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Bounded and unbounded knowledge: Teaching and learning in a web 2 world

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beginning of serious problems for the business models of publishers. The ease with which content can be accessed, copied and distributed disrupts the control of those whose role has been to manage and profit from the intellectual property rights of content producers. In effect, the number of “publishers” increased many fold as the Web and other Internet-based technologies became the dominant mode of content distribution. In education, and in other fields, matters of intellectual property, copyright and quality control came to the fore. More recently, with the advent of web based software that makes publishing online available to anyone with access to the Internet the number of “publishers” and modes of publication have increased massively. The shift from a Web which was, for many a read only environment to a read/write Web poses not only ongoing problems for the traditional distributors of content but also now, for the traditional producers of content and knowledge. In this respect, the role of universities as designers and producers of learning materials for credentialed learning is also under challenge. Just as publishers explore alternative business models to adapt to the new digital environment, now universities have begun to explore new ways of working with so-called Web2 software to support teaching and learning online. In particular, some Web2 software affords new opportunities for and different modes of collaboration, which in the view of some points to student participation in knowledge production. While these developments represent important and significant shifts for universities, this paper draws attention to the lack of empirical data and situated contextual knowledge concerning intellectual property rights for knowledge constructed in a collaborative context. In addition, we explore issues in relation to the maintenance of academic integrity and quality where knowledge building takes place in a collaborative, online environment.<br /
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Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education-TOJDE July 2007 ISSN 1302-6488, Volume: 8 Number: 3 Article: 5
BOUNDED AND UNBOUNDED KNOWLEDGE:
Teaching and Learning in a Web 2 world
Judy NAGY
Director DMO Program
Deakin Business School
Faculty of Business and Law,
Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Chris BIGUM
Faculty of Education,
Deakin University
Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
ABSTRACT
In the recent past, the proliferation of digitally available content heralded the
beginning of serious problems for the business models of publishers. The ease with
which content can be accessed, copied and distributed disrupts the control of those
whose role has been to manage and profit from the intellectual property rights of
content producers. In effect, the number of “publishers” increased many fold as the
Web and other Internet-based technologies became the dominant mode of content
distribution. In education, and in other fields, matters of intellectual property,
copyright and quality control came to the fore. More recently, with the advent of web-
based software that makes publishing online available to
anyone
with access to the
Internet the number of “publishers” and modes of publication have increased
massively. The shift from a Web which was, for many a read only environment to a
read/write Web poses not only ongoing problems for the traditional distributors of
content but also now, for the traditional producers of content and knowledge. In this
respect, the role of universities as designers and producers of learning materials for
credentialed learning is also under challenge. Just as publishers explore alternative
business models to adapt to the new digital environment, now universities have
begun to explore new ways of working with so-called Web2 software to support
teaching and learning online. In particular, some Web2 software affords new
opportunities for and different modes of collaboration, which in the view of some
points to student participation in knowledge production. While these developments
represent important and significant shifts for universities, this paper draws attention
to the lack of empirical data and situated contextual knowledge concerning
intellectual property rights for knowledge constructed in a collaborative context. In
addition, we explore issues in relation to the maintenance of academic integrity and
quality where knowledge building takes place in a collaborative, online environment.
Keywords: Web 2, teaching; learning; bounded knowledge; Australia.
INTRODUCTION
In 1995 Nicholas Negroponte (1995, 11-12) wrote about a visit to an American
manufacturer of integrated circuits. He was asked if he had a laptop with him and
when he said that he did he was asked for the model, serial number and its value.
77
He indicated the value to be between somewhere between one and two million
dollars. The receptionist asked to see the laptop and when he showed her his old
Powerbook she wrote down $2000.
As he put it, “while the atoms were not worth much, the bits were priceless.” Since
then the world has become increasingly better at working with bits but, as we will
argue in this paper, not quite so advanced in the way we think about them. In what
follows, we make a distinction between two spaces to which Negroponte drew
attention: first, the familiar space of the physical world; and second, there is a space
which is physical in terms of how it is stored and transmitted but which is comprised
of bits, what William Gibson (2003), in 1982, labelled cyberspace1.
Making a distinction between bits and atoms is a useful way to examine the practices
that have grown up around various attempts to manage and control activities in bit
space. In this paper, the work of universities in the production, dissemination and
managing access to knowledge is our interest. Since the mid 90’s web-based
technologies have become a significant means for the publication of digital artefacts.
How such technologies are developed and deployed in various institutional settings,
we suggest, is very much framed by the habits of mind or mindsets that for some
have been developed and finely honed in an industrial era (Barlow, 1998). According
to Barlow (1994) the nub of most of these issues is that of digitised property:
Throughout the time I've been groping around cyberspace, an
immense, unsolved conundrum has remained at the root of nearly
every legal, ethical, governmental, and social vexation to be found in
the Virtual World. I refer to the problem of digitized property. The
enigma is this: If our property can be infinitely reproduced and
instantaneously distributed all over the planet without cost, without
our knowledge, without its even leaving our possession, how can we
protect it? How are we going to get paid for the work we do with our
minds? And, if we can't get paid, what will assure the continued
creation and distribution of such work?
