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Tales from the edge: how the web is changing learning

  • Internet
  • Education


The eighties and nineties have been a period of strong growth for the use of the World Wide Web in schools, vocational education and training, and higher education in Australia. The focus has been about providing quality educational resources, services and adequate bandwidth for accessing information. However, as educational authorities have been trying to play catch-up, the uses of the web have changed considerably. For example,, eBay, Wikipedia and Google have shown success on the web using the attributes of the web to best advantage, creating innovative ways of harnessing the new technologies. These highly successful services have lead to new thinking about web services which is being called Web 2.0. These creative uses of the web to provide services are changing the ways that people think, work and learn.Interactive Personal Technologies (IPN) which have been developed more recently have seen remarkable take-up in Australia and globally. Although information technologies have made an impact on education and training, the increase in IPNs will impact even further on learners and can be utilised in education and training to great effect. A report on emerging technologies prepared by limited in 2005, for the ACT Department of Education and Training, highlighted many potential opportunities in education and training. However, the reluctance in education and training to explore and utilise many of these new technologies in appropriate ways may reflect on the current preparedness of education and training to plan for the future.This paper and presentation argue that the appropriate use of IPN web technologies can provide learners with greater choices in what they learn and how they learn through personalisation and customisation of educational services. The IPN web can be an extraordinary support for teachers and learners.

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