What can you learn thru Read/Write web; what skills are needed (research notes)

Luckin et al. (2009) asks how the read/write web interacts with learning and what sort of skills support the kind of learning that happens in this environment, and notes that researchers (Buckingham, 2007; Green and Hannon, 2007; Jenkins, 2006) have identified “learner criticality” as a constellation of essential cognitive skills. I’ll have to read up on these sources to be sure of how the term is used, but it seems to be a more specific subset of meta-cognitive skills – which is an awareness and knowledge of self and learning – learning to learn.

Luckin et al’s study of 11-16 year old British students found low use of wiki’s (save for Wikipedia), blogs and podcasts by students, and high use of social networking sites, such as Facebook. The tremendous potential of the former applications are not as embraced by youth as we might have thought. Indeed, they found,

The types of activity revealed by the data illustrated little evidence of critical enquiry or analytical awareness, few examples of collaborative knowledge construction, and little production or publishing outside social networking sites. We also confirm the low level of computer activity at school when compared to use at home and also illustrate the difference in the type of activity being undertaken inside and outside school (100).

Luckin et al. also note a lack of sophistication in research and a lack of higher order thinking skills. We should remember that the population studied were only 11-16 years old, but elsewhere Carr (2010) argues that modern technology creates consumers of information who are less equipped to think deeply or construct meaning from that information.

Works Cited
  • Buckingham, D. 2007. Beyond technology: Children’s learning in the age of digital culture. Cambridge: Polity.
  • Carr, N. 2010. The Shallows Norton & Co.
  • Green, H., and C. Hannon. 2007. Their space: Education for a digital generation. London: Demos.
  • Jenkins, H., K. Clinton, R. Purushotma, A. Robison, and M. Weigel. 2006. Confronting the
    challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Chicago:
    MacArthur Foundation.
  • Lenhart, A., and M. Madden. (2005). Teen content creators and consumers. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project.
  • Luckin, R. et al. (2009)”Do Web 2.0 tools really open the door to learning? Practices, perceptions and profiles of 11–16-year-old students” Learning, Media and Technology. 34 ( 2) 87–104

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