Friday, 29 May 2009

Behaviours fostered by Web 2.0 - Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World - JISC report

More on the new JISC document Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World.

One of the key themes is addresses of how Web 2.0 fosters the behaviours and approaches of experimentation, networking and collaboration. A disposition to share and participate. What I like about this is that it's not talking about the technologies themselves but real life skills. The problem I see with this is what happens when you express it because I could imagine that it would be open to argument. It's very difficult to evidence this in conversation as I think you have to use and experience the various web 2.0 tools to really GET how using them fosters all these so called "soft" skills.

Despite this, it's a useful concepts. I will just need to clarify my position.

The above is linked to employability skills. This is interesting and new to me. I know really know much about this but I wanted to record the basic premise here. Employers want and demands a range of 'soft skills' such as networking, teamwork, collaboration, self-direction and motivation. Skills fostered by students' engagement with Social Web technologies. I think this is sound but as with the above pretty difficult to prove. In fact, even harder to prove. I could go down the line: "They need to use these tools in Higher Education" because they need to know about them in their future working lives." but it feels a bit simplistic to say this. However, I can see this working better.

The one area where there is clear and indisputable reasoning is where they talk about the behivours of young people changing to having a strong sense of community, a disposition to share and participate and a preference for quick answers. At the moment, students adopt to Higher Education where opportunities on all these fronts are limited. Why? Because that's how they are used to being educated. In the future, students will demands more. In a competitive environment, those that don't adopt to this will be left behind.

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