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Multiliteracies and e-learning2.0

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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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1 Introduction and motivation

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“When all men, wherever they may be, have equal access to the same vast communications network, they will inevitably become Citizens of the World.”

(Clarke, 1962, p. 183)

Modern society brings with it a multiplicity of changes both at a local and global level. New social practices have been developing and we have to face up to transformed kinds of employment, new ways of participating as citizens in public spaces, and new ways of interacting with others. In everyday life, we experience an increasing diversity of discourses and are constantly involved in negotiations over meanings. The development of communication technologies has given rise to an array of different communication channels that provide us with various representations of information and various possible interpretations of the meanings associated with this information. Similarly, communication and interactions with others are changing. In a global environment, the phenomenon of multilingualism requires careful attention not just because of the pluralism of languages, but rather because of a growing variety of “social languages” in professional, national, ethnic and sub-cultural contexts (Gee, 1996). To live well in this world “people must be able to recognize such diversities and be flexible enough to negotiate with others unlike themselves” (Kellner, 1998, p. 103).

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