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Appears in:
Pages: 5176-5184
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain

FOSTERING LEARNING WITH SOCIAL WEB TOOLS: EXAMPLES FROM PORTUGAL

M. Lucas, A. Moreira

Universidade de Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
The impact of Web technologies in Education has drawn a lot of attention in the past few years, especially after the evolution of the Internet applications and tools, now called social web or web 2.0. The web’s shift from a place for telling to a place for talking and the emphasis put upon sharing, participating and collaborating transformed the web into a social platform where people interact, experiment, create and learn.
Recent research about the use of social web tools - such as blogs, wikis, social bookmarking sites, among many others - as a way to mediate instruction and promote distributed learning environments concludes that it fosters the creation of groups of interest, communities of practice or networks in which learning can happen unexpectedly as a result of the connections and interactions of their members (Wenger 2005; Downes 2006; Gan 2007; Siemens 2008). When learning is understood as an ‘unexpected process of coming to know’ through a process of mutual adjustment and negotiation, connections and interactions become a means for learning, specifically when we talk about informal learning.
The Department of Didactics and Educational Technology of the University of Aveiro has already started to use a variety of social web tools and applications to replace their institutional e-learning platform. The aim of this approach is to help students - and other people involved - understand and recognise the potential contribution of collaborative online technologies to learning and its potential use in fostering informal learning opportunities that can enrich formal learning outcomes.
But how can informal interactions be incorporated into formal learning contexts without becoming formal as well? Can the social Web and the applications and tools it provides be explored to harness informal learning? What are the benefits brought by such tools to formal learning contexts? And what are students’ perceptions about the informal learning opportunities that derive from the use of these tools?
This communication describes a case study on the use of social Web tools in a post-graduation course. Findings suggest that the use of these tools as a means to distribute an open and flexible learning environment fosters informal interactions and that such interactions are perceived by students to have a significant impact over their formal learning outcomes.



@InProceedings{LUCAS2009FOS,
author = {Lucas, M. and Moreira, A.},
title = {FOSTERING LEARNING WITH SOCIAL WEB TOOLS: EXAMPLES FROM PORTUGAL},
series = {1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN09 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-9801-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona ,Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {5176-5184}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Lucas AU - A. Moreira
TI - FOSTERING LEARNING WITH SOCIAL WEB TOOLS: EXAMPLES FROM PORTUGAL
SN - 978-84-612-9801-3/2340-1117
PY - 2009
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2009
CI - Barcelona ,Spain
JO - 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN09 Proceedings
SP - 5176
EP - 5184
ER -
M. Lucas, A. Moreira (2009) FOSTERING LEARNING WITH SOCIAL WEB TOOLS: EXAMPLES FROM PORTUGAL, EDULEARN09 Proceedings, pp. 5176-5184.
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