16 SES 08 B, Social Media and Learning
Parallel Paper Session
Information and communication technology (ICT) is increasingly being incorporated into universities’ everyday teaching and learning practices. Several approaches have been used to develop lectures into more interactive and collaborative direction (Murphy & Sharma, 2010). Lecture teaching has been developed, for example, with different electronic voting systems (Puranen et al., 2009), discussions in different electronic forms (Murphy & Sharma, 2010) and with shared online lecture notes (Valtonen et al., 2011). However, large lecture halls continue to prove challenging in terms of activating students to discuss, share their ideas and report those during the lectures. A productive collaboration is challenging, although it has been seen significant in social constructivist learning process since the 1990’s (Dillenbourg, 1999).
Mobile technologies (laptops, tablet computers, smart phones etc.) using wireless networks consolidate and extend the possibilities for interaction and collaboration during lectures (see e.g. Valtonen et al., 2011). Even though some of the assumptions about the net generation have been challenged (Bennett et al., 2008; Bullen et al., 2009), today’s students are generally comfortable with using the Internet and mobile technologies. In addition, they use social software commonly for sharing their everyday life experience. Thus, mobile technologies and social software seem to be relevant to apply in studying in lecture halls. When mobile technologies are available in lecture halls, students have access to social software suitable for the learning practices used. They can participate and collaborate by producing contents, by voting etc. Again, these contents can be shared online or by the lecturer via the lecture hall screen. In both cases, students’ unique ideas and interpretations can be captured and brought up in order to use them as a source for further learning to support students’ collaborative learning.
In this paper we describe how the social software tool Blogger was used to encourage teacher students to solve different problems collaboratively on a course on primary science education. The aim of the case study was to clarify the following questions:
1. Does Blogger provide an accurate tool for collaborative problem solving tasks during lectures?
2. How do students assess the approach/tool in terms of their learning process?
3. How does the teacher assess the approach/tool in terms of teaching?
Bennett, S., Maton, K., & Kervin, L. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39 (5), 775–786. Bullen, M., Morgan, T., Belfer, K., & Qayyum, A. (2009). The Net Generation in Higher Education: Rhetoric and Reality. International Journal of Excellence in E-Learning, 2(1). Dillenbourg, P. (1999). What do you mean by collaborative learning? In Collaborative-Learning: Cognitive and Computational Approaches (ed. P. Dillenbourg), pp. 1–19. Elsevier, Oxford. Murphy, R. & Sharma, N. (2010). What don’t we know about interactive lectures? Seminar.net – International Journal of Media, Technology and Lifelong Learning, 6(1), 111–119. Puranen, T., Helfenstein, S. & Lappalainen, V. (2009). InSitu – Technical Description and Preliminary Evaluation of a TCP/IP Connection-based Teaching and Learning Communication System. Paper presented at eLAC 2009 – Conference. Valtonen, T. Havu-Nuutinen, S., Dillon, P. & Vesisenaho, M. (2011). Facilitating collaboration in lecture-based learning through shared notes using wireless technologies. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(6), 575–586
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