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Teaching with Technology

Interdisciplinary Training for Journalism and Computer Science Students

The afternoon session at ECREA 2016 starts with a paper by Gunilla Hultén. She presents Storylab, a collaborative project with Svenska Dagbladet, one of the major daily newspapers in Sweden. This brought together journalism and computer science students and their educators with journalists and editors at the newspaper.

A Few Belated Additions

Hello, blog – it’s been a while. I’m afraid I’ve been a bit slack in updating this site with recent events, so I’ve just made a number of rather belated additions. I’m about to head off to Europe again soon to present at a number of conferences, too (more on that in a separate post shortly), so expect the usual conference blogging again then; for now, though, let’s catch up on some recent news.

Part of my tardiness here is related to the Mapping Online Publics project, which is incredibly active at the moment. It now combines our major ARC Discovery project with a couple of ATN-DAAD-funded collaborations with researchers at the universities of Münster and Düsseldorf in Germany, as well as a CCI-internal project on Media Ecologies and Methodological Innovation. Much of our recent focus has been on social media in crisis communication, and I’ve now added a number of recent presentations to this blog:

Different Layers of Web Presence (and Teaching Them)

The next session at ANZCA 2009 starts with Matt Allen, reflecting on the concept of Web presence, not least in the context of teaching and learning. (I'm afraid I missed out on Jack Qiu's keynote as I was talking to colleagues from the ABC's Pool project.) Web presence is operating as an organising device for Matt's students in Internet Studies at Curtin University, and he has an Australian Learning and Teaching Council project on authentic assessment using Internet tools. Finally, learning is a form of knowledge work, and the more knowledge becomes networked, so must learning - so, knowledge networkers must ensure they have a Web presence that is both centred and decentred.

Two Reports on Learning and Teaching with Social Media

It must be reporting season - in addition to the major "Social Media: State of the Art" report which we'll soon publish through the Smart Services CRC, two final reports from (what used to be called) Carrick Institute teaching and learning projects which I was involved in during 2007 and 2008 have been released recently. (The Carrick Institute has since been renamed the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.) I really can't take much credit here, though - my gradual and continuing transition to a very research-heavy workload has meant that my teaching activities have increasingly had to take a back seat. So, congratulations should go to:

Learning and Teaching in the Digital Age

Key Publications:

Research Projects:

  • Digital Learning Communities (Carrick Institute Grant, 2007)
  • CCC Literacies (QUT Large Teaching & Learning Grant, 2005/6)

Related Topics:

Political Wikis, Wiki Politics

The next session this second day of WikiSym 2007 is on political wikis, but opens with a paper by Renée-Marie Fountain on co-constructed development via communal constructivism in an educational environment. She begins with a nod towards the idea of the wisdom of the crowds, and especially perhaps of student crowds which we touched upon yesterday, and notes that in constructivist approaches students are invited to construct learning for as well as with others. This pursues what can be described as 'impossible public goods'.

Using Wikis in Education

We're now starting the post-lunch session on the first day here at WikiSym 2007, and the first paper is by Andrea Forte and Amy Bruckman, who examine the use of wikis as a toolkit for collaborative learning. Andrea begins by noting tha there is a significant deficit in media literacy amongst high school students - they don't necessarily have sufficient skills to evaluate the information they're confronted with. She suggests constructionism as a pedagogic framework for building such literacies.

Constructionism has been articulated by Seymour Papert - he suggests that people learn particularly well when engaged in the construction of public artefacts: when others see what you know and have done, when you can take pride in the work, and when the work is persistent into the future. This connects very well with working with wikis, of course, but also goes beyond them - it builds on students working on personally meaningful goals, and harnesses learners as capable, curious, and tenacious active practitioners. Online, especially, there are constantly new opportunities to employ constructionist learning.

What Makes Wikis Work?

The next session here at WikiSym 2007 begins with a short paper by Sarah Guth from the University of Padua, on wikis in education. She's done some work using social software in teaching environments, and discusses the question of whether such teaching should take place in public or non-public social software environments. Using (public) wikis enables collective authoring (which enables critical reading and responsible writing); raises issues of individual and collective ownership (challenging conventional Western epistemologies of individual intellectual property); and highlights content as ego-less, time-less, and never finished while enabling continuous development. Publishing online also empowers students, and history and discussion functions focus on writing as process, not product.

Pedagogy 2.0

This Friday morning at AoIR 2007 I find myself in a pedagogy session, and Gary Natriello and Anthony Cocciolo have made a start. Their interest is in the effect of Web 2.0 learning environments on student learning. PocketKnowledge is one project which they've designed, in which users maintain a high level of control of their information, a high level of community trust, and a non-authoritative organisation of information, which ideally generates a playful attitude. Users create 'pockets' of information, and get to determine organisation, access and copyrights for this material, but user-to-user comments are also possible.

Building Collaborative Capacities in Learners: The M/Cyclopedia Project, Revisited (WikiSym 2007)

WikiSym 2007

Building Collaborative Capacities in Learners:
The M/Cyclopedia Project, Revisited

Axel Bruns and Sal Humphreys

  • 22 October 2007 - WikiSym 2007 conference, Montréal, Canada

This paper by Axel Bruns and Sal Humphreys for the International Symposium on Wikis in Montréal, 21-23 Oct. 2007, traces the evolution of a project using a wiki-based learning environment in a tertiary education setting. The project has the pedagogical goal of building learners' capacities to work effectively in the networked, collaborative, creative environments of the knowledge economy. The paper explores the four key characteristics of a 'produsage' environment and identifies four strategic capacities that need to be developed in learners to be effective 'produsers' (user-producers). A case study is presented of our experiences with the subject New Media Technologies, run at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. This progress report updates our observations made at the 2005 WikiSym conference.


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