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  • Making the most of the web - eLearning 2.0
  • Posted By:
  • Jan R
  • Posted On:
  • 29-May-2009
  • The potential of the computers hit us when we got Internet. The Web 2.0 has brought in a world of change within our life styles. Hundreds of things have been said and written about and read on the way the web has changed the outlook of our media, business and other commercial sectors as well. Even the education sector has not been left behind. But beyond the occasional educational blogs, we hardly know much about what are the different effects the Web 2.0 is having on it.

    Teachers are already exploring the various potentials available. Today there is a whole new range of softwares available for e-learning. Unlike before, when the softwares weren’t exactly e-learning friendly but helped the students nonetheless.

    We are still in the process of realizing the early promises made by e-learning which would empower students and teachers alike.

    This is because the kind of stuff we are being offered online is silly. You have to tick on a particular answer from a few options and if it is right, you have learnt something! But then real learning means that you reason and question that why this answer was correct. But that hardly happens on the Web 2.0. It is becoming more and more flexible and hardly inspiring.

    Again with traditional e-learning, sometimes the Virtual learning environment is made use of. This is software which is expensive and very painful. It is also designed on the requirements of the institution that are the courses, timetables and tests and not on the needs of the individual learner. This is in contrast to the new e-learning 2.0 that combines the approaches of the web tools and services such as wikipedia, blogs and other social softwares.

    Blogging is definitely a great idea. Therefore, more and more educationists are trying this aspect of Web 2.0. It is easy to use and the software helps to remove the technical barriers for writing and publishing online posts. Also its journal like format helps the students to keep a record of what they have been thinking and so on. Blogs maybe used for numerous reasons. A single author blog will provide a personal journal. So anything can be written here. From posing questions to posting personal photographs. It can be used for anything. Also this software offers feedback options with place for comments.

    Another easy tool is pod cast. Podcasting has recently become a very useful tool and very popular amongst students and teaches.  It provides a platform to push the educational content to the learners in unique ways. It will provide different ranges of digital content for educational purposes. It is something that will swap the user generated content with the learner generated content.

    For example, the apple iPod. It is becoming more and more popular amongst students and teachers. You can hear music, store files that are of educational purposes, watch films and documentaries through this sleek device. There is no end to what you can do with this.

    Another way of learning could be to build up a site which offers educational solutions to students. Here, build a forum to answer the queries. It should be made in such a way that if student can answer another person’s query, they should be allowed to do it and the solution- fully explained, can be posted on the forum. Therefore, everyone can see. Also different questions can be raised by the teachers and students can take it up as a challenge.

    Over the years, the Web 2.0 will offer more refined options for e-learning. But for now, we should make good use of what we have. 



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