how he is using Web 2.0 technologies, particularly blogs, wikis and media sharing applications, to assess traditional learning outcomes. In a recent classroom activity, it was discovered that less than 2% of the students had ever blogged before, proving that many of the assumptions about 'digital natives' are blatantly wrong and making the Web 2.0 classroom a difficult beast to manage. This workshop will assist beginners to teach Web 2.0 communication skills without compromising existing learning outcomes. Participants will learn how to set up their own blogs, wikis and media sharing tools and receive practical tips on managing the online classroom. It will also provide teachers with the skills to give the 'digital natives' the 'digital education' they should have had already.Top marks to the presenter for grappling with pedagogical challenges, in a hothouse or otherwise. However, in reading that promo we might ask some questions.
In my opinion the value of a program to "provide teachers with the skills to give the 'digital natives' the 'digital education' they should have had already" is debatable.
As part of that opinion I wonder -
1) If the 'natives' do not have the 'education' already perhaps that is because they do not want or need it.Elsewhere I've expressed my opinion regarding some of the enthusiasms for web 2.0, pointing to statistics that on occasion dishearten web 2.0 true believers and questioning glib characterisations such as 'digital natives'.
2) who says "they should have had" the "digital education"? Why? What is the basis for the statement?
3) what are the implications for legal academics in world of web 2.0 (or web 3.0)?
4) is teaching web 2.0 more critical, of a higher priority, than teaching law and teaching critical thinking (or with some students ensuring an awareness of basic grammar)?
Few people blog for very long and it is unclear that blogging per se strengthens an author's capacity to critically read, analyse and write. Merely having a keyboard does not an author (or an especially readable) make. We might indeed be thankful that the evanescence of blogs from the under-25 cohort - most as long-lived as a fruitfly but without the flavour - spares the world from a plethora of announcements that x is so so in love, y ate a cheese sandwich and z got munted after Facebooking through an online/offline lecture on pedagogical theory. Contrary to hype about crowdsourcing and the virtuous information commons few people contribute to wikis (as distinct from copying & pasting from them). Much of the web 2.0 education activity appears to be crude repackaging of very traditional exercises, valorising shiny new technology over substantive performance. It is questionable whether transferring the traditional 500 word answer from two A4 sheets onto a blog screen or two transforms the development of generic skills among students, whether asking questions on a wiki is necessarily superior to face-to-face seminars and whether tweets are sublime.
Much of the enthusiasm for web 2.0 strikes me as redolent of past vogues for education by broadcast television or the rollout of VCRs: potentially useful tools whose history induces a certain wariness about the breathless prose and problematical assertions coming from some enthusiasts in the US and elsewhere.
I've meanwhile turned to a recent Pew Internet & American Life report, this one about online US teens.
a decline in blogging among teens and young adults and a modest rise among adults 30 and older. In 2006, 28% of teens ages 12-17 and young adults ages 18-29 were bloggers, but by 2009 the numbers had dropped to 14% of teens and 15% of young adults. During the same period, the percentage of online adults over thirty who were bloggers rose from 7% blogging in 2006 to 11% in 2009.The report suggests that
Much of the drop in blogging among younger internet users may be attributable to changes in social network use by teens and young adults. Nearly three quarters (73%) of online teens and an equal number (72%) of young adults use social network sites. By contrast, older adults have not kept pace; some 40% of adults 30 and older use the social sites in the fall of 2009. ...There's bad news for microblog enthusiasts -
New survey results also show that among adults 18 and older, Facebook has taken over as the social network of choice; 73% of adult profile owners use Facebook, 48% have a profile on MySpace and 14% use LinkedIn. "Blogging appears to have lost its luster for many young users ...The fad stage is over for teens and young adults and the move to Facebook - which lacks a specific tool for blogging within the network - may have contributed to the decline of blogging among young adults and teens."
teens ages 12-17 do not use Twitter in large numbers – just 8% of online teens 12-17 say they ever use Twitter, a percentage similar to the number who use virtual worlds. This puts Twitter far down the list of popular online activities for teens and stands in stark contrast to their record of being early adopters of nearly every online activity.