Debate and analyses around these matters have continued and have been extended
by the work of many scholars and commentators. What generally characterises this
work is a basic assumption that bit space is different from atom space and hence not
simply amenable to the ways of working which pertain to the physical world (see, for
example, (Locke, Levine, Searles, & Weinberger, 1999). However, in many spheres of
human activity, it is not the case that the kind of thinking prompted by such an
approach has had much impact on the still dominant, industrial age informed view.
For instance, prior to the Web emerging as an alternative means for the distribution
of the products of knowledge work, publishers of books and journals played an
important role in managing the output of such work. Traditionally, publishers profited
from their control over knowledge production and dissemination by virtue of their
ability to decide what was worth publishing. As with other forms of physical property,
the rules in relation to ownership were important in securing profits from
publications. Publishers were effective and efficient gatekeepers in that they
controlled what was published, how something was published and where it was
published.
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberspace
78
Traditional business models on which publishers relied were premised on atom space
notions of property and ownership. We have grown up with material things and
understand that in order to acquire any object or service that we need to pay for it
directly or indirectly. For the publisher, working in the physical world, in atom space,
control of intellectual property was paramount. It was important to prevent unpaid
copying of published work. It was important to be able to control access to content
through laws which protected the intellectual property of those who produced
content. Authors were rewarded by publishers with royalties. Work submitted by
authors for publishing inevitably traversed the internal processes of publishing that
included editing, decisions about style and presentation and methods and timing of
distribution. The lead times required for these processes often meant that the time
between completion of a manuscript and its release was considerable. Quality was
enacted through reviewing and editing. Particular publishers established reputations
not only on the collection of journals and writers they published but also for the
intellectual and technical quality of the finished product. Knowledge work was
effectively
bounded
by these practices.
The advent of computing and communication technologies provided knowledge
workers and the consumers of their products with alternative means of production
and distribution, thereby directly challenging the role of publishers. Publishing on the
Internet significantly reduced the time it took for a consumer to obtain product. The
use of the Internet in this way highlighted the role of publishers as essentially ‘the
middleman’ in the knowledge production and dissemination of knowledge products.
Today, large publishing houses now represent one of a range of publishing
alternatives available to writers. Authors, including those previously considered
unworthy by publishers, could publish in the style and format they preferred with
control over dissemination and with the time from production to distribution greatly
reduced. “For a whole range of groups, new models of publishing can help different
voices to be heard. The creation and distribution of many kinds of knowledge,
academic, scientific and cultural” adds to knowledge sharing and building (Geiselhart,
2001, 207).
In Higher Education too, a related shift in distribution and access occurred as
students acquired access to the Internet and university teachers made available their
knowledge products in digital form. As is always the case with any new way of doing
things, existing practices were migrated, more or less, into the new medium. Coupled
with these new practices were the ways they were understood.
Early understandings of most new technologies can be often misplaced to the point of
being humorous (Marvin, 1988). When the first automobiles appeared they were
spoken about as horseless carriages. When the first motion pictures were made,
actors were filmed on a stage. When the Internet first began to be noticed, it was
described as an information superhighway.
While it is the case that motion picture technologies and products have matured
significantly over time as has the automobile industry what has necessarily matured
with these developments has been the way we think about and understand such
technologies.
We want to argue in what follows is that the atom space mindset of property and
property rights and associated thinking about quality represents a significant bias in
the maturation of knowledge work in the new digital environment.
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While it is the case that various institutions have acted to bind the products of
knowledge workers, a more significant binding is that which operates to maintain the
view that the ways of thinking about and, in particular, making rules for bit space are
more or less the same as the familiar ways of thinking about property and rights in
atom space.
UNIVERSITIES AND BOUNDED KNOWLEDGE
The enactment of what Barlow (1998) has described as industrial age thinking in
relation to digital artefacts is seen in many aspects of contemporary practices
associated with universities. Of course, a few universities are key sites for the
promotion of research and scholarship in relation to such matters2 but in the main,
patterns of policy and practices reflect mindsets about bit space which derive from
understandings of the physical world. Such patterns are apparent in the publishing
and dissemination of knowledge products.
As the means of production and distribution of knowledge products moved more and
more to bit space, universities have been able to publish more and more easily.
Universities with distance students effectively became publishing houses with in-
house assistants3 to support the use of their knowledge products. Today, with the
widespread use of software that is described as learning management software, the
development of online teaching continues to be informed by a mindset which sees
knowledge products as things to be managed, controlled and paid for by students.
This is a long established view based upon the property and rights of the physical
world.
Like many conventional media systems such as television, radio and print, the
structures and protocols of systems that are employed to distribute knowledge and
information in universities are based on a one to many logic: one lecturer/teacher
and many students. Access to these systems is strictly controlled, with minor
exceptions. The social relations of universities are framed by this logic and the
physical infrastructure is similarly based upon the same patterns of access and
distribution. As Jay Weston (1994, 197)
put it,
The relative certainties that accompany attenuated access to the
means of symbolic production is welded into the fabric of all
institutional policies and practices.
