Learning and knowledge building with Web 2.0 technologies: implications for teacher education

Terry King, Emma Duke-Williams, G. Mottershead

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Findings from research studies carried out during 2001-2007 at the University of Portsmouth, UK , with online MSc students using Knowledge Forum ®(KF) software provided impressive evidence of the formation of knowledge building communities (KBC’s). Since 2005, as part of studies on the Internet with Web 2.0 environments, research has been carried out with undergraduates using the educational blogging and social networking environment Elgg® , to investigate its potential for learning. Findings from student groups over the two years, 2007-2009, using data from postings, focus groups and interviews, demonstrated that there was also tentative evidence of the formation of a KBC in Elgg®. Interim results from two other investigations, a study carried out in 2008-2009 at the University of Cardiff using the micro-blogging environment Twitter for community formation and learning by professional journalism students, and a recent staff survey at the University of Portsmouth into the personal and professional use of Web 2.0 by lecturers, offer key insights into how such technologies offer a new route to learner collaboration and the possible impact on teaching staff. This paper seeks to draw together findings from all these studies to discuss the implications for the development of educational practices in Higher Education towards a student experience which is rich in authenticity and can lead to knowledge creation and innovation. It will deal explicitly with student demands and expectations, the growing participation culture, aspects of privacy and control in social networking, and the changing role of teachers and lectures, and make recommendations for teacher training and preparing University teachers for cultural change.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2009
EventKnowledge Building Summer Institute, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, August - Palma, Mallorca
Duration: 29 Aug 20092 Sept 2009


ConferenceKnowledge Building Summer Institute, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, August
CityPalma, Mallorca


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