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New Research on Web 2.0 Tools and Learning

This blog post on Ewan McIntosh's edu.blogs.com points out a new peer-reviewed study that links Web 2.0 to academic improvement. The report found that Web 2.0 tools encourage participation and engagement, especially for those students who are timid; help students continue classroom discussions outside of the classroom; let students who are so inclined continue researching anytime, anywhere; and instill a sense of ownership and pride in students for the work they publish online, which can lead to more attention to detail and a better quality of work.

The report also found that one of the biggest obstacles to using Web 2.0 tools in the classroom was the time it takes teachers to incorporate those new tools into lesson plans. Although many teachers were familiar with the tools and used them in their personal lives, they were apprehensive about how to monitor Internet use in the classroom and the time needed to figure out how those tools should be used to teach.

You can download the report here.

What I really like about this study is that the conclusions it drew were the same things I've been hearing from educators over and over since I started covering ed tech, but it's based on a wide-scale study of teachers and students rather than just anecdotal evidence. As more of this kind of research comes in, I think it will shine a much-needed light on technology's significance in the classroom and help identify solid solutions for the problems that educators face with ed tech.

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