Monday, October 25, 2010
I would define web 2.0/social media as, “Any two-way medium that allows people to connect, share, and collaborate for the benefit of all parties.” Read, write and share are the important elements of web 2.0 and social media. Web 2.0 is often referred to as the “read/write” web. But, “share” is a crucial element in my mind. Without “share”, “read/write” has the potential for a limited, circumstantial audience. It’s the sharing that connects our contributions to the network to build upon the work of others and/or create new thoughts. The contributions then travel throughout the network for validation and additional contribution. Ideas, comments and thoughts ideally grow and expand along every network node. The profile-based and random connections along the network are what make web 2.0 and social media truly powerful. Contribution without connection presents limited opportunities.
The four Cs of web 2.0 (Bersin & Associates, 2008) highlight some distinguishing features that support learning. Web 2.0/social media enables content Creation, Conversations, Connections and Collaboration. Content is no longer king, but it is still key. Without content; conversations, connections and collaboration have little meaning. Content creation in web 2.0 can be traditional content creation with tools like blogs, SplashUp or Prezi, but content aggregation and web highlighting with Diigo could also be considered content creation (or re-creation).
Conversation is probably the most relevant web 2.0 feature that supports learning. Feedback is an important part of learning and web 2.0 conversations enable feedback from instructors and peers in the class, but also experts and colleagues from around the globe. Conversations can also aide learning (based on social learning theory) by providing opportunities to observe the ideas, comments and “behaviors” of others in the community and then adopt those actions to improve our own understanding of concepts and successful communication techniques.
Web 2.0 connections also expand the opportunities for learning. We often learn through the direct assistance or inquiry of those around us. The web expands “those around us” beyond any geographic boundaries. And, it often enables us to filter the network (through profiles) to identify those who are most likely to provide the best assistance. So, the web can widen our connections, but also make them more efficient and effective. Have you ever asked someone for directions, only to have them tell you everything about the surrounding location, except for how to get where you want to go? While these encounters are sometimes “entertaining”, they usually don’t help with your intended goal. Web 2.0 can reduce the inefficiencies of random communication.
Increased collaboration is another way in which web 2.0 can benefit education. Group work is often a part of academic projects. It provides opportunities for interpersonal development, active learning and peer feedback. It also mimics how we often work. Rare are the days when work tasks are completed without some form of collaboration. One challenge of group work in academia (and business) is that there are usually one or two people who complete the bulk of the actual “work.” Time and activity tracking of collaborative work on the web doesn’t alleviate a similar scenario in web-based group work, but it does provide an opportunity for the group members to self-regulate via a review of each member’s electronic contribution. Faculty can also intervene and/or grade appropriately based on tracking data from collaborative activities. Besides policing, another benefit of collaboration on the web is that it can be done without time and distance considerations. This flexible, collaborative environment allows for different work and communication styles to work productively in the same group.
The four C’s provide an organized way in which to look at the benefits of web 2.0. However, it is difficult to group web 2.0 tools into precise categories. Many tools cross the boundaries and provide opportunities for content creation, conversation, connections and/or collaboration – all in one tool. The C’s do provide an opportunity for thinking critically about tool selection though. As you evaluate web 2.0 tools consider them in the context of what your primary goal is. Which “C” do you want to support the most? While they cross boundaries, some tools have primary functions and may be better for one “C” than another.
A few questions to consider:
Have you considered the four C’s previously or any other web 2.0 categorization? What are the benefits of viewing web 2.0/social media through the lens of categories? What are the dangers of categorizing web 2.0/social media benefits or approaches?
Do you also think “share” is the most important element of web 2.0? Why or why not?
Can you describe any successful applications of the theories described above? What have you done or what have you seen that supports that web 2.0 supports content, conversations, connections or collaboration to improve education?
Thanks to Phil Tietjen for inviting me to be a guest blogger in the EdTec 498 class. I’m looking forward to reading and responding to comments from the students.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Check out my new blog post on the changing nature of games and simulations on the LEEF blog at http://tiny.cc/43tp9. What do you think about the changing nature of games and simulation?
These new additions are the result of many hours of work and collaboration with the LTMS advisory group. Thank you to everyone that has provided input and support throughout the process.
Are we the first with a serious games and simulations degree?
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
This blog post focuses on game and simulation design and implementation considerations for Generation Y. This is the generation for which electronic communication and games (hand-held or console) has been a part of their daily lives from their earliest years.
Read the full article at http://leefblog.com/2010/05/gameration-3-implementing-games-and-simulations-within-a-generational-context/
Check out other interesting game and simulation blog posts at http://www.leefblog.com/.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
This is the second part of a four part blog series on generational considerations for games and simulations for learning. We’ll take a look at how the generation (Boomers, Generation X or Generation Y) might impact the way an individual thinks about and engages in games and ways in which learning professionals can adjust the game and simulation to address the expectations of each generation. As we explore the generations keep in mind the characteristics are generalizations of the generation and not necessarily accurate for any one individual.
This blog post focuses on game and simulation design and implementation considerations for Generation X.
Check out other interesting game and simulation blog posts at http://www.leefblog.com.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Read the full article at http://leefblog.com/2010/03/gameration-implementing-games-and-simulations-within-a-generational-context/
Check out other interesting game and simulation blog posts at http://www.leefblog.com.
LEEF 2010 (http://www.leef2010.net)
June 17-18, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I'll be presenting "Web 2.0 for Reflection and Assessment" at PETE&C on Tuesday, February 23 from 10:45-11:45 AM. It's a presentation I've done before. I'm not sure if I would review Prezi differently if my experience was creating a presentation from scratch.
Two considerations for my review:
- I'm not a "bullet point person" in PPT. I use keywords and images and mainly images. So, I may have a different view of PPT than some.
- This is my first time using Prezi. I viewed the introductory video but didn't look at a lot of other Prezi's before jumping in and creating mine. I only worked in one theme. So, some of my review could be slanted because I just don't know enough about it yet.
|Feature||Pros||Cons||Prezi or PPT?|
|Drawing||Simple arrow, free form line and highlight||Only simple tools that really don't support information presentation||PPT|
|Text||Easy to create, edit and move around the canvas||Limited text, fonts, colors . . . based on the theme selected||Prezi|
|Documents||You can embed documents!!!!(that is awesome!)||None that I'm aware of||Prezi|
|Transitions||Smooth transition from one point to another||No options for different types of transitions||Prezi|
|Animation||Transition is animation||No builds, no object animations||PPT|
|Cost||What seems to be limited functionality for a cost (even though it's affordable)||Prezi|
It's great that there's another presentation option! I'm looking forward to seeing how others use Prezi, how my use of it will evolve and the features and functions that are added over time. But, for now I'd still recommend PPT as your "go to" presentation tool (just please reduce the use of bullets 8-) . But consider Prezi as an experimental tool, a way to switch things up a little bit and as a way to challenge your traditional thinking about presentatio preparation and support.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Read the full article at http://www.harrisburgu.edu/news/article.php?id=543&cid=1&page=1