E.Learning 1 - Novelty to Normalisation

Learning Outcomes:

  • A basic understanding of the impact of the electronic revolution, of the nature of web 2.0
  • A initial familiarity with key terminology used to discuss e-learning and relevant educational theories
  • Be familiar with Stephen Bax's concept of normalisation its implications for education.

Theme 1: From Novelty to Normalisation,
Understanding 1: Defining E.Learning
The use of Information Technology to augment your learning in some way (use of blogs to share content, wiki's to collaborate on a project, mind-map to work through a concept).
Web 1.0's contribution to e.learning has been faster access to information through search engines, ability to access online digitised indexes - ie. library catalogues and journal indexing and full-text articles more readily (electronic databases) and a full range of information and content in Government, Industry and special interest websites.
Web 2.0's contribution to e.learning is the ability to collaborate and to more easily use online tools to think through problems and to organise and share content.

Understanding 2: What is Web 2.0
Web 1.0 was the potential for more people to publish on the web but because of the need to know html code this was often limited to organisations with resources and so emulated print publishing - one way communication. Passive place which you are using to access information.
Web 2.0 was ushered in through the simplification of html code into a range of easy to use functions thus allowing more people to publish to the web more easily. A range of packages - such a blogs, wikis, image gallerys and networking sites - have been established to promote easy publication and communication on the web.
Web 2.0 referred to as the interactive web - the read, write web - allows for more collaboration and sharing of content to either a select group or all.

Understanding 3: Rapid Social Change Vs Change in Education
A quote by Connie Yowell was the stepping stone for discussion: "We live in a society with fast paced changes in economy, social lives, how we engage in community. Society is changing more rapidly than it ever has before. Meanwhile our education system is organised to prepare people for the 1950's - discuss.
Our group (Ben, Colroy and Rohan) highlighted that the changes in society require individuals to develop more flexible and adaptable skills that could be transferred to a range of jobs over ones lifetime. The importance of strong critical thinking and literacy skills are important ways in which flexibility can be ensured.
However delivery of education has not changed, teacher seen as holder of knowledge, with set content to deliver. Rapid changing nature of work and more specialised skills area requires a focus on teaching how to learn and apply knowledge instead of a static range of content. Need to teach the skills to independent, life-long learners able to build their own knowledge base.

Understanding 4: Changes in Pedagogy - Fit with Web 2.0, E.Learning
Web 2.0, E.Learning environment has a good fit with Social Constructivism based pedgogies,
Definition by Glen Finger et el (2007) of Constructivism:
* Learner actively involved in construction knowledge;
* Working on Authentic problems in a collaborative way (problem/solution/creation based learning);
* Based on Active Engagements - students add to (sometimes chane) others.
When this is done in partnership with others = is Social Constructivism.
Epistiemological Continuum (D.C. Phillips, 1995);
Our beliefs on how we come to know and learn things - what we believe about knowledge - impacts our ideas on how to teach (pedagogy)
Objective VS Human's as Creators
True Knowledge Exists VS No such thing as objective knowledge about the world
Teacher as transmitter of knowledge vs About developing individuals mental map of reality
Assessment based on testing of knowledge VS Create inputs, base context, background conversation
In the 'Knowledge as human construct' spectrum, teacher as facilitator to help people construct their own knowledge while ensuring there is enough common ground to enable communication and respect.

Understanding 5: Importance of Pedagogical Underpinning
Importance of the 3P's (Gary Motteren and Sophie Ioannou-Georgiou), Pedagogy, Pedagogy, Pedagogy....
To start lesson planning and curriculum design with Pedagogy and only then decide on the use of technology if appropriate.
That is, what do you want your students to achieve - learning outcomes - then what tools can you use.
Problem with technology use identified by Steven Bax (Uni. of Bedforshire), awe vs fear approaches.
* Awe - technology is going to solve all our problems and make the teaching experience great
* Fear - technology threatens to undermine good teaching practice.

  • Need process of normalisation, technology seen as a set of tools to use (that offer a number of different ways of working with content, with each other and building knowledge).
  • Steven Bax worked in area of CALL (teaching english or second language) computer assisted language and linguistics who have been at forefront of integrating e.learning.

References
* Alexander, B. (2006). Web 2.0: A new wave of innovation for teaching and learning? Educase Review, 41 (2), 32-44.
http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/web-20-new-wave-innovation-teaching-and-learning
  • Welsch, M. (2007) The machine is us/ing us.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE (demonstrates the changes from Web1.0 to Web 2.0)