April 20, 2009

Web 2.0 & Higher Education

I just read the short article, "Why Is Web 2.0 Important to Higher Education?", and this quote in particular caught my attention:
To make the transition from a predominant lecture format to a more "studio" approach to learning requires trust that students really are curious and really do want to engage in learning. Let's not assume the teacher is in competition with the students for control, let's instead assume that teachers and students really want to cooperate, the human trait that is most central to our survival.
The article and comments that accompany it really highlight to me the significance of considering the more philosophical underlying principles about how people teach & learn. What is knowledge? What is content? What is an expert? What is the value/purpose of a degree or one class, for that matter? It seems to me that these most basic assumptions predispose teachers and curriculum designers to either engage learners and empower them with technology or simply teach at students with token uses of technology that reinforce a more traditional view of delivering knowledge.

Like so many articles published on the web, the comments posted by readers are at least as interesting to me as the article itself. Actually, what I'm realizing is that I seek more than an article or blog post. I want the more complete conversation that results from many readers posting their own reflections, reactions and ideas in response. And that, after all, is one of the most fundamental attributes of Web 2.0.

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