Positive and negative aspects of Web2
I am discussing the positive and negative aspects of Web2 from my own experience. I am a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University. I teach the BA Primary and PGCE students Design and Technology and ICT. I started work at the university in September ’08 and was a primary school teacher before that.
Virtual: A colleague has started to use SecondLife. She holds regular meetings for students. positive effects include students meeting each other for the first time and finding out about their courses before arriving in Manchester. This has been especially beneficial with students moving from abroad. The problems have been with security; rooms have to be secure when holding meetings. There have been times when uninvited guests have turned up. There is also a limited control of what students do whilst in SecondLife. The interface is also complicated which has put students and staff off using it.
Publishing: I currently have a personal blog that I use for work; this contains information regarding this course and other relevant data. I also use it to look at new skills that I have acquired, I find this rewarding. The only problem is finding the time to add to it and sharing the information with others.
I intend to develop a blog for next year for students within my Y4 D&T Option group. They will be able to upload information, photographs taken from their mobile phones and videos adding to the content. This will enable the students to share resources and be more collaborative. A problem could be certain students not having the skills or wanting to work in such a way.
Social Networking: Twitter used with students that I am responsible for during their teaching placements or within my PDR groups. The idea is it will be an alternative to email and students can ask questions and check posts regarding meetings, visits etc. I hope to develop this over the next year. The problem so far is that many of the students only use Facebook and I know from speaking to students that they would rather keep their Facebook accounts private.
Knowledge: I intend to develop a Wikipedia style collection of lecture notes for next year that students can access. I hope to present this to colleagues in July. The idea is to create a more structured framework for students to access lecture notes. I hope to get other colleagues interested as once the wiki sites are created they will only need adjusting each year. They will contain a mixture of interactive animations and videos. The problems will be training staff to develop this idea and time management as staff timetables are overstretched. A possible solution would be to have an administrator to upload the data. The other possible problem will be students missing lectures if all the work is available in this format.
PLE: Further positive aspects include the use of Delicious to bookmark web pages, sorting and storing photographs on Flickr, using Skype to speak to friends and relatives and the amount of information available via the Internet.
Further negative aspects include the use of Wikipedia and Yahoo answers being used in assignments by students which do not always contain the correct information. Plagiarism is a problem. Students are using fewer sources from the library and more online resources, often carrying out quick and inaccurate searches for key information.