Can you teach web2.0?

There was a buzzing tweet between BitBoutique, @thbernhardt, @mebner and @lgxxl inspiring me for this post, because this topic gains up in ceveral contexts and contents, how to handle it when your students doesn’t seem to be willing learning web2.0. Like a fortune @cristinacost asked for feedback on an essay here. And in fact both are related on one point. How to get out the right way spreading the new possibilities and understanding of ICT to other people not have been in contact before.

So going to the headlined question I abstract for me – it would need a bit more deep thinking to get the right and adequate answer and maybe more than beeing able to get through this post.   So see this as an impulse for more thoughts which could be shared.  

The doubts – A Provocation

Getting this question as a abstract formulation would bring me to the first association i had as an answer: No, you can’t teach web2.0. I’m in doubt, if you fill the term web2.0 with all the technological tools even if you can teach one single tool. Maybe I cannot teach podcasting if I translate teaching in the traditional way of informing or informational transportation. Cristina used the verb preach, which maybe describe what is behind: Offering information without reaching the hearts. Furthermore if there would be somewhere a lesson plan containing web2.0 what would be inside? What would be behind? Which tools? – Why? Aimed to which situation? To bring up my frustrating conclusion: Web2.0 is a buzzy, yummy, pudding like term  everytime you seem to got at a glance he’s been developed in another direction. How to teach something which is itself changing in his meaning from subject to subject – from person to person – from context to context. And going to my personal understanding of the term – the changed use of the web-based ICT – which includes participative as far as user generated content, networked and creative information – cooperativity and world wide – (transregional – transnational – and transcontinental, last but not least transcultural) exchange and sharing of information and its assumption – all leads to the fact: There are as much understandings behind the web2.0 – or particularized eleraning2.0 terms as users are out. Everybody who is active has its own way through this journey and its own story to tell. Finally you wont be able to bring up even a part of those experiences  in traditional settings. 

The big but – (Lent from the german spelling „Das große ABER“.)

I would like to be last one who want to fall behind those times elearning2.0 reached seminares, classes, schools and institutions.  But usually how do we argue in educational situations, got in touch with the question: Why you are doing this? And maybe a bit more quietly than the provocation above I’ll try to get my point there: Maybe all of the educational efforts and concepts start with the reflection on the aims, which should be reached, should be touched and should be transformed. For sure there are more than one possible strategy getting your students in touch to the world outside the keyboard. Related to your deep understanding of the aim there is maybe a reflection on the possible method a good chance.

The Aims can be on the media literacy matter as well as on the subject matter itself. To explain the subject matter: Going through the thought, which has been shared by peoples like @jeanpaul, and well presented by peoples like @cristianspannagel If you are able to explain your content via a media-tool of your choice you got sooo deeep in the subject, you got the content itself learned and transformed. (Providing the buzzword Learning_by_teaching) It could be also aim in get the activists in collaboration, cooperation, participation, communication? There this could be clustered in some dimensions like teacher-learner, learner-learner, teacher/learner-public…. inner and outer circle. Those things can be explored from a startpoint to the public as a dynamic field of exploration and expectation.   

„…Git on Board little children git on board…“

Trying to cluster such aims, we are bound between „You-have-to-because it–will–be–part-on-your-Future“ or „Explore-you-might-get-the-sense“. Or what about: „Everybody-wants-to-be-famous“ as one pole dimensioning to „your-voice-or-opinion-is-important“ as the other. What about a spectrum between „experience-rooted-information/learning“ versus „scientific-assured-information“ for each choice there will be a need for a different methodical way sto get those on board.  Or what about: „Infiltration“ versus „Explication“? Infiltration could mean: Independent of a choice of tool just a subject has to be shared Explication could contain an explicit in depth exporation of one tool of web2.0. 

And determined of the aim – te exaples are outside. 

Conclusion: Can you teach web2.0? 

Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it will rock, Maybe it could frustrate. Imagine you would like to get those in the value of web2.0 like you have explored before: Remember the long journey you took with all your fails – and hoorays. Remember you could teach even your experience of web2.0 which long journey your students would have to go. Remember you would like to teach the possibilities of the tools – you can just invite getting on board. You can prepare – they have to get on board themselve. For instance I got my first real experience in a moment i felt myself recognized. Just recognized – thats a lot as present by readers, listeners. But its not more.  But it was enough to explain the value it haves to me. The Immediate Value – i think this is the key. Learning offers where the participants will get the immediate selfvalue of their doing. And maybe get valued by the recognition of others, but at the first moment this is the bonus pack.   So if you want to teach Web2.0 make sure you explain web2.0 are not the tools. There is more behind!

So far my view on the topic. 


Update 09.01.2008: Thomas Bernhardt brachte sich fast zeitgleich mit diesem Post auf eLearning2Null in die Diskussion ein.

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