AfroPhysics/New Learning

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A New Way of Learning

Dear Reader:

If you are interested in getting started with us in WikiEducator, then you probably would like to know, why we are using wiki to create and present open educational resources (OER).
And then how you can make best use of it for your personal purposes.
This tutorial will give you some general outlines for this; tell you something about the philosophy and spirit of our work.

WikiEducator is a learning community, e.g. a community of learners. Don’t worry if you are a teacher like me (smile); we are all engaged in lifelong learning.
If you are unhappy now, because your idea of learning is to read texts and afterwards memorize the facts for an exam, and this is not exactly what you want do do now, don’t worry. For us learning is something much more colourful, lively and entertaining: it is the increasingly skilled participation in a WikiEducator learning environment. It is unique and special: it is not something passive or receptive but rather something active and productive.

What we want to do is build knowledge, first knowledge about how to produce OER here in our wiki, because this is a fairly new science, and second content.
Of course, we are looking at how the Wikipedians did it, but a wiki for educational materials is still something much more complex than simply an online encyclopaedia. The main and revolutionary point in this is that we will be authoring collectively, (e.g. a great variety of people from many countries will contribute).
And therefore we are using a wiki, software that provides a comfortable surface with a powerful database under the hood that makes the database publicly accessible.

As you will have remarked, we are using the computer for our learning. No, not the computer is teaching us! If you’re not so sure I can surely tell you: computers are not really intelligent themselves, but only obey the rules, their creators have implemented in them. The computer is helping us; it is an instrument of support for our learning community. As this it has two roles.

  • 1) It gives technical support.
  • 2) It gives social support to our community.

Together this equals to socio-technical support.
But I also should tell you that our knowledge about the best socio-technical support for us is still very limited, and we are constantly developing new ideas.

The background of all this is called web 2.0, the new computational infrastructure including new internet-based communication media (like email, blog or wiki) who really bring the world together, and new web applications like networks, social software, databases and powerful search engines.

Behaviour and Information Technology
"Computer support for learning communities", editorial
Vol. 26, No. 1, January-February 2007
Taylor and Francis, Oxon, UK

Günther--White Eagle 11:02, 5 July 2007 (CEST)