At the heart of these practices is a firm view that the issues, problems and challenges
of cyberspace can be most readily dealt with by applying understandings and views
that derive from the physical world. Thus dealing with copyright, intellectual property
and approaches to quality in cyberspace are simply adaptions of physical world norms
and rules. Business models that work well in the physical world are similarly applied
in cyberspace. Enquiry that attempts to explore what, to some, are real differences
between cyberspace and the physical world (Barbrook, 1998) (Greener & Perriton,
2005) and what these implications might be for online learning tend not to influence
mainstream thinking in universities.
The dominance of physical world thinking about cyberspace seriously limits
opportunities to examine what are important shifts and, in many instances potentially
significant changes for the knowledge work that occurs in universities.
2 The Berkman Centre at Harvard’s Law School and Oxford University’s Internet Institute are two instances.
3 Also known as lecturers.
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In many educational accounts of the Internet, much is made of the ready availability
of information and content. Schrage (2000) however, argues that biggest impact that
digital technologies are having and will continue to have are on the
relationships
between people and between people and organisations. This is not a new idea that
computing and communication technologies or indeed any technology can be seen in
terms of the relationships they affect or mediate, the new relationships they support
and the relationships they terminate.4 Such a shift in thinking however, does two
things. It poses two interesting questions for universities about the production and
consumption of knowledge products. That is, what are the new kinds of relationships
that universities might have in a world in which Web-based publishing technologies
are increasingly ubiquitous? And, given the valuing of skills and capacities in the
world beyond universities to produce and rework information and content, what role
might universities now play in this respect?
Thinking about cyberspace relationally resonates with much of the emerging internet
technologies that are based upon Ajax programming. Accompanying these
developments are labels which reflect a shift in the way the Internet is being used as
a medium for knowledge building and sharing. In particular creator-to-consumer and
peer-to-peer conceptualisations clearly remove the ‘middleman’. It may be useful to
ask whether higher education institutions represent the newest iteration of a
‘middleman’. Where previously publishers acted as control agents to protect vested
interests, universities now protect their intellectual property and knowledge
processes as a means of securing revenue from students. Typically knowledge was
protected by a university with circulation limited to the privileged and paid for by the
state. The introduction of private universities and movements towards various models
supporting a user-pays principle has empowered the consumer of education over the
same time frame that the Internet released publishing constraints. In many respects
the pressure to unbind knowledge creation, knowledge building and knowledge
dissemination has been progressed with recent Web-based technologies. So-called,
Web 2.0 or social software represents the most recent of these developments.
DeLong (1995) refers to internet advances as offering more interesting ways to
engage students in learning with information being democratised. There is a
fundamental shift of focus from production and delivery, to customer and content and
from the academy and lecture to student and their relationships with other students,
and with various knowledge products. As the Web exposes the artificiality of both
informational and institutional barriers the potential for sharing of students and
revenues becomes an enticing proposition. The role of a university could be
conceptualised as an institution that facilitates the acquisition of knowledge by
teaching discernment and by getting students to think DeLong (DeLong, 1995). A
facilitator would have little need to place boundaries around knowledge and could
play an active part in knowledge building by widening rather than restricting
participation and connecting learners with ways of working that better reflect
knowledge work underpinned by new Web-based technologies.
Challenges and opportunities of Web 2.0
The huge growth in Web 2.0 software applications represents the next new challenge
for teaching via electronic learning environments. These applications allow the easy
publication, remix and distribution of digital artefacts: text, image, video and sound.
This means that anyone with Web access can now publish. The growth in blogs, the
popularity of services such as Youtube and Flickr and the rise of shared knowledge
systems like Wikipedia attest to the opportunity to publish being taken up by very
large numbers. Web 2.0 applications are collaborative by design and are clearly so in
4 Relationships with large publishers have morphed to support many electronic initiatives as add-ons to support
a text, however the ease with which academics can now have their own material presented and structured
on the Internet, makes the old relationship increasingly fragile with power moving away from the producers
to the creators.
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use. They allow learning environments in which learners can be creative, critical,
constructive and become producers (publishers) of their own perspectives informed
by audience and identity. The differences embodied in the functionality and
unbounded nature of use, are the aspects which clearly support learning and clearly
will pose challenges to formal systems of education around those parts of the world
with access to the Internet.
A key element in the emergence of Web 2.0 software is the open source movement
and in particular open source software which provides the core technologies on which
Web 2.0 applications are based. Other than technical dependence, the broader
philosophy of the open source e movement points to a number of a key issue which
has begun to emerge around the growing use of Web 2.0 software, that is the tension
between public and private knowledge.
