During last ten years, Web 2.0 has turned into an amazing success story. These days World Wide Web is driven by user generated content, the use of weblogs, wikis, micro blogs and podcasts has increased dramatically. Social media, social networks and social communities all represent a new form of collaboration and communication. In a short space of time, the World Wide Web has been transformed from a static information medium into a worldwide communication platform.(Brown, 2008)
Web 2.0 technologies are also of great interest, given that the use of the internet for educational purposes, known as e-learning or Technology Enhanced Learning, is a very important future stakeholder for education. Stephen Downes (2005) introduced a new term, ‘‘e-Learning 2.0”, and thus coined a name for the use of wikis, weblogs and podcasts in educational settings. Since then, much research work has been done and many publications (Augar, Raitman, & Zhou, 2005; Caddick, 2006; Evans, 2007; Towned, 2005; Raitman, Augar, & Zhou, 2005; Ebner, 2007) and scientiﬁc reports have pointed out how these new technological possibilities can be used in the context of our social environments. Collaboration and communication by means of weblogs and wikis enhance traditional education in a new and exciting way.
In recent years there have been mainly two reasons for the increasing attention given to process-oriented approaches in didactics. The first can be traced back to the development of a constructivist approach to learning. In this context the process of knowledge construction, the person’s own learning process, leads to the application of process-oriented learning. As a result, more attention is given to the matter of the learner’s own attitude as well as the opinions of others.
From this perspective, learning processes cannot be tightly structured and the results of learning are almost unpredictable. In addition, the relevance of process knowledge is increasing as the time factor plays a less important role. Process orientation does not refer to a tight structuring of the learning process, but rather to the possibility of trying out a range of learning strategies and reflecting on these.(Ebner et al., 2010)
Against this background the role of the teacher changes from that of a knowledge distributor to a facilitator of self-directed learning.
Therefore the instructional design (and the use of media) should concentrate on facilitating the learning process. This can be ensured primarily by creating favourable learning conditions (Kyndt, Dochy, & Nijs, 2009). With regard to communication, a basic openness is needed and the possibility to contribute one’s opinions and discuss different views.
Micro blogging can foster process-oriented learning. The advantage of micro blogging consists mainly in the possibility of giving immediate feedback, as well as in the documentation of processes. The latter feature is relevant in two different ways: firstly, learning contributions can be consulted to obtain a summative account of learning activities and learning progress, and secondly, micro blogging offers the possibility to monitor learning processes and to respond to peer activity during the process (information awareness). However, certain disadvantages are evident. The same aspects that can be evaluated positively can be evaluated negatively(Ebner et al., 2010). For example, the limitation of 140 characters forces the learner to focus on the topic, but does not allow him or her to express complex thoughts. In addition, the possibility for private conversation may serve to bridge the gap between formal and informal learning or it may invite the learner to focus only on private exchange and/or to miss the separation between educational/ vocational and private use. In its favor, micro blogging can foster media literacy.(Cook, 2008)
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- BROWN, G. 2008. Social Media 100 Success Secrets: Social Media, Web 2.0 User-Generated Content and Virtual Communities-100 Most Asked Mass Collaboration Questions, Lulu. com.
- COOK, N. 2008. Enterprise 2.0: how social software will change the future of work, Ashgate Pub Co.
- EBNER, M., LIENHARDT, C., ROHS, M. & MEYER, I. 2010. Microblogs in Higher Education-A chance to facilitate informal and process-oriented learning? Computers & Education, 55, 92-100.