Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Following a discussion about the difference between communities and networks, I was given a link to Stephen Downes, who describes and discusses the difference between these two concepts. Stephen's web site is an exciting resource for people wanting to know about Web 2.0 and e-learning. In particular I enjoyed a web cast that can be downloaded entitled 'Web 2.0 and Your Own Learning and Development'. It is a very simple explanation of the principles of learning and teaching using Web 2.0 as well as a overview of social networking tools such as blogs and wikis.
I would recommend it as a resource for students, especially
as an introduction to e-learning.
The elements that really resonated with me was the emphasis Stephen laid on the learner taking charge of his/her own learning. I have spent a lot of time thinking about how the teacher interacts with students. Is she a facilitator or curator? Does she take 3 stages, 5 levels or dance the okey dokey?! So its great to think about how I am as a learner, particularly as I am being challenged by the course I am doing at the moment. As I have said in a couple of posts, I feel as if I am on a rapidly speeding roundabout. But Stephen talks about how you must put yourself in the center of the web/information/resources/learning opportunities and pull content to you rather than allow it to be pushed onto you. I really like the idea of being at the center with things revolving around me-this is why I have the picture of the carnie or roustabout-he stands in the middle of the merry-go-round, controlling it. At last I feel as if I am taking control of the information out there by using tools such as Google Reader although I acknowledge there are still a number of steps I can take to improve my organization.
PS: How cool are web casts/podcasts!?! A brilliant tool for very busy people who lead unstructured lives such as midwives who are on call or work unsocial hours. I definitely want to learn how to make one!