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A blog about Social Learning, Instructional Design, Curriculum Development and Trends in Online Learning. 

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Steve Wheeler (@timbuckteeth) challenged educators today to go beyond the walls of their classroom and engage with a broader audience.

 

So don't limit yourself to seeing the four walls of your classroom as the full extent of your world. Reach further - and become a worldwide educator. You have the technology. Multi-media brought the world into your classroom. Social media will take your classroom into the world. 

 

Students are creating content and collaborating with peers and mentors to form learning networks. Social Learning takes advantage of many sources of content aggregated together into learning experiences and utilizes various tools including online references, courseware, knowledge management, collaboration and search. What are the tools and how can we use them? How can these tools can facilitate more effective communication, collaboration and learning?

 

Podcasting - Blogs - Wikis - Social Bookmarking - Video on Demand (VOD) Photo and Slidesharing - Virtual Worlds

 

Web 2.0 has signified the shift from the Information Age to the Age of Interaction; from one-way communication to two-way interaction encouraging communities instead of consumers or customers. Students today, sometimes called “Generation Y,” “Millenials,” or “Echo Boomers,” have grown up in a world shaped by the Internet and the constant introduction of new electronic devices. They integrate the latest technologies into the way they work, relax and socialize. For them, email is old school; “Millennials” relish the speed and mobility of text messaging.

 

Wireless and mobile technologies allow students to engage in field research and interact with other students in a classroom. Portable computing devices (hand-helds, PDA cell phones, Tablet PCs) and wireless networking connects participants in geographically diverse locations so they can communicate and collaborate on assignments. Mobile learning offers new opportunities to create and to connect.

 

Web 1.0 was the static, expert knowledge web. Web 2.0 is the interactive, user knowledge web, and, Web 3.0 is already being described as an always connected technology and total environment knowledge web.

 

Past generations made do with the telephone and television, today's generation has access to those devices plus video games, the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging, and videos and music that can be downloaded in an instant. The “Net Generation” has grown up in a wired world and they are digital, connected, experiential, and social (Oblinger, 2005).

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