The main difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is instead of the publisher pushing content to the consumer, consumers now share content with each other. From an educational standpoint, this new method is significantly more useful. People can share their own ideas, opinions, and perspectives instead of relying on one source of information. This interactive component enables people to share knowledge with each other and helps maximize user participation.
Web 2.0 is also transforming our learning process. Universities can teach hundreds of thousands of students through online courses. In Edtechtimes: "How the Internet is Revolutionizing Education", the article notes the University of Phoenix enrolls over 500,000 students online! That is amazing!
Additionally, the costs of education is becoming increasingly affordable. Students are now able to search for online programs, which fit their budget, without leaving their homes to pay for room and board.
Online education is also expanding the student demographic. The article states, "over 50% of online users are 26 or older" (like me). Students are now able to access education and design their structure to suit their needs.
One of my favorite quotes is the following: "75% of public higher learning institutions have online learning in their long term plans. By 2019, it is estimated that over 50% of all classes taught will be delivered online, and many of these will be available for free." This statistic is a testament to providing affordable education to larger audience. Exciting times ahead...
In the "7th Annual Learning Tools Survey", 500 + professionals in over 58 countries voted on the top 2013 learning tools. Jane Hart compiled a list of the top 100.
'A learning tool is a tool for your own personal or professional learning or one you use for teaching or training.'
Here is a list of the top 10:
2.) Google Drive / Docs
4.) Google Search
10.) Google + & Hangouts
I was surprised to see how often I already use these tools. Out of 10, I currently use 8 nearly every day. I've never really thought of Facebook, YouTube or Twitter as "learning tools" but I can't argue the fact they provide information on a daily basis. In fact, I'm regularly re-posting or sharing material to colleagues, friends and family.
In Zeynel Cebeci and Mehmet Tekdal’s (2006), Using Podcasts as Audio Learning Objects, the subject of audio casting in education is discussed. Cebeci and Tekdal define "Podcasting or audiocasting is a simple realization of audio content syndication that mainly targets mobile digital devices via audioblogs on the Web." (pg. 1).
In recent years, the debate of podcasting as an educational tool has been debated. As mentioned by Professor Bruce Thorton in Getting their iLessons from the FresnoBee.com, "Learning is a human thing, and learning means humans getting together in the same place," he said. "It's looking at the face, getting the vibe from the inflection of the professor's voice, the gestures, the eyes, the live enthusiasm." Others feel students can receive information similarly through an ipod, smartphone, mp3 etc. Additionally, students can hit "play", "rewind" or "pause" at any time. For example, some students are parents and have responsibilities with their kids preventing perfect classroom attendance. In said scenario, tuning into a podcast and taking notes can make up for a missed class.
Podcasting can also be incredibly valuable for homework outside of class. Some teachers prefer to use class time for presentations or group discussions and don't have time for long lectures. Deborah L. Vess’ (2005), History to Go: Why iTeach with iPods states that, "There is also an advantage for students in that they can review podeasts, whereas classroom presentations are a more linear experience that students cannot repeat once they are completed. Another advantage of using podcasts is that class time is freed up for discussion and higher order learning activities. Although my course had only eight students in it, due to the intense discussions I demand of students, we could not complete eight presentations in a three-hour
session. The availability of the presentations on the podcasts before the class allowed us to focus on important issues, trends, and historiographical theories that otherwise might have gone unexplored." (pg.5)
I personally feel there must be a balance. At this stage, I still find considerable value in face to face lectures and in person conversation. However, I acknowledge and personally experience the flexibility podcasts provide people. As a Coach, it's imperative to stay current and educate myself on the most effective methods to teach.
In Elon University's study of "Generation Always-On", tech experts around the world predict on how these teens to mid 20's will benefit / suffer by 2020.
While none of us have a crystal ball, we share predictions on how this world of technology will impact future generations. Some may feel excitement and anticipation with instant access to a sea of information and endless opportunities to communicate. However, we can't help feel a bit nervous as brains are being "re-wired". As Marcel Bullinga wrote, “Teens find distraction while working, distraction while driving, distraction while talking to the neighbors. Parents and teachers will have to invest major time and efforts into solving this issue – silence zones, time-out zones, meditation classes without mobile, lessons in ignoring people.”
I've witnessed the transformation over the past several years. Working with kids allows me to see the younger generations become increasingly attached to their cell phones (even if they're only 10 years old). As soon as practice finishes, they immediately grab their phone to see what they've missed on Social Media.
The different paths of communication can be endlessly distracting resulting in short attention spans. As someone connected to Facebook, Instagram, Email, G-Chat, etc. I'm easily accessible and when a message is received, I'm immediately distracted. Over the past year, I've forced myself to disconnect in order to focus for longer periods of time.
People currently rely on the internet to solve problems and conduct their personal and professional lives. Moving forward, the internet will shape the minds of future generations. We must tread carefully and ensure future generations can excel in both worlds.
Nicole A Buzzeto-More wrote an article titled, "Social Networking in Undergraduate Education." Her main focus is exploring social media systems (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as instructional tools in the education sector. Are they effective?
Through her qualitative research at a particular school with a largely diverse demographic, Nicole found the majority of students prefer the use of Social Networking Systems like Facebook. She also feels faculty members should be adopt the use of Social Networking to build stronger learning communities and student engagement.
While the data collected is from only one school, I can personally relate with my experiences. Since Facebook came out in 2004, I've actively participated and witnessed the site blossom into a social phenomenon. Initially, I used the "The Facebook" to connect with all my college friends to simply look at their profiles. Once instant messaging and group pages became available, I started to notice the power of networking and building interpersonal relationships.
I believe students who prefer the use of Social Networking Systems are currently interested and engaged in Social Media. And since the majority of our youth are exposed to such media, I agree we should supplement social networking as a learning tool to help foster relationships and build communities.
This post is a reflection of Marcus Buckingham's speech on being strengths focused. Buckingam argues a common myth about individuals focusing more on their weaknesses vs their strengths. He states that less than 2 out of 10 people are working towards their strengths on a daily basis. While he doesn't feel we should completely ignore our weaknesses, he does believe we should spend more time with our strengths.
Personally, I feel my "sweet spot" in coaching is having a philosophy and vision and effectively communicating / teaching that vision to my players. This framework enables me to implement specific technical and tactical concepts to each individual within our team. It also provides players a clear understanding of their roles within the team structure.
Another sweet spot is motivating and empowering athletes to maximize their potential. By utilizing previous playing experience and recent coaching education, I'm able to inspire and challenge players to reach their next level. Planning training sessions to push players both physically and mentally is a constant goal.
Lastly, I feel my communication skills in guiding and leading both players and parents is a strong suit. When either seek advice, about any topic specific to soccer, I'm confident I'll provide the proper feedback and advise them appropriately and honestly.
One area I feel completely out of my strengths is motivating those athletes who aren't self-motivated. It's much easier to inspire athletes who are self-driven and have the desire to improve. But that's a small percentage. My goal is to find unique methods to engage and empower these types of players as they account for a much greater percentage of athletes.