Coming of Age – an introduction to the new world wide web

Apr 27, 2006

Miles Berry

Last December, Terry Freedman (who’s on the BCS e-learning working party with me) asked me to write an article on what we’ve been doing with Elgg at St Ives for a book he was putting together on all things Web 2.0. Well the book and the article are finally out in electronic form, and ready for anyone interested to download.

Coming of Age

The book is a great introduction for teachers to some of the ways that Web 2.0 technology can be used in schools, particularly as a way of supporting social, collaborative learning, and a more personalised curriculum in which learners have more opportunity for ‘voice’ as well as ‘choice’. It’s a testament to Terry’s consumate social networking skills that he’s assembled contributions from so many of the luminaries of the e-learning 2.0 world, and one of the great strengths of the book is the way it pulls together so many different perspectives.

For those who are interested in how we’ve been using Elgg at St Ives, my own article explores some of the thinking behind our blogging work and the choice of Elgg, as well as summarising our early experience. There’s also an illustrated version of my original text available online here. A good number of the other contributions have also focussed on how blogging can be used effectively in schools. Terry’s also included a paper that Steve Lee and I wrote for schoolforge-uk last year, which attempts to give a broad-brush picture of how e-learning can be made all the more effective by using communication and collaboration tools.

I think it fair to say that Terry has not had an easy time of it putting all this together, what with Word corrupting the text and lots more content coming in at the proof-reading stage, but from my perspective at least, it’s been a great project to be involved with and I hope one that will be of benefit to other teachers and their pupils. The plan is to set up a wiki to keep things up to date, but for the time being there’s a somewhat intermittent SuprGlu feed of some of the contibutors’ blogs and bookmarks.

It’s cool that at least four of my co-contributors Mechelle de Craene, **Josie Fraser, Steve Lee and Dai Thomas have accounts on Elgg too.