Week 3 – ‘Knowledge 2.0-Tensions and Challenges’
My thoughts and reading were inspired by Nina Bonderup Dohn this week and from a practical teaching and learning point of view the ideas really hit home some of the issues we face particularly in the UK right now with the ‘tensions and challenges’ that Gove presents us with.
Ok, let me try and get some things straight in my head from a theoretical point of view first and then try and apply some of them.
what exists in a world
how we know what we know
the reasons why things are as they are
Teleology is about explaining something with reference to an end purpose. From the Greek ‘telos’ meaning “end” and ‘logos’ meaning “reason”.
or applied to education…..
one of the ‘tensions’ referred to is that education is traditionally about an ‘extrinsic finality’ (getting a certificate, getting a grade, getting a job, getting into university, getting praised etc) and Web 2.0 practices are about ‘intrinsic finality’ (communicating for the sake of it, writing a blog that nobody will read! etc)
So traditional educational competence is seen, ontologically, as a thing that can be possessed, acquired and passed on whereas Web 2.0 competence:
“…first and foremost is ‘competence in participating’.”
Nina Bonderup Dohn – 2008, pg 650, Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Networked Learning
Obviously, people use Web 2.0 tools for certain external purposes and many learn for the sake of it but, the idea is that there is a tension between different notions of ‘purpose’ and different conceptions of what knowledge is or should be.
So, as a teacher how do I marry these things together? How do I work within a system that focuses on the extrinsic (league tables, SATs etc) whilst preparing the students for a world in which the intrinsic Web 2.0 skills becomes more and more important?
Nina Bonderup Dohn highlights some key ‘tensions and challenges’ such as traditional educational practice viewing collaboration as cheating whereas collaboration is seen as an integral part of Web 2.0 practice. This links in well with another area of ‘tension’ – evaluation. What is to be evaluated? How and who by? This is an area that I will return to in a later post as it so vast and controversial.
In short, much of this comes down to, what is the point of education? and many answers, ideas and discussions are taking place all the time in classrooms all over the world. Many innovative and thoughful educators are challenging the status quo and using the ubiquitous technology to engage and motivate their students.
Denmark has already trialled exams in which students can use the internet (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8341886.stm) and if you are not sure where to start I can highly recommend searching #edtech on twitter or following some of the contributors to http://purposed.org.uk/