Monday, October 6, 2008

Web 2.0 in the Classroom

In a recent study, Becta commissioned the University of Nottingham in conjunction with London Knowledge Lab and Manchester Metropolitan University to research Web 2.0 technologies for learning at Key Stages 3 and 4.

The key questions:
  • How and to what extent are young people using Web 2.0 technologies outside of education and how does this compare to their experience in schools?
  • What are the potential benefits, opportunities and issues around using Web 2.0 approaches for learning and teaching?
  • How are schools currently using Web 2.0 technologies and what are the barriers and issues to effective implementation?
  • What are the e-safety/child protection issues around the use of Web 2.0 technologies? How aware are learners, schools, parents and teachers of the risks and how can Web 2.0 be used safely?

Outputs from the research include:

Report 1: The current landscape - opportunities, challenges and tensions (May 2008)

Report 2: Learners' use of Web 2.0 technologies in and out of school in Key Stages 3 and 4 (June 2008)

Report 3: Implementing Web 2.0 in Secondary Schools: Impacts, barriers and issues(September 2008)

Report 4: E-safety issues in using Web 2.0 (September 2008)

Report 5: Web 2.0 technologies for learning at Key Stage 3 and 4: summary report (September 2008)

The Becta reports found that young learners are prolific users of Web 2.0 technologies in their leisure time but that the use of Web 2.0 in the classroom was limited. However, schools and teachers who are innovating in this area have found benefits, such as:

  • Web 2.0 helps to encourage student engagement and increase participation – particularly among quieter pupils, who can use it to work collaboratively online, without the anxiety of having to raise questions in front of peers in class – or by enabling expression through less traditional media such as video.
  • Teachers have reported that the use of social networking technology can encourage online discussion amongst students outside school.
  • Web 2.0 can be available anytime, anywhere, which encourages some individuals to extend their learning through further investigation into topics that interest them.
  • Pupils feel a sense of ownership and engagement when they publish their work online and this can encourage attention to detail and an overall improved quality of work. Some teachers reported using publication of work to encourage peer assessment.
The project's reports can be downloaded from the Research area of the website.

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