Weber (Weber, 2004) notes the success of open source software is not the software
itself but the process by which it is created. Similarly, the use of Web 2.0 software
draws attention to the processes by which public knowledge is produced rather than
the software that supports such collaboration. Mason & Cope (2001) suggest that
“(t)he impact of open source freeware may be summarised in two ways. First, these
products fuel a much more rapid growth of new businesses (because entry costs are
lower) and secondly, they encourage businesses to find new ways of leveraging
intellectual capital” (Mason & Cope, 2001, p. 102).
For example, the peer to peer (P2P) network operates on a premise of unbounded
knowledge with open sources and open access. Distributed networks such as those
supported by the P2P Foundation encourage production and knowledge exchange in
ways which they describe as being different from the pre-modern society norm which
is guarded and constituted by power differentials and obtained through closed circles.
In particular the P2P Foundation makes the important point that the process of
regulating the flow of knowledge through a series of formal rules which aim to
distinguish valid knowledge from invalid knowledge was a symptom of past
(publishing) models. The foundation also points out that:
(a)n intellectual property rights regime also regulates the legitimate
use one can make of such knowledge, and which is responsible for the
privatization of knowledge. If original copyright served to stimulate
creation by balancing the rights of authors and the public, the recent
strengthening of intellectual property rights can be more properly
understood as an attempt at ‘enclosure’ of the information commons,
which has served to create monopolies based on rent obtained through
licenses (The Foundation for P2P Alternatives, 1999).
The P2P networks represent a paradigm shift with a presumption of equi-potency of
members, de-institutionalisation and de-commodification of knowledge. The value
attached to any information produced and published in the shared space reflects a
value in exchange rather than a value for sale.
The embrace by IBM of open source software for some of its software products is an
illustration of the acceptance of open source software as a valuable mechanism for
knowledge building. However, IBM blends this aspect of its strategy with proprietary
software in selective ways to harness the best of the traditional business and new
distributed collaborative development environments
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Translated in higher education, the usage of Web 2.0 technologies has the capacity to
accelerate the pace of advancement in knowledge building and sharing but with
unforeseeable consequences and outcomes.In such an environment the academic is
not in control, universities are not as able to restrict the learning to those enrolled,
and rights to collaboratively determined knowledge are uncertain. Web 2.0 heralds a
new age of uncertainty in which the unbounded nature of knowledge production and
distribution in which any mediating influences are agreed by consensus but do not
have power as it is understood in conventional forms of publication.
WEB 2.0 & HIGHER EDUCATION
Public expectations of the Internet are now such that they expect instantaneous
access for free to information at any time of the day. The ability to chat and discuss
personal opinions, experiences and the willingness to actively criticize and complain
on line has already trained the many sections of the community to utilize the Internet
in ways that infuse the social and cognitive presence characterized by Garrison,
Anderson and NetLibrary Inc (Garrison, Anderson, & NetLibrary Inc, 2003) as on-line
learning
The obvious attraction to some Web 2.0 applications by the young warrants careful
examination of the role of Web 2.0 software in teaching. The tensions we pointed to
earlier will also characterise these investigations. Investigations that are framed by
thinking about these developments in terms of well understood physical phenomena
will inevitably miss the complexity of and potential for new educational forms and the
implications these will have for existing institutional processes. Given the history of
adoption of computing and related technologies in education (Bigum & Rowan, 2004),
it is to be expected that a good deal of institutional effort will be directed at
“applying” Web 2.0 to education. While such approaches in the past have led to
relatively ambiguous and often costly outcomes, if universities misread these
developments as more of the same, the consequences are likely to be significant. The
prospect of a world in which “anyone can publish” is of a different order to previous
computer-related changes.
While there is no shortage of euphoric and romantic accounts of the educational
implications of Web 2.05 we argue for caution and an awareness of the limitations of
the problems derived from relying upon understandings of educational practices in
the physical world. To us, the emergence of Web 2.0 applications poses many
questions for universities in relation to knowledge production, the authority of
knowledge, its dissemination, credentialing, curriculum and assessment. What is
required is careful scholarship and research which is aimed at understanding these
new phenomena in anthropological terms, without the pre-determined categories and
related mindsets that are found in contemporary educational theory and practice. To
illustrate the problems to which we allude we briefly consider implications for quality
control in this new environment and intellectual property.
QUALITY CONTROL
Unlike current Web 1.0 educational applications like learning management systems,
Web 2.0 software supports online environments which are much less controllable and
predictable in terms of student learning and behaviours.
The easy availability of various Web 2.0 platforms outside universities further
complicates protocols which previously might have been deployed to provide quality
control.
5 A Google blog search for Web 2.0 and education will sample current enthusiasm for what is seen by many to
be some kind of new age in education.
83
Quick perusal of freely available Wiki software, for example, will reveal usage by
academics and teachers to support their teaching.
Like most information available on the Web generally and produced via Web 2.0
software, knowledge products deployed for teaching purposes are not subject to
either the traditional quality control mechanisms of publishers, or of a university.
While most of these sites qualify as
applications
of Web 2.0 software to support well
established educational practices they are, nevertheless, beyond the gaze of existing,
university managed protocols.
