Students today are often referred to as twenty first century learners because of access they have to technology. They collaborate amazingly well. They love team work and figuring out things with their friends. The twenty first century learners are information driven. They have never known a world without Google. The twenty first century learners are self-directed learners, they are able to learn whatever with free online sources. Todays learners download their own songs and apps from Itunes and create their own videos and upload it to share with others. The evident changes in twenty first century students are they are collaborative, information driven and self –directed. Web 2.0 resources enable collaboration to blossom for the twenty first learners. There are various web 2.0 tools that are used for collaboration. Write boards. Google docs and wikis are just a few.
Write boards are shareable, web based text documents that let you save every edit, roll back to any version, and easily compare changes. Write boards can use to write solo or collaborate with others. Google docs is an online word processor spread sheet and presentation editor that enables anyone to create, store and share instantly and securely and collaborate online in real time. New document can be created from scratch or upload existing documents, spread sheets and presentation Google docs can be used to collaborate online with fellow students, even when they are not in the same place and they get feedback easily. Wikis allow asynchronous communication and group collaboration across the internet. Sometimes described as a composition system, a discussion medium, a repository, a mail system, and a tool for collaboration. Wikis provide user with both author and editor privileges; the overall organization of contributions can be edited as well as the content itself. Wikis are able to incorporate sounds, movies, and pictures, that may prove to be a simple tool to create multimedia presentations and simple digital stories.
The twenty first century self directed learners are able to design their own learning. Two implication of collaboration are synchronous and asynchronous communication. Synchronous communication is direct communication where the communicators are time synchronized. This means that all parties involved in the communication are present at the same time. This includes, but is not limited to, a telephone conversation (not texting), a company board meeting, a chat room event and instant messaging. Asynchronous communication does not require that all parties involved in the communication to be present at the same time. Some examples are e-mail messages, discussion boards, blogging, and text messaging over cell phones. In distance (specifically online) education asynchronous communication is the major (sometimes the only) method of communication. Usually, we use different discussion boards in each class with each having its own purpose. Blogging is one of the many tools asynchronous tools that can be used in the teaching learning process. A blog or weblog is a personal diary, collaborative space, breaking-news outlet and collection of links to your own private views memo to the world. In short your blog is whatever you want it to be. Blogs are similar in format to journals or diary enteries. Much in the same way According to Susana and Sergino (2007) weblogs can be used by instructors and students. Instructors can write their own weblogs mainly to communicate and share information with students. Instructor weblogs usually contain course content, course management information, general commentary to all students about their learning progress. Students weblogs are learning weblogs or project weblogs. A learning weblog (Lowe 2006) is a learning diary, created concurrently with the learning experience, and reporting as well as the process. A project weblog often authored by...
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