As students have grown up in a digital world and are used to using the internet in their everyday lives, a corresponding movement has been developing among researchers in education interested in harnessing these developments to support teaching.
Now in its sixth year, the lively annual international conference eLearning 2.0 at Brunel University, London, explores technology-enhanced learning and social media technologies including Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Wikis, YouTube and massive open online courses (MOOCs). MOOCs are free online courses typically involving huge numbers of enrolled students.
The main themes of this year’s conference are ‘flipping the classroom’ and MOOCs. ‘Flipping the classroom’ involves delivering digital material outside the classroom and then using class sessions to make sense of the material.
The conference chair, Dr Chris Evans, senior lecturer in the Brunel Business School, said: “Higher education is experiencing a disruptive innovation typified by the growth of MOOCs and the approach of ‘flipping the classroom’ in which material is provided online instead of in a conventional lecture.
“The social circle of students isn’t limited to physical contact. They have social media friends. The question is how to use technological innovation effectively in an educational way.”
Educators from across the UK, America, Norway, Denmark, Albania and Russia will consider evolving pedagogical approaches and spreading good practice in the use of Web 2.0 technologies.
Dr Evans added: “The conference is for anyone who is interested in using Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in their teaching apparatus to help people learn.”
The keynote speakers will be Peter Bryant, Head of Learning Technology and Innovation at the London School of Economics and Political Science and John Carter McKnight, postdoctoral research associate at Lancaster University.
eLearning 2.0 will take place on Wednesday July 23 2014 at the Brunel Business School. The programme can be downloaded on the conference website/blog at www.elearning2.org and on Twitter @elearning2.