The question of what quality control means in a Web 2.0 environment needs to move
beyond the kinds of disputes about authority that the emergence of Wikipedia has
brought to the fore (Chesney, 2006) (Ciffolilli, 2003).
The well established practices of universities in which acquisition of particular
knowledge and skills is credentialed and acknowledged in terms of formal
qualifications maps poorly into a space in which collaboration, remixing of knowledge
products and attention gathering are to the fore.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Perhaps the site where the most contentious, current debates are those in relation to
Intellectual Property (IP). While issues concerning the uploading of material and the
printing or copying of material from electronic sources have been addressed from the
viewpoint of copyright (Nemire, 2007) (DiRamio & Kops, 2004), the World
Intellectual Property Foundation and the Australian Copyright Council, and rights to
free speech is supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation-Defending Freedom in
the Digital World, issues concerning rights to collaborative knowledge constructed in
an educational open space are not well understood.
While the time honoured practices associated with acknowledging the ideas of others
in formal academic papers underpin good scholarly practice, many Web 2.0 spaces
are less careful in referencing ideas and their origins.
Web2 spaces involve users collaborating with each other without mediation of politics
or money and the need to be an enrolled student. Collaborators are unconcerned
about intellectual property or copyright and receive and give information without any
thought of compensation. In the absence of controls by higher education providers or
markets acting as mediators, they operate as networked communities formed
through mutual obligation and allow users to adapt knowledge to suit their own
purposes.
Typically IP concerns are about the imposition of scarcity. Applied to the internet, a
technical system which is designed to maximise knowledge dissemination, current IP
concepts are irrelevant (Barbrook 1998).
CONCLUSIONS
Web2 technologies present academe with opportunities and challenges. The ability to
harness opportunities will be impacted by the ability to adapt mindsets from bounded
traditional (or physical) space mentalities to an unbounded cyberspace mentality.
However, any change of mindset must be accompanied by a new perception of
concepts of control that will accommodate the nature of collaborative knowledge
building. Again, we argue that there are no simple answers here.
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The need for careful empirical work that better maps the new practices and ways of
working is paramount. Shifting mindsets will be a much longer process as John Perry
Barlow observed in an interview following a conference on copyright in Australia at
which he was a keynote speaker (Tunbridge, 1995):
"Yesterday when I was listening to those people arguing about copyright law I
felt like I'd come across a gang of shuffleboard players on the deck of the
Titanic arguing about the angle of the deck, and I couldn't direct them toward
the lifeboats."
BIODATA and CONTACT ADDRESSE of AUTHORS
Judy NAGY has had ten years of industry experience in both
chartered accounting with Price Waterhouse and a major listed
public company. This experience has been in auditing,
management accounting and financial accounting. Primary
research area of interest is cross-sectoral comparatives of
accounting and audit practice between the government and
commercial sectors with focus on accountability relationships.
In particular, the use of institutional theory perspectives to
study the ways in which the accounting profession and
proponents of public choice theories have widened their areas of
influence.
Dr Judy NAGY
Director DMO Program
Deakin Business School
Faculty of Business and Law
Deakin University, Toorak Campus, 336 Glenferrie Road, Malvern Vic 3144
Phone: 03 9244 5530 International: +61
Fax: 03 9244 5533 International: +61
E-mail: judy.nagy@deakin.edu.au
URL: http://www.deakin.edu.au
Chris Bigum is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Deakin
University. His research and teaching interests are in the
implications of computing and communications technologies for
educational practice and policy.
Specifically, these interests include: read/write Web (or Web 2.0)
environments, new literacy studies, actor-network approaches to
the study of educational innovation and change, digital
epistemologies, schools as knowledge producers, and scenario
planning in education.
Professor Chris BIGUM
Associate Dean (Academic)
Faculty of Education
Tel: 61 3 92446068/71460
Fax: 61 3 92446112
Deakin University Melbourne Campus: Burwood Highway, Burwood Victoria 3125
Email: Chris.Bigum@deakin.edu.au
URL: http://www.deakin.edu.au
85
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... These analogous definitions work by demarcating the 'read-only' characteristics and functions of Web 1.0 from the highly interactive, participatory model which O'Reilly defined as Web 2.0 (2005). Web 1.0 is depicted through a traditional publishing metaphor where large amounts of information are made available through a hierarchical structure controlled by a small technical elite of authors and publishers (Nagy & Bigum, 2007). This framework provided limited opportunities for individual or communal knowledge creation and sharing since it required high levels of technical expertise and understanding on the part of users (Greenhow, Robelia, & Hughes, 2009). ...
... In this sense Web 1.0 is comparable to an encyclopaedia both in its library like structures and procedures. It is portrayed as a repository for growing amounts of information and data, generated and authenticated by credentialed authors and experts (Nagy & Bigum, 2007). Users are able to read the content or information in the database (akin to borrowing a volume from a library) but are generally unable to contribute or add to this knowledge repository. ...
