INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL TOOLS IN PUERTO RICO HIGHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM: FACULTY PERCEPTION
University of Puerto Rico (PUERTO RICO)
This research presents the faculty perception on the integration of the social tools to the higher education curriculum in Puerto Rico. The social tools are program that expands and extends value of the human being social behavior such as messages, email lists, social networks and others. The Web 2.0 is developed to enhance version of the Web in which encourage the users to participate and develop collaborative initiatives such as blogs, wikis and social networks. The social tools and Web 2.0 technologies are based on participation and collective knowledge. They are provided to share information in effective way. The capacity of use and understand those tools will be a key to reach information services and communication in XXI Century. This descriptive research is important because there are limited updated data of social tools in puertorrican education and can serve as a model internationally. The study is based on a case study and the instrument selected was the interview of ten professors that have five or more years of experience in the education and are expert in the use of the social tools. The research questions are: 1) What is the professor’s perception of the required skills and knowledge necessary to reach the integration of social tools in the curriculum of higher education in Puerto Rico?; 2) What is the professor’s perception of the required attitude necessary to reach the integration of social tools in the curriculum of higher education in Puerto Rico?; 3) What is the professor’s perception of the necessary strategies to facilitate the integration of social tools in the curriculum of higher education in Puerto Rico?; 4) How the professors educational experiences based on Web 2.0 tools increase the student commitment in the course and for the future?, and 5) How is the professor’s perception about the contribution of the social tools to expand the student knowledge and enhance the student performance?
The purpose of this research is to identify the literacy, knowledge and attitudes of the faculty in the use of the social tools (blogs, wikis, social scoreboards, among others) integrated to the curriculum of the higher education in Puerto Rico to study its potential in improve the learning of the student through the creativity, contribution and the information sharing. In this way we can understand the current reality of the participants in the usage of Web 2.0 technologies. There are identified significant barriers in the implementation of this integration such as technological infrastructure, resistance to change, lack of technological skills and scare feeling about trying something new. Some of the required skills to manage the new technologies are: technological skills, critical thinking, effective communication, and pedagogical skills.The professor has to have the correct attitude to teach using the new technology. Some of the finding are that is require having an open, accessible and a leadership attitude. Concrete results are obtained that permit to identify effective strategies for the implementation of this technology and to establish some basic principles that help the professor to guide it in the process to select the tools and to integrate them to the curriculum. As a result, this research includes a teaching and learning course syllabus that provides the objectives, methodological approach, activities and bibliography.