Mount Saint Mary College (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 449-453
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
New Web 2.0 technologies change the face and texture of education, open its borders and transform the meaning of learning and teaching. Paralleling the quantum shift from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0, a corresponding shift in pedagogy is demanded---from teaching 1.0 to teaching 2.0.

Increasingly, our students are coming to college already possessing advanced skills and practices with regard to electronic learning and communication. Labeled by some as "digital natives" ( J. Brown, S. Parpert, M. Prensky), the computer and its electronic offshoots are so integral to their modes of thought, information acquisition and communication - indeed, central to their core behavioral repertoire -- that they literally live in a virtual vernacular world.

In contrast, most faculty teaching these highly digital literate technophiles use the computer as an extension of the typewriter; it is a tool, but not a mode of being. These "digital immigrants" (M. Prensky) experience culture shock as they learn a new language and tools. Many cannot advance to fluency. For students, then, technology is a pedagogical context. They are far advanced of their faculty, for whom technology is an intrusive set of new tasks that infringe on the content learning that is of value to them.

It turns out however, that the emerging student techno-learning mode is exactly the kind of fast paced lifelong learning and collaboration skill set that is demanded by our rapidly changing world. It is a mode of transient learning where expertise in areas that become rapidly obsolete is less valued than the ability to quickly master emerging knowledge. Disciplinary knowledge is also being made irrelevant by the demands for multi and interdisciplinary learning skills.

Traditionally, education focused on the three "Rs" of "reading, `riting and `rithmetic." But these core skill sets must now be matched by an additional 3 Rs of information literacy: rigor, relevance and relationships. Rigor refers to the developed skill of discerning the accuracy and validity of information accessed on the Internet, along with meeting the demands of copyright, protection of intellectual property and creative commons requirements. Relevance involves the ability to identify online information that relates directly to the topic of study or research using a full array of online information sources and tools, while avoiding the potential for disruptive tangents that the Web offers. Relationships refers to the ability to network and identify communities of like-minded people and to collaborate and contribute to an informational commons. This new set of skills and its vast potential for collaboration offers new hope for an informed global society with a civic view of the goals of education. While therefore serving the prospects for democracy, this new reality complicates outmoded notions of individual achievement.

Achievement of success thus requires that faculty take the core of knowledge that is vital to us and integrate it with the new learning modes. In this context, the author wants to discuss the importance of educational technology as a catalyst of change. Formerly merely an issue of what machine was used to achieve a particular type of presentation, the use of technology has emerged as a keystone issue with regard to lifelong learning. The most popular and effective Web 2.0 tools and services will be classified and presented with recommendations for application to college courses.
innovation, technology, web 2, 0, constructivist teaching, authentic learning.