What was Web 2.0? Versions as the dominant mode of internet history, published in New Media and Society, is now available through Online First publication. This paper is one of several that I have written / am writing that attempt to explore the consequences for how we collectively ‘think’ the internet as a result of Web 2.0. Links here to the other posts. Click to read more
In this recent paper, published in Media International Australia, I argue that Web 2.0 cab be understood, not as a technology or practice, but as the marker of a discourse of historical interpretation dependent on versions, historicising the internet so that it is now understood as different from (and yet connected to) that of the 1990s. While Web 3.0, implied or real, suggests the ‘future’, it also marks out a loss of other times, or the possibility of alterity understood through temporality. Click to read more
Elaine Tay (Murdoch University) and I have recently published a second article on the use of wikis in higher education for developing better student learning. This article, in International Journal of ICT Education, presents research into the attitudes and behaviours of students using wikis for individual writing tasks. The wiki-based assignment differs from the use of wikis normally researched because it was an individual task, not involving collaborative writing. We conclude that using wikis for individual writing tasks can, where appropriate active instructions are given to support development of cognitive abilities, lead to improved outcomes for students. Click to read more
Elaine Tay (Murdoch University) and I have just had published the first article on research we conducted into the use of wikis in a unit at Curtin University. Our paper shows how social media might be used effectively in higher education. We place into question the assumption that such technologies necessarily engage students in constructivist learning; we argue that the affordances of social media must be complemented by social affordances, designed into the learning experience, which thereby generate the necessary connection between students’ motivations to study and their motivations to exploit social media. We demonstrate, via the example given, how assessment structures and strategies are the most effective focus when attempting to create the pedagogical affordances that might lead to collaborative learning. Click to read more
A paper presented at the Australian Media Traditions conference exploring the historicity of the Internet through the use within discourse of Web 2.0. Click to read more
New Challenges in Education: Online learning, knowledge networks, ‘edgeless’ universities Kennesaw State University, 6 October, 11.30 am KSU Center (Room 300). I will be visiting Kennesaw State U shortly to present on e-learning, Web 2.0 and changing nature of education on 6 October, courtesy of Dr Keith Herndon, the university’s Institute for Global Initiatives and the Department of Communication, and the Technology Association of Georgia. Abstract Online learning has been part of the provision of university education since the emergence of the internet. However, in recent years, there have been more intensive efforts to marry together traditions of university learning and academic excellence with the flexibility and creative possibilities of online delivery. This paper summarises the benefits that Internet-enabled learning has brought to distance and off-campus university education in the past decade or more, noting that Australia has a rich history of distance education. The paper also explores the way in which the so-called Web 2.0 revolution in online affairs has, to some extent, created a false sense of novelty in online learning. Nevertheless, Web 2.0, with its emphasis on social media and user-generated content, has made a difference and opens up new approaches to learning. The paper concludes … Click to read more
Speaking in a couple of weeks at the Internet Research 12.0 conference ‘Performance and Participation’ My paper, Web 2.0 from the ground up: defining the participatory web in its own terms, is based on an analysis using Leximancer of 750,000+ words used to describe 12,000+ Web 2.0 applications. Some of the fun I am having includes generating dubious yet intriguing infographics…. However, I am still struggling to find the right way to explain how I get from this to what I seek to conclude, concerning the way the discourse of Web 2.0, very much a language of computing, is now reshaping our sense of self.
This presentation was given at the Oxford Internet Institute, May 4 2011 A full version of the presentation, substantially revised and retitled will be appearing in New Media and Society
Disclaimer: Live blogging Growing Knowledge: what is the future of research? (details) A Times Higher Education debate hosted by the British Library, featuring Matthew Gamble, David Gauntlett, Alex Krotoski, Ben Hickey and chaired by Phil Baty. Phil Baty starts the debate: it is fundamentally about the way that IT will profoundly change the nature of research. Introduces the speakers. Hickey (A-level student) Has grown up surrounded by network technologies and assumes they will be crucial at his time at university. he ponders however whether the research collaboration between people and computers might lead more traditional people to question the validity of his work because the boundaries between him as researcher and technology are indeterminate. [Cyborg researcher?]. perhaps universities, because of their traditional outlook, may hinder learning and research. On the other hand maybe technology creates too narrow a vision and the voice of experience from earlier times can shed revealing light on a problem. Points to a problem – younger people with whom Hickey spoke are largely uninterested in universities and research, seeing it as irrelevant and distanced from the real-world problems they face. What is revealing about Hickey’s contribution is the way in which someone who have grown … Click to read more
In 2009 I ran a series of workshops as the first main component of my ALTC Fellowship to group brainstorm and analyse ideas about online learning and web 2.0 technologies. During these workshops, so many good ideas were raised that I felt compelled to write up a report distilling the wisdom of more than 200 participants at 7 locations so that it might provide something of a guide for others. At the same time, as I reflected on the workshops and what happened within them, I realised that they gave me an insight into the discourse of e-learning and Web 2.0 versions thereof in contemporary Australian higher education. Thus, I have also reported my responses to and analysis of those workshops. It’s one reason why the report has taken a while to produce and finalise. Finally, then, here is the report Innovative Education Online: Ideas for the future of learning & the Internet My thanks again to everyone who attended and helped organise these events.