Creative Networks of Practice Using Web 2.0 Tools

Creative Networks of Practice Using Web 2.0 Tools

Jukka Orava (Media Centre, Finland) and Pete Worrall (Media Consultant, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/jvple.2011010103


This paper examines the professional implications for teachers and managers in new and evolving forms of professional development using Web 2.0 tools in a European context. Research findings are presented from the “Creative Use of Media” learning event developed through a European eTwinning Learning Lab initiative in spring of 2009. The Creative use of the Media online learning event supported a series of initiatives celebrating the European Year of Creativity and Innovation and involved 135 participants from 27 countries. The key objective was to introduce a range of learning themes constructed around a phenomenon-based inquiry model, which supported interdisciplinary approaches and collaborative online learning methodologies to stimulate new teaching and learning rationales. Digital Web 2.0 technology was used as an independent creative medium and as a powerful facilitating tool to enhance and blend with the more traditional forms of visual, audiovisual and multimedia inquiry. In developing models encapsulating risk taking and experimentation this online learning project supported a general principle that future education models and professional development would be based on social learning and “customer-driven collaborative knowledge building” in relation to open source materials.
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Communities Of Practice And Online Learning

Although Web 2.0 applications were not widely available in 1998, the theoretical concept and pedagogical models applied using ICT were learner oriented, focusing on collaborative and co-operative learning. Between 1998 and 2005 Jukka Orava coordinated the European Schoolnet's Virtual School Art Department developing an extensive range of online projects in cross cultural contexts (Orava, 2006). During this time early theoretical concepts were built around experiential learning (Kolb, 1984; Räsänen, 1997) and problem based learning, in a socio-constructivist knowledge paradigm.

A web-based online learning structure had also been developed in 1998 for the University of Art and Design Helsinki (UIAH) as a learning model and concept for media education and web-based media related studies (1998-2007) for teacher training in art. These learning models and structures were further developed and implemented through international curriculum development partnerships between Schools’ of Art at the University of Art and Design Helsinki (UIAH), the University of Central England in Birmingham (UCE) and the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil (Worrall, 2000; Davies, et al., 2003; Orava, 2006). In contrast to the popular models of online learning developed over the last ten years, that could be described as highly organized and reliant on the use of professional learning management systems, our models harnessed the web based sources and built upon specifically tailored structures using ordinary web pages (Orava, 2006). The use of web pages and standard code, (HTML, PHP and CGI-programming) kept the focus away from the learning management system, allowing users to concentrate fully on the learning process and develop online learning as a collaborative, holistic and integrated process resulting in collaborative knowledge creation.

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