Wikis and Collaborative Learning. Ronald Berk Hannah Green Betty Collis Alwyn Lau James Gee. Rationale. Ronald Berk Hannah Green Betty Collis Alwyn Lau James Gee.
Wikis and Collaborative Learning
those born between 1982 and 2003 are a “twitch-speed, digital, mobile, always-on” generation, known by many names, but perhaps best described as the “Net Generation.”
This networking generation is technologically, are interested in multimedia, are involved in interactive worlds, like Second Life or World of Warcraft, are “nomadic,” moving from item to item whenever and wherever they like, are comfortable creating Internet content, making webpages, social profiles, blogs, artwork, or YouTube videos, and “prefer to learn rather than being told what to do or reading text or manuals,” they are kinesthetic learners, part of a “participatory culture.” They are multitaksers, visual communicators, expressive and emotionally open, and prefer collaboration and teamwork.
According to a survey of 7,705 college students done by Junco and Mastrodicasa, 97% of Net Geners own a computer, 94% a cell or smartphone, 99% use the Internet for research and/or homework, 76% use Instant Messaging and chat up to 80 minutes a day, 92% multitask while IMing, 87% use websites for news, and 75% have a Facebook account
Young people are spending their time in a space which adults find difficult to supervise or understand. . .Use of digital technology has been completely normalized by this generation and it is now fully integrated into their daily lives. . . almost all are now involved in creative production.
Without high education institutions promoting it, students are making extensive use of Web 2.0 tools and processes to support their studies” and they are “frustrated. . . because of the mis-use or lack of use of” these tools in education.
Connectivism defines learning through connections: “Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions and is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources,” and “Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information” (Siemens, Qtd. in Lau 198). Learning, then, is represented by understanding options, harnessing resources, making decisions, valuing diversity, and building community. Knowledge is shaped “through a collaborative conversation and not in an ivory tower”
The academic essay is a schoolconstruct that asks for formulaic language produced withoutindividualism or passion; studentsare taught basic skills without context, where “it is never really clearto children about how what they are learning is tied to actualpractices or who uses them.” Standardized tests are built on the notion that some national company in adifferent state can produce a more accurate evaluation of a student’sknowledge than the teacher who teaches that student (68).
There’s abetter way to learn, and it involves something called“Passionate Affinity-Based Learning,” when people gather together(either in person or online) over a shared interest, and work togetherto create knowledge about / work on it. The internet has been a greatsource for this, and whether people are coming together to discourseabout cats, create clothing for The Sims, or theorycraft advanced datain World of Warcraft, productive and advanced passionate affinity spacescan be found all over the internet.