McLoughlin, C. & Lee, M. (2007). Social software and participatory learning: Pedagogical choices with technology affordances in the Web 2.0 era. ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning. Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007

Somewhat breathless about the Web 2.0 hype.

Social software tools such as blogs, wikis, social networking sites, media sharing applications and social bookmarking utilities are also pedagogical tools that stem from their affordances of sharing, communication and information discovery.

These affordances stimulate the development of a participatory culture in which there is genuine engagement and communication, and in which members feel socially connected with one another.

Learning management systems (LMS’s) that integrate geographically dispersed learners in asynchronous educational interactions have been widely available for a number of years. However, many higher education institutions are discovering that new models of teaching and learning are required to meet the needs of a new generation of learners. Today’s students seek greater autonomy, connectivity and socio- experiential learning.

The PLE is an example of such a learning environment, in which learners manage their own learning by selecting, integrating and using various software tools and services. It provides contextually appropriate toolsets by enabling individuals to adjust and choose options based on their needs and circumstances, resulting in (ideally) a model where learner needs, rather than technology, drive the learning process.

Downes (2005)1 describes a learning environment as an approach, not an application, one that protects and celebrates identity, supports multiple levels of socialising and encourages the development of communities of inquiry. The PLE is an example of such a learning environment, in which learners manage their own learning by selecting, integrating and using various software tools and services. It provides contextually appropriate toolsets by enabling individuals to adjust and choose options based on their needs and circumstances, resulting in (ideally) a model where learner needs, rather than technology, drive the learning process.

Many earlier e-learning efforts simply replicated traditional models of learning and teaching in online environments; by contrast, Web 2.0 tools and technologies offer rich opportunities to move away from the highly-centralised industrial model of learning of the past decade, towards achieving individual empowerment of learners through designs that focus on collaborative, networked communication and interaction (Rogers, Liddle, Chan, Doxey & Isom, 20072 ; Sims, 20063

Current views of learning regard the notion of a teacher-dominated classroom and curriculum as obsolete, and embrace learning environments and approaches where students take control of their own learning, make connections with peers, and produce new insights and ideas through inquiry. Thus, to keep pace with the content creation processes enabled by Web 2.0 and social software, it appears to be necessary to go beyond the acquisition and participation dichotomy.

Pedagogy 2.0? Really? That phrase almost invalidates anything else of worth in this paper. Breathless 2.0 bullshit. Actually, screw it. I can’t read the rest of this paper. It just keep going on and on and on about Pedagogy 2.0…

  1. Downes, S. (2005). E-learning 2.0. ELearn, Oct. http://www.elearnmag.org/subpage.cfm?section=articles&article=29-1 []
  2. Rogers, P.C., Liddle, S.W., Chan, P., Doxey, A. & Isom, B. (2007). Web 2.0 learning platform: Harnessing collective intelligence. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 8(3), 16-33. http://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr/tojde27/pdf/article_1.pdf []
  3. Sims, R. 2006. Online distance education: New ways of learning; new modes of teaching? Distance Education. 27:2. []