Web 2.0 (Blogging, Social networking, Wikis etc)

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This image was part of a presentation at 'ePortfolios 2007', Maastricht in October 2007.

What is Web 2.0 and how could it support learning?


Web 2.0 represents a fundamental change in the use of the Internet from a medium mainly used for finding and viewing information to one which now also realising large-scale personal publishing and social networking. Web 2.0 tools (blogs, Wikis, social networking sites etc.) tend to be relatively unstructured, easy to publish in, have a high level of interaction, and self-assigned semantics (tagging), and they are often media rich.

Web 2.0 is great for chat, banter and networking, but is it any good for learning? This is still an area that needs a lot of research, but social networking clearly has applicability to group work and blogs could be used to support reflective learning.

Further information: Cotterill SJ, White A, Currant B. Using Web 2.0 to Support PDP PDP-UK, 2007, 12: 7-8.

How does Web 2.0 relate to ePortfolios?


The answer to this question partly depends on how you define 'ePortfolios' See our Definition of ePortfolio. It would be possible to say that a blog is essentially an unstructured portfolio and in that sense the two concepts have some overlap. However, for most purposes, portfolios require a level of structure (e.g. structured learning outcomes and pedagogy/'scaffolding').

Our approach with the ePET portfolio is to try and 'bridge the gap' by incorporating unstructured blogs and social networking, but then have the ability to directly relate blog entries to structured outcomes / skill sets - for selective inclusion in evidence summaries. See our short position paper:

Simon Cotterill, Paul Horner, Sue Gill, Tony McDonald, Paul Drummond, David Teasdale, Anne Whitworth, Geoff Hammond Beyond the Blog: getting the right level of structure in an ePortfolio to support learning. Proc. ePortfolios 2007, Maastricht.

See also Web 2.0 section of the Biblography on this site.

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Last Modified: 16/01/2008 by Simon