... These are illustrated in In particular O'Reilly recognised the enormous potential inherent within the DNA of Web 2.0 technologies which would encourage the growth of user-generated content (UGC). Tools such as wikis and blogs were beginning to change the way authors could access their readership in 2005, reducing the necessity to work through traditional publishing houses which acted as middle-men, restricting access to the process of publication (Nagy & Bigum, 2007). More significantly, in terms of the potential educational implications of O'Reilly's typology, participation was identified as an anchor feature or affordance. ...
Thesis
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Teacher learning is a complex phenomenon, conceptualised from multiple perspectives. It is understood how digital technologies support learning across different contexts and settings. There is, however, little to explain how teachers learn with digital technologies, particularly Web 2.0. The processes and transformational potential of teacher learning with the affordances of Web 2.0 are little understood or theorised and this forms the knowledge gap for the study. The study is situated in the context of an Academy in the North East of England. It adopts an Interpretive paradigm of research and a case study methodology to explore perceptions of eighteen teachers who used Web 2.0 technologies over an extended period of time. Semi-structured interviews and user-generated content (e.g. blogs, wikis and journals) were analysed using an inductive process alongside a deductive process which categorized participants according to their level of transformation. Findings showed how teachers develop a multiplicity of perceptions about their learning which are associated with the affordances of Web 2.0. They reconceptualise their pedagogical thinking, develop more collegial perspectives, expand their learning networks, challenge their sense of professional identity and become more reflexive about learning. Additionally, they reconsider their thinking about professional development. The majority experience some form of perspective transformation associated with their use of Web 2.0 affordances and a small group experience a full perspective transformation. The study concludes that Web 2.0 technologies play a significant role in supporting the processes and contexts of teacher learning through three major affordances of Collaboration, Participation & Practice and Knowledge Construction. Teacher learning with Web 2.0 is conceptualised as a series of transformative journeys undertaken by individuals within a socio-cultural and situated ecology. In some cases participants reach a point referred to as the Transformation Horizon beyond which they generate unique learner generated contexts for learning.
... Thus, within a social constructivist approach, interaction while learning FL has become prominent in that students need to go beyond the classroom and communicate with others to facilitate their language skills. In this sense, Web 2.0 tools have been welcomed as avant garde in FL classrooms, and declared to offer new opportunities for collaboration and interaction (Nagy & Bigum, 2007) especially for enhancing language skills. On the other hand, productive and interactive skill, writing, merits attention as a medium of communication however it has been constrained within scope of classroom environment. ...
... In this respect, learners are both involved in their own learning and others' learning processes [2] (Rubio et al., 2007); they act as interdependence within a social context where they share their knowledge and negotiate on different meanings. Moreover, with the adaptation of Web 2.0 tools in foreign language classes, new opportunities for and different modes of collaboration and interaction, which enable FL learners to construct knowledge [3] (Nagy & Bigum, 2007), are created; in other words, Web 2.0 tools enable learners to access, create, edit, participate, and comment within a community interactively. Among these, "Showbeyond" is a Web 2.0 tool which provides learners to write their own narration and share with a community. ...
... In this respect, learners are both involved in their own learning and others' learning processes [2] (Rubio et al., 2007); they act as interdependence within a social context where they share their knowledge and negotiate on different meanings. Moreover, with the adaptation of Web 2.0 tools in foreign language classes, new opportunities for and different modes of collaboration and interaction, which enable FL learners to construct knowledge [3] (Nagy & Bigum, 2007), are created; in other words, Web 2.0 tools enable learners to access, create, edit, participate, and comment within a community interactively. Among these, "Showbeyond" is a Web 2.0 tool which provides learners to write their own narration and share with a community. ...
Article
Recently, foreign language (FL) learning/teaching have been shifted from merely focusing on repetition and habit learning to constructing knowledge through experiences within a social world. Thus, within a social constructivist approach, interaction while learning FL has become prominent in that students need to go beyond the classroom and communicate with others to facilitate their language skills. In this sense, Web 2.0 tools have been welcomed as avant garde in FL classrooms, and declared to offer new opportunities for collaboration and interaction (Nagy & Bigum, 2007) especially for enhancing language skills. On the other hand, productive and interactive skill, writing, merits attention as a medium of communication however it has been constrained within scope of classroom environment. Students become passive producers of the writing pieces whom just try to make up to teachers. Thus, there emerges a need to encourage students to be aware of their audiences' presence, write for them, and negotiate the meanings with others to carry writing classes to interactive and collaborative environment. Therefore, the present study investigates the impact of Web 2.0 tools-"Showbeyond" and "Blog" on students' audience awareness, and students' experiences while using them for creating stories and sharing them with others. Hence, paper-pen narrative stories and stories created via "Showbeyond", logs and semi-structured interviews of 8 learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) are collected and analyzed through discourse and phenomenological data analysis. The results show that though students' awareness of their audiences while creating stories on "Showbeyond" is limited, motivation, collaboration, and negotiation for meaning are found to be the most recursive themes when their experiences of using Web 2.0 tools considered. It may be suggested that Web 2.0 tools can be used in EFL writing classrooms to enhance learners' audience awareness, and to establish a community in a motivated way.
