Web 2.0 in Schools Brings Some Benefits

Many sources are linking to the Becta study about the use of Web 2.0 technologies in British schools. While they discovered that most use occurs outside the classroom the schools that encouraged Web 2.0 technologies reported some benefits:

Web 2.0 helps to encourage student engagement and increase participation – particularly among quieter pupils, who can use it to work collaboratively online, without the anxiety of having to raise questions in front of peers in class – or by enabling expression through less traditional media such as video.

Teachers have reported that the use of social networking technology can encourage online discussion amongst students outside school.

Web 2.0 can be available anytime, anywhere, which encourages some individuals to extend their learning through further investigation into topics that interest them.

Pupils feel a sense of ownership and engagement when they publish their work online and this can encourage attention to detail and an overall improved quality of work. Some teachers reported using publication of work to encourage peer assessment.

It is tempting to think these effects also apply to higher education students. We will have to wait for definitive studies to confirm this, but one lives in hope.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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