Can Teaching Learn from Web 2.0?

I found an interesting article that talks about Web 2.0, teaching, and learning; Teaching can Learn from Web 2.0. It discusses a keynote given by John Seely Brown; a consultant and former chief scientist at Palo Alto Research Center. Seely Brown spoke at a conference on technology and education at MIT earlier this month. The speech discusses Web 2.0 technologies’ place in education, and the potential for these technologies to help transform traditional pedagogical methods. As trendy and buzz-like as Web 2.0 is, I think it holds great potential for a positive shift from system-centered focus to user-centered focus, given that Web 2.0 technologies goals are usually interested in the ‘social-ness’, ‘open-ness’, collaboration, community, simplicity, etc.

Now, in regard to education, given the complexity of higher education as a socio-technical system, technology alone does not have the power to change it, but my hope is that Web 2.0 can help represent a new mindset, and could act as a catalyst to help administrators and educators leave behind old methods of 1-way transmission–‘sage-on-the-stage’–learning, and embrace new ways of teaching and learning- both with and without the use of technology. Because, IMHO, when you boil it down it’s not about the technology, it’s about the mindset, and perhaps Web 2.0 can help further shift the mindset?

For more on Web 2.0 and education, see my recent contribution to the Teach with Tech episode 16 podcast.


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