Oooops on yesterday’s post

Yesterday, I waxed lyrically about the web 2.0 socially connected student pursuing active learning. Apparently, the student in the youtube vid is a minority accoridng to the this study from Scotland. Here’s some detail from the student interviews (my comments in italics) –

  • Mobile phones prevalent but some old generation (these are students, they can’t all afford to have the latest gizmos)
  • No one accessed internet via the phone (perceived high costs) (did I mention that students are not high level earners)
  • Limited use of laptops (how does a students work hours breakdown – in-class time, part time job, homework, sports and hobbies, computer use is just one aspect)
  • Low use and awareness of PDAs (even I cant justify the cost of a PDA)
  • Low use of digital cameras (“I’d loose it or break it”, “I’d never print anything off it”) (most phones, even the older ones, have a camera. Good that they’re not printing anything, there’s too much paper in circulation as is)
  • VLE used as a repository of course materials (nothing wrong per se with this)
  • Students don’t fully understand the potential (“technology-rich environment”) and are happy with current way VLE is used (not entirely my experience)
  • Inconsistent use of VLE by lecturers confusing to students. “the lecturer went on WebCT religiously every single night to answer people’s questions, so he was really good at doing that, but I think that’s the standard we all through everybody else would follow.” (Point taken , inconsistent use is a problem and causes confusion. On the other hand, keeping VLE interactivity going is difficult and time consuming for lecturers)

  • Students prefer to use their own tools to contact peers. (Students enter college fluent in Bebo, it works for them, so why should they change or see a need to change).
  • “I never use forums and stuff like that because sometimes you just go on and it’s like months old and they just stay up there forever and nobody visits them”. (rule number 1 of web site content management – if your stuff’s out of date and stays out of date then you can’t have a reasonable expectation of an audience)

Never heard of:

  • blogs (not my experience with my students)
  • social networking sites MySpace/Bebo (not my experience with my students)
  • Google Scholar (not my experience with my students)
  • Wikipedia (not my experience with my students)
  • podcasts (not my experience with my students)
  • Mobile proved popular for ; organising meetings for group assignments, collaborating on group projects, supporting each other during exams, recording lectures, text messaging vs email (this is encouraging, very suggestive of strong cohesion and closeness in a group)
  • IM vs discussion fora; “There’s a lot of people on the course and I wouldn’t really speak to everyone. I would only speak to only about six or seven people so I just keep them on MSN”. (I take it back about my comment on the last bullet. Goes to show, the bigger the class the less they feel like a cohesive tight community)
  • Wikipedia: Passive rather than active use (students don’t actively contribute to Wikipedia ). I have used [Wikipedia] quite a lot but I thought that was a sort of authorised thing and then somebody pointed out to me that people go and edit it themselves, so I sort of veered away from it after that because I wasn’t too sure really how accurate the information would be”. (good to see students being critical about what they read on the internet)
  • Blogs and SNS viewed primarily as recreational tools, not suitable for learning. Students view blogs as a personal diary rather than a personal web publishing tool. (this is how students are first introduced to these tools and how they have started to use them. Sometimes students don’t see the conceptual leap until it is pointed out to them and they are encouraged to take up the challenge.)
  • Students look to lecturers for cues. “If [lecturers] found a way for everyone to use them then it would be quite good” . “If they taught us a bit about it before just saying go and do it”. (see last bullet about needing to give the right nudge at the right time. If you build it, they won’t necessarily come)
  • Collaborative forms of learning (and tools) viewed less beneficial than lectures. “I am not really bothered by what other groups are doing. I know what my group is doing and sometimes I think something else might be quite conflicting or put us off course… we work with case studies so we might take a different approach to it than the other group and for everybody to share their knowledge might cause confusion or make it harder”. (this is rather worrying, a key aspect of education is to realise that there is no right perfect answer. Debate and discussion about differences of opinion can open minds to alternative ways of thinking and enhancing one’s knowledge base. It’s worrying that this might be seen as confusion forming)

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Posted on December 15, 2008, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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