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Multiliteracies and e-learning2.0


Ivana Marenzi

This work, concerned with the significance of literacy and multiliteracies in the 21st century, examines pedagogy from the perspective of Web 2.0 tools and the potential of social networks to improve the quality of learning. Drawing on five years research in German and Italian universities, the author investigates different scenarios in which technology can support the learning process. The focus is on online interaction and collaboration from the standpoint of Educational Technology. With this approach, key pedagogical issues are analysed in relation to theoretical models as well as to the specific learning context. The resulting LearnWeb2.0 Design Framework provides a systematic and up-to-date reference and guide for teachers, researchers and developers when discussing course design and learning supports.
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The world is changing fast thanks to the pace of social and technological development. New technologies and social networks have changed the way people interact, search and share information, and how they learn. E-mails allow instant communication between people across the world. People access the news online, as most magazines, newspapers and services of all kinds have constantly-updated website and blogs where users can find information and contribute with their own comments and data. Web 2.0 technologies thus provide a means to collaborate online by editing and sharing content with other people.

In this context, traditional literacy skills, based on the ability to read, write and speak no longer satisfy the needs of today’s information society. Technology and new ways of communication and interaction have been adopted in education in various forms, originally using Computer Based Training (CBT) units and other educational applications but more recently privileging e-learning2.0 platforms. In the contemporary learning context, there is the need for learning environments to go beyond course-centric and curriculum-centric models, and instead envision learner-centred and self-organised learning networks. These much-needed approaches connect participants and support collaborative knowledge creation.

For these reasons, this research intends to integrate a strong pedagogical foundation (multiliteracies) with a new kind of e-learning environment tapping the potential of social networks for learning (LearnWeb2.0). Instead of adding collaborative tools in traditional LMSs (Learning Management Systems), the research reported here has explored a bottom-up approach that adopts a combination of Web 2.0 services as...

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