ON THE USE OF WEB 2.0 APPLICATIONS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The Bolonia Process sets out a new educational paradigm for the European University in which the lecturer acts as knowledge facilitator, and the student plays an active and autonomous role during the learning process. Web 2.0 applications are really suitable to give a boost to this new learning process, since they provide a new generation of services that favor knowledge transfer, allowing students to collaborate and share information online. Moreover, the use of Web 2.0 applications makes possible a “social learning” without space or time barriers, in which collaborative work plays a crucial role.
Following this trend, many European Universities are at the moment redefining their traditional educational methods in order to fit the demands of a new generation of students who are accustomed to the Web 2.0 two-way information exchange. However, there are still nowadays some factors that hinder the fully integration of Web 2.0 applications in Higher Education and that should be investigated.
This communication presents an in depth reflection on the current use of Web 2.0 in Higher Education for empowering the autonomous and collaborative learning of the students. This reflection is the result of the work that has been developed at Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) for the last two years by a team of lecturers called GRIPAU (Interdisciplinary Group for University Education Learning). The main objective of GRIPAU is to favor the integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the education and learning process. In this communication, the use of Web 2.0 tools will be investigated in the educational context of UPV. The main opportunities and limitations of Web 2.0 for Higher Education will be exposed. The different institutional Web 2.0 applications available at UPV, called PoliformaT, Policonecta, Polimedia and Politube will be described. Different case studies developed at UPV using these platforms will be analyzed on the basis of the experience of GRIPAU. The impact of these case studies will be evaluated by means of different opinion polls performed by the teaching staff and the students. The richness of this study is based on the combination of the different educational experiences in the learning processes inside the same university. The results obtained can be extrapolated to different educational contexts as results of the general processes employed, that are responsible of the significant long-term learning of common competencies for future professionals. Finally, the main conclusions regarding the usage of these technologies will be presented.
Keywords: Higher Education, Web 2.0, ICT, collaborative work.