Friday, 5 September 2008


Andrea gave a very entertaining and enthusiastic plenary discussion about the ways that Web 2.0 has changed approaches to learning. Web 2.0 has allowed learners to acess tangible objects and artefacts that they can use for their learning. This has been a seismic change in the web technologies. Whereas Web 1.0 was really a mostly “read-only” resource, where students could download material from so-called “authoritative sources”; Web 2.0 is a “read-write” resource/tool that allows for users to engage with materials more easily and facilitates social learning). She highlighted three main ways Web 2.0 allows for this change in the learning process. It allows for uses contribute content, to add metadata to content and to create social networks.
Andrea challenged us as language teachers to consider whether we feel it is a good idea that students can access resources that are no longer “authoritative”. She challenged us to think the new possibilities for social way of learning that Web 2.0 opens up for us with more user-generated content – students teaching other students. Clearly, there are dangers with students being able to access content that is not always accurate and this is particularly the case in a language learning context, although the opportunities for student engagement and motivation is considerable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Andrea, for a very interesting and at the same time entertaining lecture on the social web. I mostly enjoyed your sense of humour and the irony (often a little self-mockery, when it comes to teacher's personality for instance) in many of your remarks. It is always very refreshing to see such ability for irony.
I have 2 little points: 1) I don't share your views entirely that web 1.0 was mostly written by "authoritative sources". All you needed was a web editing software and some web space - not a big hurdle for uploading something on the web. I remember well that we taught students as long as 10 years ago sophisticated searching skills, including how to critically evaluate the content and identify the "serious" materials from "authoritative sources" - because there was (and still is of course) so much rubbish outr there (compared to paper books). 2) And I also cannot quite share completely your enthiusiasm on all these wonderful web 2.0 technologies that create our profiles all the time and enable us to share and collaborate with peers. The down side of all these great aplications is something which we can read about at lengths almost every day nowadys in the media (at least in Germany): the abuse of personal data by people with commercial interests, by (future) employers, by the police (?) or by criminals . There is a lot of warnings and precautions advised before you happily join in the big web2.0 community. This aspect was a bit missing in the presentation, I think. Otherwise very inspiring!