Implementing Web 2.0 in Secondary Schools: Impacts, Barriers and Issues

Crook, C., Fisher, T., Graber, R., Harrison, C., Lewin, C., Cummings, J., Logan, K., Luckin, R., Oliver, M., & Sharples, M. (n.d.). Implementing Web 2.0 in Secondary Schools: Impacts, Barriers and Issues. Retrieved from BECTA website: http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/1478/1/becta_2008_web2_useinschools_report.pdf

I focus on the barriers section, as that seems most in line with my research concerns.

“Some teachers see great potential, and are enthusiastic proponents –
58.5% believe that popular Web 2.0 resources should get more use in the
classroom.”

“Only 26% of teachers had used a
social networking site in the last 24 hours (14.3% in the last week), 71.1% had never
written or edited a blog, and 43.4% had never used instant messaging” “Dated 2008 – which, in some sense. limits the applicability of this statistic, especially for my research, detailing twitter as it does (founded 2006, and breaking through in 2009/2010. That said, surveys consistently show that Twitter has amongst the smallest uptake in terms of Social media amongst educators of the main social media sites.

 

“In some schools, insufficient levels of technical support including specialist support for the Web 2.0 tools is still a barrier to staff uptake” p 64

“A crucial driving factor was a sense of community that had been stimulated by
noticing the innovation of other teachers and, sometimes, having one’s own
innovation brought into view for them. In short, the collaborative and publishing tools
of Web 2.0 serve not only as the content of innovation but also the medium in which
that innovation is exchanged, noticed and rewarded.”

The HEA report calls for the creation of a network od digital curators amongst educators. Laurillard calls for peer networks (as does Conole) as a necessary part of encouraging, supporting and disseminating innovative practice, and use of technology and social media amongst educators.

“The informants make it clear that becoming a member of a community of practice
can be crucial in increasing the awareness of possibilities. One innovator relates this
to his personal history:” p71

Both these quotes loan themselves to supporting the Connectivist/Couros idea of a PLN. What’s missing, however, from all these commentaries is data supporting the calls for PLN development. Is a peer network, at least initially, the key? Or is it, as Kirschner et al would have it, something that is necessary when a certain level of expertise is achieved, and best displaced by direct instruction for novices?

“Effective staff development opportunities are key to Web 2.0 adoption, and
56% of teachers indicated that they would welcome more guidance in the
use of Web 2.0 technologies. More than a third (36.9%) of teachers report
that they never receive training in the use of new technologies including
Web 2.0; 26.7% say they only receive training ‘rarely’.
• Innovators commented that it was important that any such training and
support came from the bottom up and not as a top-down prescription.
Moreover, it was probably wise to start from modest aims.
• Web 2.0 can be the medium of exchange: 32.5% of teachers frequently or
occasionally use Web 2.0 to share resources and ideas with other
teachers”

p71

 

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