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.
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 accountRationale
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.Rationale
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.Rationale
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”Rationale
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.Rationale
SUMMARY/CONVERSATION: Demonstrate summarizing purposefully, integrate “they say” into writing effectively or self-consciously, appropriately incorporate quotes into writing (punctuation, attributions, relevance), and discuss and use texts as “conversations” (writing, then, demonstrates entering a conversation).
To develop digital fluency and engage in cooperative production while learning and practicing writing, revision, and the construction of digital artifacts.Lesson Goal
Get on Wikipedia, type in a topic you’re interested in, and choose an article. Make a list of different parts. What’s clear for you? What’s confusing you?
Each group will play a part in creating a single class Wiki about writing strategies. Each group will be assigned a part of the blog to research and write. Write your piece on your group’s Wiki, and then we’ll put it all together.Group 1: Introduction--Why teaching writing strategies important?Group 2: Strategies and Ideas—Throw Together a few examples of Writing Strategies.Group 3: Media--Pictures and/or Video.Group 4: Links—Additional Resources and Descriptions.Each member of the group should make a contribution to the wiki and post at least one comment in the discussion page.Class Activity
Elect a group member to log on to the Class Wiki page (Link #4) and copy over your group’s content.
Berk, Ronald A. “How Do You Leverage the Latest Technologies, Including Web 2.0 Tools, in Your Classroom?” International Journal of Technology in Teaching & Learning 6.1 (2010) : 1-13.