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The Battle Between Web 2.0 and the Classroom

The collaborative nature of Web 2.0 tools and the structure of higher education seem to be in conflict, says Martin Weller, a professor of educational technology at the Open University, in Britain, in a recent blog post on e-Literate.

Weller, who in 1998 launched the Open University’s first major e-learning course, said that although “most students want the structure, the support and the filter that higher education provides,” a project launched by his institution is showing that online learners tend to organize themselves in groups according to their learning interests and help each other in their learning process.

Weller says new Web tools (such as wikis and video-capture technology) put power in the hands of students, but traditional learning-management systems (such as Moodle and Blackboard) emphasize central control by the learning institutions, so he predicts that “monolithic LMSs will be deserted, digital tumbleweed blowing down their forums. Students will abandon this in favor of their tools.” —Maria José Viñas

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