1 ICT&S Center of the University of Salzburg (AUSTRIA)
2 Demokratiezentrum Wien (AUSTRIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 980-988
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Our Paper covers the question how information and communication technologies (ICTs) in general and social web tools (wikis, blogs, tags, etc.) can be used for new participative learning models and environments. In addressing this question we will focus on the pilot project that is planned and carried out by the Democracy Centre Vienna in co-operation with the ICT&S Center of the University of Salzburg. For this purpose an internet platform will be developed that includes several common social web tools. Within this platform a multimedia online textbook for civic education will be created and used by young people by applying these tools. Central element of the platform is a wiki, which allows for quick and simple publishing and editing of articles. Furthermore, students have the possibility to add all kinds of multimedia components (images, video clips, podcasts, YouTube videos, documents) to any of the wiki articles. Each article can be tagged with keywords. In doing so, the users create a system of categories with new links and relations between the entries apart from a hierarchical table of contents. By commenting on existing articles or blog entries users can exchange their opinions with other users. In order to discuss current topics and to post one’s own opinion blogs were established which allow for an exchange of personal views and statements. This innovative access offers students the possibility to develop and use knowledge peer-to-peer. At the same time, students do not only consume the content and knowledge on the platform but at the same time they can also be producers of it. So, we can speak of “prosumers” or “produsers” which combine both characteristics.
Within the framework of this project the question has to be taken into account, how young people can be integrated actively into a participative concept of civic education and how ICTs are able to contribute to this process. Emphasis will be given on social software that can be used for collaborative and co-operative work at school or in non-school related situations. Through the usage of wikis and blogs young people can acquire and strengthen participative decision making competences, a self-dependent participative attitude as well as competence in the handling of digital media. Media competence has become a social and educational key-term due to the fast-paced development and the increasing advancement of ICTs in the daily life of young people. This does not only extend to technical media competence but also strengthens the so-called civic skills and self-motivated learning. The project also intends to overcome this information gap by offering effective learning settings on the internet and procurement of media competence. However, it has to be taken into consideration that the mere availability of technologies is not enough but in fact a conscious and competent use of digital media is required, since there are „IT-rich“ and „IT-poor“ young people. Thus, we will investigate how tow overcome these barriers when using social software and above all to communicate a certain degree of competence of handling the internet as a basis for new innovative learning situations.
young people, web 2, 0, social software, civic education, political participation, media literacy, learning.