Online learning and Web 2.0 – applications of technology in teacher education and onsite learning the centre

Volume 1, Number 5 - December 2008

Editoral

The development of online learning within tertiary education institutions has produced a number of new tools and led to a re-thinking of many of the assumed roles that lecturers and students play within the scope of learning. This issue of He Kupu begins with an interview with Tabitha Roder where some of these ideas are discussed in depth with reference to Web 2.0 and the Moodle management system. Tabitha usefully outlines some of her work in setting up e-learning platforms in a variety of organisations. In her work Tabitha has found that there are a number of important aspects to any successful implementation of an e-learning system. The value of developing a sense of trust between staff in the evolution of the e-learning platform is seen as pivotal in staff seeing the system not as one that is imposed but one that can be developed by staff according to their local circumstance.

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Interview

Peer-reviewed Papers

New Zealand’s tertiary education sector is making increasing use of e-learning (Suddaby & Milne, 2008). In addition, changes in the New Zealand early childhood context have spawned the use of online technologies in delivering teacher education programs. One early childhood teacher provider, New Zealand Tertiary College, is piloting a web-enhanced distance learning project. The aim of the pilot project is to initiate teaching in a web-enhanced mode at the College, with a specific focus on developing technologies appropriate for early childhood teacher education. Following an introduction to the web-enhanced distance learning pilot project, this article considers the web-enhanced teaching experiences of three lecturers who participated in the project. Recommendations for improving the web-enhanced project are noted, and finally, the importance of a dedicated professional development program in readying lecturers to teach in a web-enhanced learning environment, are discussed.

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The idea of making a digital video-disc (DVD) came out of a Professional Inquiry and Practice teaching team discussion on reviewing student teaching practice. For teacher educators the concern is with the challenge that many of the students face as they prepare to go on practicum. As a significant number of the students are making their first visit to a New Zealand early childhood centre, the preparation for student practicum is especially important. The filming of children and staff has important implications for families and individuals. Teacher educators are constantly aware of the need to uphold the integrity of all of those involved while at the same time trying to ensure that any film is an authentic ‘picture’ of life in a centre. This paper addresses the issues of ownership and individual rights faced by teacher educators in the production of a DVD for use in teacher education.

People in Taiwan are fascinated by technology and its part in the success of Taiwan becoming a leading country in the technology industries. This is accredited to the efforts of the government and of all citizens. This is also seen as reflecting Chinese values of academic excellence, and the effect these values have had in Taiwan’s success as a nation. Parents believe that success in life is rooted in a good education, especially in the early years. This paper provides an overview of early childhood education in Taiwan and how children learn through the use of technology. Key implications for early childhood teachers are highlighted.

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Literature Review

In recent years, online learning has become a growing concern for both governments and learning institutions. Such is the optimism projected by the introduction of online learning to tertiary education, that it has been likened to the discovery of paper and the invention of the printing press (Rudestam & Schoenholtz-Read, 2002). Termed revolutionary by its advocates, the emergence of online learning is considered instrumental to the transformation of the landscape of higher/further education (Shapiro & Hughes, 2002). Since the 1990’s, online education has experienced astronomical growth especially in the US (Berenson, Boyles & Weaver, 2008). By 2003, nearly five percent of all university students were involved in degree programmes where all the content was presented entirely online, representing an estimated $2.4 billion in tuition fees (Gallagher, 2003). This is supported by research by the Sloan consortium that shows the number of students in higher education enrolled in an online course during the fall 2006 term was close to 20% of the total population of 17.6 million students (Allen & Seaman, 2007). The advent of web technology has brought a range of study options for students. These options range from the traditional face-to- face teaching and correspondence-learning through to complete online courses where all contact and resources are available to students on the Internet (Allen & Seaman, 2007). This shift to online learning represents the most dynamic sector of adult education and is becoming the dominant mode of instruction in distance learning (Edelson & Pittman, 2001).

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Student's Voice

Contributors

Sean Dolan, Karin du Plessis, Anne Grey, Vivienne Hogan, Satomi Izumi-Taylor, Yu-Yuan Lee

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