eTools n Tips: Wikis and Blogs, tools for learning

I facilitated a session today, the last in a series of eTools n Tips from the Framework.

It was about wikis and blogs and their application to learning

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You can view the slideshow here and the recorded Elluminate session here. I developed a wikipage for the session too.

As I put the presentation together, I realised that I had more working examples of wikis than of blogs — interesting. I raised this during the session as to why this might be:

  • blogging requires a longer term ‘investment’ by learners and teachers. This is currently difficult given our semester-by-semester model which often precludes any overarching use of tools like blogs that potentially stretch across semesters and indeed across subjects.
  • blogging is a process, and can effectively record an identity-forming process. This is totally dependent on the individual and moves at their pace of growth and development, not the pace at which the subject/course/semester runs – it’s bigger than that!
  • wikis perhaps are more easily understood in terms of their application; this may be due to our ongoing preoccupation with content and the development of content (as opposed to the development of interaction per se)

I was also keen to push the message that we must embed the technology within our teaching approaches (and see how this can alter our approaches too) and as integral to learner’s learning experiences, rather than tinkering at the edges trying to figure the technology out for itself. We need to move away from the urge to develop learning resources with ‘bells and whistles’ and see that it is in fact our learners who are the bells and whistles in our courses – it’s their learning after all!

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