In the 21st century, learning and Internet-based technologies are becoming increasingly interwoven. For a growing proportion of children in the developed world, blogs, social networking, multiplayer online games, and instant messaging systems are figuring significantly in their daily lives (Sefton-Green, 2004; Somekh, 2004). Education systems have, for a long time, recognized the potential of technology to enhance and enrich teaching and learning; however, the realization of that potential has more often than not been disappointing (Cuban, 2001; Somekh, 2001). In Australia, we continue to receive strong statements from the Government about the educational importance of integrating ICT into teaching and learning (cf. Learning in an Online World, MCEETYA, 2005); but the reality is, schools and universities are struggling to achieve such goals.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Zing: A collaborative software system that allows groups of user to meet and work together either face-to-face or online. Zing is a form of a group decision support system.
Multiplayer Online Games: Internet-based computer games that allows large numbers of users to play together in the same virtual arena.
Blog: An online journal or diary where entries or postings are displayed in reverse chronological order (e.g., http://edublogs.org or http://blogger.com ).
Social Networking: A generic term for Internet-based systems that allow users to create communities based around shared interests for the purposes of sharing and exchange.
Web2.0: An emerging suite of second-generation Internet-based software systems that allow users to form communities of interest for the purposes of sharing and exchange.
Cloud Tag: A weighted-frequency list of popular tags or keywords. Often used in social networking systems to visualise the activity of the community.
Elgg: An open source software system designed to allow users to create social networks for sharing resources. It has been developed by Ben Werdmuller and David Tosh.