Strategies for Building a Web 2.0 Learning Environment

Strategies for Building a Web 2.0 Learning Environment

Strategies for Building a Web 2.0 Learning Environment

Strategies for Building a Web 2.0 Learning Environment

Synopsis

Imagine replacing your current online Learning Management System (LMS) with social media and Web 2.0 tools! This book provides a comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide for making the most of the online learning environment.

• Supplies practical guidelines, learning activities, interactive links and templates, and reader-shared resources useful for educators, trainers, and instructional designers

• Provides information specific to educators regarding the applications of social media in a learning environment

• Identifies online community resources helpful for implementing Web 2.0 instructional strategies

Excerpt

I have been teaching online for more than 15 years. Six years ago, I was introduced to various Web 2.0 tools, such as blogs, wikis, social media, and so on. I saw the potential in implementing Web 2.0 tools to support online social interaction. Cautiously, I integrated an online discussion board into my online courses. Both my students and I had a positive experience, so I integrated additional tools into my existing learning management system (LMS). My students started asking, “Where is the content? the course instructions are all over the place. Do I need to learn so many tools? Why can’t we just use BlackBoard?” Instead of complementing my teaching methods, the tools distracted and confused the students, who had a hard time utilizing them for coursework. I sat back and reflected on what I had done wrong. I asked myself, “Am I building a tower with duct tape?” I still thought it was valuable to integrate Web 2.0 to promote online social interaction, so I consulted with my colleagues. They indicated that they had faced the same dilemmas and had decided that they should just integrate one or two tools. Some of them decided not to integrate the tools at all, since social media have such a negative reputation in some schools and school districts. Many teachers were afraid of being embarrassed because they lack knowledge in using social media. Frequently, the mass media report terrible results of younger people using social media. Therefore, the schools or school districts banned their use, because they believe that allowing access to social networks in school will expose students to potential risks, most notably cyberbullying (Blazer, 2012).

It seemed ironic that educators could foresee the potential of Web 2.0 tools yet avoid integrating them. I asked, “If it is not the tools, what went wrong?” If not the tools, it must be instructional paradigms and strategies.

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