... These characteristics have fundamental epistemological implications as knowledge was created and validated by a relatively limited number of experts who based their authority and validity on formal evidence-based argumentation (Dede, 2008). Web 1.0 is comparable, therefore, to an encyclopaedia in its library-like structures and procedures and is portrayed as a repository for growing amounts of information and data, generated and authenticated by credentialed authors and experts (Nagy and Bigum, 2007). Users are able to read the content or information in the database (akin to borrowing a volume from a library), but are generally unable to contribute or add to this knowledge repository. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There is now widespread recognition that digital technologies, particularly portable hand held devices capable of Internet connection, present opportunities and challenges to the way in which student learning is organized in schools, colleges and institutions of higher education in the 21st Century. Traxler (2010) suggests such devices are pervasive and ubiquitous, conspicuous and unobtrusive, noteworthy and taken-for-granted with everyone typically owning one, using one and often having more than one. As a consequence it has been argued that the availability of such devices, controlled mainly by the student and not the teacher, has the potential to change the traditional dynamics and pedagogical patterns of the learning environment (Burden et al, 2012). Education institutions, however, typically remain organized around spatial and temporal considerations such as buildings, timetables, calendars and internal structures which are designed to classify and manage students. In the case study reported here students and faculty teaching staff from the College of Education in the University of Kuwait were surveyed in order to assess their access to such technologies, their capability to use them effectively in support of achieving planned learning outcomes and the implications for change that could emanate from such findings.
... These characteristics have fundamental epistemological implications as knowledge was created and validated by a relatively limited number of experts who based their authority and validity on formal evidencebased argumentation (Dede, 2008). Web 1.0 is comparable, therefore, to an encyclopaedia in its library-like structures and procedures and is portrayed as a repository for growing amounts of information and data, generated and authenticated by credentialed authors and experts (Nagy and Bigum, 2007). Users are able to read the content or information in the database (akin to borrowing a volume from a library), but typically were unable to contribute or add to this knowledge repository. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper initially investigates the ways in which digital technologies can be used to support learning in education organisations and settings (and change the nature of provision in some instances). The discussion that emerges is based both on contemporary literature and a number of recent research projects in which the author has been directly involved. A transformation in the attitude and behaviour of teachers, it is argued, is required if the possibilities and opportunities offered by digital technologies are to be maximised now and into the future. In reaching this conclusion the paper examines a number of barriers to change and explores relevant theories of learning that should lead to transformative learning whereby teachers cannot imagine a world without maximal use of the digital devices that are now available to all learners for whom they have a responsibility.
... This is turn has transformed the kind of social interaction possible over the Internet, making it feasible to undertake discourse and dialogue without having to rely solely on text-based mediation. Twenty-rst-century technologies have thus superseded Web 1.0, which, like most printed material, had remained epistemologically traditional and was maintained by a relatively small group of privileged authors (Dede, 2008;Nagy & Bigum, 2007). Web 2.0 technologies, however, represent a fundamental change for education, shifting from passive acquisition of someone else's ideas to active learning experiences that empower people to inquire, critique, create, collaborate, problem-solve and create understanding (Dede & Barb, 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
This article considers how developments in technologies have transformed the kind of social interaction possible over the Internet, making it feasible to undertake discourse and dialogue without having to rely solely on text-based mediation. This represents a fundamental change to learning, shifting from passive acquisition of someone else’s ideas to active learning experiences that empower people to inquire, critique, create, collaborate, problem-solve and create understanding. Such technologies are also about the portability of mobile digital devices which now have the potential to allow any-time access for users either through Wi-Fi or mobile broadband providers and for those devices to become personal. The implications for education are enormous and the anticipated change probably ranks alongside the introduction of the printing press in terms of historical importance. This article considers those implications and draws on research recently conducted in schools and other educational settings in the United Kingdom. The authors conclude that the need to allow use of personal digital devices in schools seems inexorable, the further we go into the new millennium. This simple premise is fraught with many difficulties and challenges, however, which suggest that for many students the current situation is ‘Access denied’.
... This is very different from the learning management software, which has dominated online learning for the past several years. Such software has been predicated on the concept that knowledge products are something to be administered and controlled and financially supported by tuition dollars from captive students who are in residence somewhere (Nagy & Bigum, 2007). As Nagy and Bigum point out, the intellectual property issues involved in cocreated knowledge are mind-boggling. ...
