Monday, 11 March 2013

A2: Talking with lecturers: What happened to Web 2.0?

W Michael John
University of Glamorgan, UK

In the twelve years since Prensky famously wrote about digital natives and digital immigrants much has changed. Time and effort has been spent in seeking out these "millennials" and their "Net generation". Whether one believes or doubts in the claims made of these "netizens" it cannot be denied that they have proved to be the catalyst for considerable discussion about our understanding of knowledge, teaching methods, digital identity, digital literacy, the use of technology, pedagogy and andragogy in all manner of teaching and learning settings. Underlying these discussions has been the suggestion that teachers / lecturers must change the way they teach to ensure that they can better engage with their students.

At the same time technology and The Web have continued to change, develop and embrace our working and leisure activities. From static web pages provided to be read on desktop computers accessible by few, we have moved through Web 2.0 to a world dominated by Social Media, available to large proportion of our population often via hand held devices.

It seems to some that despite advances in technology, despite investment in the provision of IT hardware and networks in universities, colleges and schools little has changed. Lectures, exams, essays, and managed learning systems dominate the landscape of Higher Education.

In this study University lecturers from a range of faculties and at various stages in their academic careers were interviewed to determine what use they actually make of "modern" technologies or pedagogies in their professional and private lives. Particular reference was made to their use of "Web 2.0' applications, Social Media and mobile devices. As might be expected a range of responses both negative and positive were recorded, Consideration of both sets of outcomes may provide guidance and stimulus for others wishing to explore further the use of social media in Higher Education

Have lecturers and teachers taken Prensky's advice and changed their ways?

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