Reading Web 2.0 for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, by Tom Franklin and Mark van Harmelen on behalf of the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
Just a very quick post on this activity as I find myself pressed for time and I want to get stuck into the social networking tools in subsequent activities.
The key things I took from this reading are that some universities clearly are addressing the challenges posed and opportunities afforded by Web 2.0. Certainly the universities referred to seem to have a clearer strategy and be much more advanced in their preparations than my own institution. There does seem to be a shift away from the centralised VLEs towards a more open, decentralised approach. I think John has previously referred to Elgg, but it is not a service that I am familiar with. It is interesting that several of the universities referred to in the report are adopting Elgg at University level and are reporting an enthusiastic take up amongst staff and students. I just wonder how much of this reporting is representative of the true picture. At Westminster a service known as CONNECT was introduced a couple of years ago, and this was actually referred to in the TLRP/TEL report (p20) which we read in Activity 2 this week. Anyone reading the report would get the impression that the service had been a fantastic success, but the reality is that I am not aware of anyone (staff or students) using it. I had a quick check this morning on the Connect homepage and the most recent post was a week ago, and prior to that the last post was two months ago!
I'm not suggesting that the same applies at other universities such as those adopting Elgg, but I am saying that the take-up figures published by universities need to be treated with some caution. Just because someone registers with a service does not necessarily mean that they are a regular user.