K-12 School Computer Networking/Chapter 25/Implementing Web 2.0 and Distance Learning for K-12 Language and Literacy Development – An Overview of Some Benefits and Precautions
Blogs and Wikis for K-12 Language and Literacy Development
By Daisuke Funai
The proliferation of electronic devices is becoming increasingly apparent to anyone who has stepped inside an American school in recent years. Even in the nation’s inner-cities, many students flaunt their iPods and sidekicks and display a fluency in all things digital. These digital natives are growing up in an exciting new world, but the ubiquity of new technology and the most recent developments on the World Wide Web—increasing the capacity for more people to publish and participate online—present new social, cultural and educational challenges and implications (Palfrey & Gasser, 2008). The context in which education was (at least conceived to be) confined within the walls of a classroom has shifted to a more globally connected reality, in which the innovative uses of technology highlight the fact that learning occurs all around us. Indeed, Web 2.0 has opened doors to distance learning and foreshadowed, for some, a refinement of the learning process altogether. Yet despite the inherent educational qualities of Web 2.0 applications and software, their adaptation for formal educational practices has had varying results (Bernard et al., 2004). In light of the shifting identities stemming from the advent of these revolutionary features of Web 2.0, it is imperative that educators are cognizant of both the benefits and consequences of using them to promote learning and ultimately, to promote cross-cultural awareness. This section provides a brief overview of two features of Web 2.0—blogs and wikis—that may be useful for promoting literacy and language acquisition through K-12 distance learning projects, while considering technical and social benefits and precautions. Through this brief exposition, it is hoped that the concluding section will provide a starting point for further reflection and consideration of how these technologies are impacting the lives of generations new and old.
Defining Web 2.0 and Distance Learning
Selected Features of Web 2.0 for Distance Learning
For Further Consideration
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