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course designs for web 2.0 tools

September 12, 2007

Recently i have had some thoughts and discussions with Sebastian Fiedler and Terje Väljataga about courses with web 2.0 tools in higher education. The question is, that although we intend to use social software for educational purposes..it doesn’t go that simple that we just teach how to blog, write wiki or so on.
These are only means, offering new environment for something meaningful we want to achieve. What would it be what we should stream for and where should the emphasis of the course be so that it meaningfully integrated web 2.0 tools? Content generation? Projectwork? Self-direction? Social retrieval patterns? Networking? Dealing with challenges?

We have tested in spring self-direction as the course focus, which brings along the nessecity to investigate social software from the affordance perspective when building personal or collaborative landscapes of web 2.0 tools for conductig certain activity patterns. This focus has worked out quite effectively, we are continuing running the same course…but

as we know this works there is a temptation to shift focus and try out something new.

One idea we briefly talked with Terje is what if to focus on the development, social retrieval and contextualization of new media objects in activity patterns. This idea is a continuation of what we have tested already at individual and team-learning level when students created complex landscapes and integrated their activity patterns with these by evoking certain affordances of the integrated environment.

The advancement is to highlight the role of media objects in the patterns.
Secondly, what is the role of these media objects for the users, how they contectualize and interpret objects in social networks? (This relates with my previous thinking that we should not talk of social networks that consist only of people, but of people and objects networks).
Thirdly, it is interesting, how the affordances of the environment and affordances of the media objects interrelate and influence each other?

So, the course could be of the distributed actvity systems in which we emphaise the role of media objects – their creation, roles in the activity, how media objects trigger new lines of activity patterns, how the environment with its affordances supports learning process with media objects etc.

Ok, it seems there are enough ideas to try it out and study.

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