Article
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Purpose Digital India’s attempts to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. This research examines three questions: What is the educational importance of social media in Indian higher education? What gains and dangers does it pose when used for formal learning? Could informal learning via technology powerfully supplement learning through the formal system? Design/methodology/approach In total, 640 students were contacted through email lists provided by their institutions after these institutions had obtained their consent to participate in the study. The response rate is worked out at 44.84 per cent. Telephone interviews were conducted with 22 “veterans” in the field of higher education in India. All this provided areas of importance on which this study is based. Findings India is no doubt experimenting with more creative methods of learning and teaching. Educational technology is at embryonic stage compared to many of the advanced countries. The results show that even when all facilities are present, students are not fully taking advantage of the benefits technology affords for formal learning. Not only is there a digital divide between generations but also within generations. How the technology is integrated into the learning process is important. The entire learning infrastructure is certainly available in India and it is struggling to meet student expectations and offer a more dynamic and appropriate pedagogy. Practical implications This paper throws light on models explicit to the Indian scene in how students can benefit from social media beyond the classroom. It discusses challenges in its adoption in Indian higher education and ways to meet these challenges. Social implications Technology-led learning brings about a difference and the present generation in India is better equipped to tackle the challenges of the workplace, will be helpful to their employers and would fit well into a global business environment. Originality/value Because of the relative newness of the approach in India and fairly restricted use in the Indian higher education system, the impact of social media on student engagement in the higher education sector in India is not fully known.
Article
With the proliferation of technology-dependent social media, electronic connections between individuals and between groups are numerous. While technology facilitates these connections, researchers have not established the extent to which technology assures social connectedness within a community of inquiry in terms of student-teacher interaction. Given that social presence is a measure of the student-student and student-teacher interaction, measuring its perception by students within the framework of their familiarity with technology could determine its relationship to technology. Using the sub-constructs of social presence: affective expression, open communication, and group cohesion, and the technology readiness index, a regression analysis of a survey of 88 online higher education students found technology optimism, a sub-construct of technology readiness, significantly predicted social presence. The result implies that taking a learner's attitude toward technology into consideration could help educational administrators provide a more meaningful and effective educational experience for learners within a community of inquiry.
Article
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de web 2.0 para la enseñanza de lenguas extranjeras como wikis, blogs, Google Docs y otros promueven un compromiso educativo que va más allá del simple uso informativo de la web como se venía haciendo hasta ahora y enfatiza aspectos colaborativos con una responsabilidad compartida entre todos los usuarios. Este artículo comienza por indicar brevemente los cambios que han llevado de la web tradicional a la social. A continuación se centra en varias herramientas y programas de la web social y finalmente, en la sección de conclusiones, sugiere varias líneas de estudio en torno a la web social. Abstract The web has revolutionized the field of language teaching in recent years. This article intends to show how the web 2.0 or social web beyond being a powerful innovation in the teaching field, has caused some significant effects in the way students learn. The resources of the web 2.0 for the teaching of foreign languages -such as wikis, blogs, Google Docs and others-promote an educational commitment that goes beyond the simple informative use of the web like it has been up to now and emphasizes collaborative aspects with a responsibility shared among all the users. This article begins by indicating briefly the changes that have happened between the traditional web and the social one. Later, it focuses on several tools and programs of the social web and finally, it suggests several lines of study around the social web.
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The second edition of E-Learning in the 21st Century provides a coherent, comprehensive, and empirically-based framework for understanding e-learning in higher education. Garrison draws on his decades of experience and extensive research in the field to explore the technological, pedagogical, and organizational implications of e-learning. Most importantly, he provides practical models that educators can use to realize the full potential of e-learning. This book is unique in that it focuses less on the long list of ever-evolving technologies and more on the search for an understanding of these technologies from an educational perspective.
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While there has been widespread take-up of the concept 'flexible learning' within various educational environments—and equally frequent references to the flexible 'natures' of the com-puter and communication technologies that often underpin flexible learning initiatives—the relationship between technologies and flexibility is not a simple one. In this paper we examine some of the more persistent myths about technologies that are intertwined with discourses of flexibility. We highlight some of the more common 'muddles' that these myths can lead us in to and argue that the 'mess' that so often results from well-intentioned moves to 'be more flexible' is largely a result of the ways that CCTs, or indeed any new educational technology or strategy, is theorized. Drawing on a recent study of online teaching and learning in higher education, we outline a new framework for examining these and related issues as they apply to teacher education.
Book
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This book describes how two newly invented communications technologies - the telephone and the electric light - were publicly envisioned, in specialized engineering trade journals as well as in more popular media, at the end of the nineteenth century. Much of the focus is on the telephone, particularly how it disrupted established social relations (people did not know how to to respond to its use or impact) and how society tried to bring it under a carefully prescribed pattern of proper usage. While the emphasis is on the way professionals in the electronics field tried to control the new media, their broader social impact is also discussed.
Scitation is the online home of leading journals and conference proceedings from AIP Publishing and AIP Member Societies
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Advancement of knowledge and progress in technology drives the need for protecting inventions, new ideas, writings, music, and other media. While abundant, intellectual property and copyright issues are not simple, and the United States has adopted multiple rules via treaties worldwide. Academia has been fortunate with regard to the freedom provided by the fair use doctrine. Despite the freedoms, however, some feel that liberty is now limited by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) and other rules being placed on intellectual property use (Carlson 2004).
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