Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Goodbye 2008, hello 2009

2008 was a very interesting year. I began to see how Web 2.0 can be applied and how m-learning can work. It was a year of experimentation, discovery and lots of trials and errors. In short, 2008 provided the opportunity of learning more about emerging technologies. I actually made time (and enjoyed) trying out a few of the tools to see how they could benefit learners: blogs, Twitter, Wikis, YouTube, Delicious, Slideshare and more.

I recall, how in 1989, I’d suggested the three ways to describe learning and the computer: about, from and with. These three approaches are still relevant today.

Learning about the computer is what computer literacy is all about. Learning from the computer was about CAI/L, CALL, CBI/E/T and so on. Today, it is about learning from the Internet. After all, there are hundreds of thousands of educational treasures out on the Web and one can learn from these treasures. However, it is learning with the computer that has always attracted my attention. It sort of, has more meaning for me.

I see great significance in having, in today’s terms, the Internet being the learner’s companion. With social networking tools (a.k.a. Web 2.0), the learner is learning together with the tools and whoever else is using them. However, whatever tool is used, the interactions have to be meaningful and natural to the learner.

And, you know what? Web 2.0 works well for both the introvert and extrovert learner. The introvert learner will thrive in online discussions for example, compared to discussions in the classroom, face-to-face. He or she will have time to digest the discourse or the interactions among his/her course mates, reflect and then share his/her opinions, give suggestions, etc. to the group. For the extrovert learner, socializing online has the potential to bring in more “friends” and some of the tools allow for some form of immediacy which the extrovert learner enjoys.

In short, Web 2.0 is promising and 2009 looks like a year of applying these tools in one of my courses. I am looking forward to using Web 2.0. There is so much the learner can learn with Web 2.0!

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