The Impact of Web 2.0 in the Teaching and Learning Process

The Impact of Web 2.0 in the Teaching and Learning Process

Carolina Costa (University of Aveiro, Portugal), Leonor Teixeira (University of Aveiro, Portugal & Institute of Electronics and Telematics Engineering of Aveiro (IEETA), Portugal) and Helena Alvelos (University of Aveiro, Portugal & Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies (GOVCOPP) Research Unit, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8751-6.ch071
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Web 2.0 represents the second generation of the Web applications, based on online services collaboration and sharing that promote different ways of interaction between people. These applications provide several collaboration and communication opportunities, like social interaction, feedback, conversation, and networking, thus being a perfect environment for the teaching and learning context. The main goal of this chapter is to present the most used Web 2.0 tools, their major advantages and disadvantages, and their specificity when used in the teaching and learning process. It is believed that their use can greatly improve the teaching and learning process and, consequently, the need to adjust the traditional practice to the new technological paradigm emerges.
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Teaching And Learning Process: The New Paradigm

Most students today in higher education are considered digital natives. The fact that on their day-to-day live, students are native users of the Web tools facilitates greater interactivity (Collis & Moonen, 2008). According to Prensky (2001a, 2001b) digital natives are everybody that were born after 1980, and those who were born before that year are considered digital immigrants. The digital natives think and process information differently from their predecessors (Prensky, 2001a). Therefore, teachers today can not assume that students learn through the same methods that they learned. ICTs that have emerged in the 1990’s caused a shift in the way of communicating and data transmission, and have also caused changes in the people own thought patterns and an how they learn the content (Prensky, 2001a).

Currently, universities have these new students and therefore, they should adapt teaching methods, which include the adoption of ICTs for the transmission of knowledge. In fact, digital natives and students of technical subjects use more technology when compared to digital immigrants and student of non-technical subjects (Margaryan, Littlejohn, & Vojt, 2011). However, despite the facts showing a clear need for the adoption of ICTs in new teaching methods, the decisions of teachers and administrators should not be based exclusively on students' preferences and on the trends in technology. There must be an understanding of the educational value of these technologies, in order to improve the process and learning outcomes. In this sense, it is necessary to explore the different technologies in teaching, to evaluate their effectiveness in practice within each institution (Kennedy, Judd, Churchward, Gray, & Krause, 2008; Margaryan, et al., 2011), and based on this, adopt them in a prudent and progressive way.

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