I’m following a lot of discussions about how the use of Web 2.0 technology is going to help the students learn. On this page I found an interesting conversation: (2cents) “I think that it has a lot more to do with what they are doing with the technology — and more than that, it’s what they are doing with the information. We need to start doing a much better job of visualizing and describing what learning 2.0 actually looks like.”
This brings me back to co-operative learning. I keep coming back to the use of co-operative learning in class. Together with the use of technology in class, but also outside class, collaborating is the key factor. It is important to engage the students in the activities. To collect material, to analyze the information and process it with others. To work on documents and wiki’s, posting comments and adding information with the help of the teacher. It is important not to leave the students on their own, but guide them and help them understand the material and ask the right questions. To gather information is not the problem for the students. But to process, categorize, and summarize their findings, are areas where they need help! I think letting the students gather information before the teachers starts introducing the topics is a good way to get the attention of the students and also help get them engaged in the subject!
Some of my students did this task: they listened to this lecture that Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Kansas State University gave in Florida. I asked them to listen and write a comment on their web logs and to title it: What students want. You can read some of the web logs here: Kristian, Carina, Karianne, Marianne.