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WEB 2.0 for teaching and learning

This paper presents the an analysis of how Web 2. 0 applications, particularly Wikis, social networking tools, image sharing sites, video sharing, blogs, file sharing, and communication tools. In order to effectively evaluate this study, a mixed method of qualitative and quantitative analysis is being utilized in order to assess the study. Specifically, the study would use a combination of focus group discussions and quantitative interviews in order to extrapolate the data from a select group of students.

Two groups will be selected for the focus group discussion – one group with varied educational backgrounds and the second groups are composed of students with the same educational background and class. For the interview portion of the study, 30 educators will be selected in order to evaluate Web 2. 0 applications and how they are able to enrich or not enrich current educational tools and how they are able to affect their interactions with students. The results of this study will then be integrated and validated with each other and shall be presented in a comprehensive manner.

According to the results of the study, Web 2. 0 technologies currently has provided a very pivotal role in culture and society today, in particular Web 2. 0 technologies has seen an increase in utilization within educational institutions. Though there is an apparent apprehension from educators and students alike with respect to the influx of Web 2. 0 applications in being used for educational purposes, both educators and students agree that there is an apparent advantage in its integration to educational tools and furthers the efficiency of educators in teaching and providing information to their students.

Introduction Information technology has long played a very critical role in higher education for decades. The first sign of technology being used in education purposes was the television that started sending teaching to campuses and homes during the 1950s; and even before the television was accessible to everyone, the radio and film on the silver screen was utilized in a wide range of courses; and computers have populated labs in schools since the late 1960s (Owen, Grant, Sayers, & Facer, 2006).

But it is only a few decades where educational applications of information technology that now includes the Internet and the World Wide Web has reached nearly limitless proportions in terms of applications. In the past, discussion of educational technology was limited mainly to academic and schooling journals; but as of today most if not all major literature has incorporated, at the very least, a portion of learning using the Cyberspace or at the very least providing information thru the use of the internet. This incidence has touted technology as the next step/evolution for educational training.

The past 15 years have seen a significant increase in the use of technology in higher education. The increase in the way technology is being used in higher education has improved the educational environment and process in teaching in two distinct ways. The influx of information technology inside the classroom has reduced teaching costs and has increased the speed with which students acquire knowledge. In addition to this, such technologies are continually improving and further developing the quality of learning for students and for educators alike.

This has spawned such educational mediums and tools such as distance learning, computer aided instruction, and computer based training to name a few. This is because of the development and “evolution” of technologies within the internet such as that of Web 2. 0 technologies. Web 2. 0 technologies are rapidly changing the way in which user interact on the internet. This new services and software have transformed it from being a predominantly “read only” medium to one where any one can publish and share web content. Web 2.

0 applications exhibit the characteristics that have pushed the envelope of information technology in the internet such as the capacity of the application to create a platform in providing a venue for users to deliver and utilize data. This yields for the capacity for users to exercise a level of control over the information being flagged in the application and is hence highly customizable. In addition to what mentioned above, Web 2. 0 applications provides a framework of user-participation that supports users to append additional scripts, information and data in order to further improve on it.

This is highly different as compared to the previous access control applications accessible in the internet where there is little or no opportunity for users to develop the applications that they utilize. Web 2. 0 applications have also evolved the manner of web based applications and has become highly interactive, user-friendly based on innovative and ground-breaking web frameworks. Lastly, Web 2. 0 applications are inherently social-networking tools and thus promote community integration and information sharing.

The abovementioned characteristics of Web 2. 0 applications capture the very essence of Web-as-participation-platform. In addition to this, Web 2. 0 applications is regarded as the part of the internet that is considered as the participatory web and the portion of the internet that was previously developed is considered as Web 1. 0, rather it is considered as Web-as-information-source. Currently, the most notable Web 2. 0 social mediums are Blogs, the Wikipedia, and social networking applications like MySpace, friendster, and multiply.

This is not offered by many of theses services allow them to be combined easily into new services, but it has the potential to rewire our educational structures. Web 2. 0 applications not only provide new options for instruction delivery, but Web 2. 0 applications are able to develop new instruction and learning materials. With this in mind, these new methods and tools can address some of the key challenges for higher education, including being able to address more accurately to the ever changing demands of educational institutions and the ever rising competition.

Web 2. 0 applications now have the means to not only provide one or two, but several ways of further developing and improving the educational tools for instruction learning materials. Some options are comparatively easy additions to the current educational tools for teaching while the others are experimental or new in the field. Aim The aim of this dissertation is to identify how Web 2. 0 technologies can be applied to enhance the teaching and learning experience in higher education institutions.

With the influx of generations of students that are technologically adept with these kinds of Web 2. 0 applications, the study aims to evaluate what are the effects of incorporating such Web 2. 0 applications in the educational setting. In addition to what was mentioned above, the study also aims to determine how the Web 2. 0 social network tools such as MySpace can change the way staff and students think about teaching and learning. By immersing the students and the teachers with Web 2. 0 applications, the study aims to identify their experiences, common perceptions and their view on Web 2.

0 applications as it is applied in their educational institutions. Objective The list of objectives this study aims to accomplish is listed below: • The study aims to define Web 2. 0, identify and properly evaluate its impact on communication as of today. • The next objective of this study is to review the extent to which Web 2. 0 technologies are being used by the staff and students in higher education. • Review what and how are Web 2. 0 technologies being used in teaching and learning in higher education.

• Determine and properly categorize relevant Web 2. 0 applications, such as Blog ,Wiki and Social networks (MySpace) that could be adopted for teaching and learning in Higher Education. Under this objective; • The study aims to capture student’s opinions as to how web 2. 0 could be implemented in teaching, and • Capture academic staff opinions as to how web 2. 0 could be implemented in teaching. • Lastly, the study aims to Identify additional skills students need to be taught to enable them to function in a Web 2. 0 environment

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