimming activities where the [average] time spent by users on e-book and e-journal sites is shorter compared to what they spend on printed books. I thought this will reduce the analytical thinking competency. After reflection and forum discussions, I now understand that

Printing, Radio, TV, social media, media tools, internet, intranets, satellite broadcasts, audio and video conferencing, bulletin boards, chat rooms, webcasts, and CD-ROM, etc.

Are other tools of technology enhanced learning that I wasn’t considering before. For example, in 2011, the University of Rwanda introduced CD&DVD in English teaching but I never thought this was technology in learning nor was it a form of distance education! Much later when I attended my first MOOC, I said I was now embracing learning technology. Until the date when I began this course, I was taking learning technology as those forms of web-based technology where students have individual accounts.

With regards to the underestimation of long term impact of technology, I said it’s still early to tell because technology is very recent in learning. While I both print and read the OU’s online materials, I believe there will be both bad and good effects of technological evolution, depending on how we use it, but it will still influence the learning process. I can now clearly confirm that technology is a tool that course providers should use and help next generation to be independent thinkers and verify information sources. As Janetta (2018) argued in our forum group, there is hope that technology will become a teaching tool rather than a negative force where learners are not dependent on artificial intelligence and are able to verify information and accept the genuine ones.

I.1.1. Change suggestion on A3

Although the activity was well designed to help learners capture the most essentials, I am suggesting article review at this stage so that learners can read, reread, memorize, argue and contrast the key points of a comprehensive article, leaving rich knowledge in mind. However, reducing the number of tasks per week, is also suggested to allow the development of a concise and comprehensive review. Prior to this, I would first introduce technology to learners, highlight different forms and tools of technology enhanced learning and ask students to note key points before going further into proposed article reviews.

I.2. DEFINING LEARNING

Building on Sfard’s paper on acquisition and Participation metaphors of learning, this activity helped me to define learning as a transformative process through which an individual learner increases knowledge, skills and capability through what s/he sees, hears, experiences or reflects on and studies. This is viewed as life-time process which gradually results in behaviour changes. Defining technology enhanced learning, I absolutely said: “This is the application of technology for the enhancement of teaching and learning”. Although my definition was neither as the same as what my colleagues came up in the tutor group forum nor was it as so many definitions found on the web.

For example when I tried my search on google, Merriam (2017) defines learning as the process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing something. Yes it’s a process but is it transformational? Progressive? Through AM or PM approach? Not self-explanatory though. Apart from Merriam, many definitions have been focusing on learning as acquisition of knowledge and skills, but didn’t mention learning as an ongoing transformative process as this is my main point. Continuing to search through the OU Library I partly agreed with some authors: Washburne (1936) defines learning as an increase in problem-solving ability and in ability to gain goals in spite of obstacles, which abilities are acquired only through experience. To complement Washburne, Guershon (2010) in his words takes learning “as a multi-dimensional and multi-phase phenomenon occurring when individuals attempt to solve what they view as a problem”. In view of these two definitions, learning is now somehow defined as doing and eventually in-terms of participation metaphor. Trying to relate these definitions to my definition above, these ones are a small part of my view. First, if we consider problem solving as reference, then other skills, knowledge and capabilities will be undermined. Secondly the way we improve our performance and capabilities, may be a result of reflection on what we study, hear or observe instead of merely what we experience when attempting to solve problems. Thirdly, in their ideas of “multidivisional”, “multiphase” or “increase in ability”, there is no clear aspect of transformational or continuity. While learning is ongoing process for people, it happens in different ways. Not only that we learn by experiencing and reflecting on things, vicarious learning theory also explains how we learn by imitating, observing people and yet there is also invariable role of an instructor’s insights on another hand (Iroshini, 2018).

In conclusion, depending on how we evaluate it, learning is a lifelong, transformative process which has no single definition but results in increased competencies and capabilities. Either approach applies (AM&PM), there is no single self-sufficient way to acquire knowledge, skills or capability.

I.2.1. Change suggestion

This activity is now well designed to help learners think and refer to other authors in order to build his/her knowledge. However I would suggest to add a concluding text to bring in tutor’s insights so that conclusion can equip learners with the same understanding.

I.3. The Current Wave of Technology – Web 2.0

With an understanding of different symbolic forms of representation, as highlighted by Salomon (1997), and having in mind McLuhan’s phrase “The medium is a message” which indicates how important the medium in message transmission is, the activity now puts me in front of collaborative learning with web 2.0

Originally, technology enhanced learning meant to me, web technology. However, as we advanced in the course, I started having broader understanding of the course coverage. With Salomon, we looked at different forms of representation where many of my classmates preferred audio in this specific task. However, my conclusion was that each form of representation has its own way of conveying its specific information and this has encouraged me to use various forms of representation depending on the message I want to convey, provided that I also consider diversity in class (students with specific needs). Debating on participation on internet vs TV, we mentioned a problematic one-way communication (TV) over interactive internet-based communication.

By reading and interacting with colleagues in the tutor group forum, I could then understand the evolution of web technology and the quality of web 2.0 in allowing interaction of users. In technology enhanced learning, we discussed of different tools such radio, TV, printing, etc. Unlike web 1.0, now with advancement in web technology, web 2.0 offers many interactive software choices(Paul, 2017), which are characterized by the change from static web pages (observed in web 1.0) to dynamic or user-generated content and the growth of social media. I tend to believe that advancement in web technology also helps the technology enhanced learning. Web 2.0 is easing learning participation and collaboration. With its different media and interactive software, we [teachers] can use different forms of representation and learners can read, comment, etc. My belief is: "the more we interact, the more we learn new things". As McLuhan, the medium counts but the content counts more. Web 2.0 may have eased the interaction and increased the amount of information available on Internet for learners, which is good. On the other hand, two critical tasks on both sides:

While learners are tasked to determine the correctness, quality and accuracy of online information, teachers are to determine the best way to increase student learning with the use of modern technology (pedagogy comes in now).

I.3.1. Change suggestion

When reading Tim O’Reilly’s article, I couldn’t easily discover that it was about evolution of web technology. I had to hear from colleagues who shared other web resources. I would suggest that a brief description or a PowerPoint be given so that learners have an overview and start researching for in-depth understanding. This helps learners come up with innovative ideas and criticism. Please also remember to use that simple English grammar so that learners, especially those using English as a second language, don’t spend a lot of time looking for translation or wondering what was meant in a phrase. It has been my case for some activities.

[...]

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Details

Title
Web 2.0 Technologies. How Much Changed When Printing Arrived?
College
The Open University  (School of Educational Technology)
Course
Technology-Enhanced Learning: Practices and Debates
Grade
79
Author
Year
2018
Pages
10
Catalog Number
V1012605
ISBN (eBook)
9783346409751
Language
English
Keywords
Technology-Enhanced Learning, Web 2.0 Technologies, Social Media in Learning, Student Engagement, Web-base and Computer-based Learning, Learning Metaphors, Pedagogical Approaches.
Quote paper
Dr. Sixbert Sangwa (Author), 2018, Web 2.0 Technologies. How Much Changed When Printing Arrived?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1012605

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