Overview of this Trend's Impact on Education

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Prekindergarten and Elementary Education (up through 6th grade)

Current Impact

When I was starting primary school, the web was not yet common. People generally had a slow dialup connection speed, and there weren’t many websites. Now, however, primary and even pre-kindergarten kids are going on the internet, onto sites such as YouTube or Wikipedia. The average age that kids start using the internet is decreasing.

By the end of primary school, children will have learnt how to use basic applications such as Microsoft Word, and started doing web-related work. For instance, schools can upload work to the internet for it to be commented on online, perhaps by other students. Work can also be done anywhere, anyplace, by continuously uploading it to the internet. It can be a joint project between schools, perhaps even in different countries, as we’re doing with this project. It avoids issues such as disk space and operating system compatibility. User-created content is being used more and more often by elementary students.



In the future, the use of computers and the internet will continue to grow. Eventually all schools will use user-created content. They will all be adding and sharing and commenting on information. The amount of user-created content is just starting to develop; in five years there will be so much more information on the web as people never stop posting information onto to the web. This is particularly done through blogs and editable wikis.

What needs to happen in education:

Kids need to be educated from a young age about the dangers of using the internet and applications such as YouTube and Google Video. They need to make sure that they do not put on identifiable information about themselves, such as their full name or location or school.


Middle and High School Education (Grade 7-12)

Current Impact

Create collaborative, student-authored resources -
User-created content tools such as blogging and Wikispaces allow and encourage shared responsibility for development of course resources, links, and materials. Students and teachers alike can cross institutional or even geographical boundaries to collaborate on projects such as the horizon project and the Flatclassroom project and research. Tools like del.icio.us are used to create and share reference resources such as online articles, tools, and media platforms.


No more passive education -
In more conventional methods of education, students are often passive listeners or readers to school material through teachers and books. There were not many ways for students to contribute their own understanding and interpretation of the school education. The use of user-created content in education a is a revolutionary concept in which students are able to change the educational content to their own desires and let their classmates view them in large numbers at the same time. Without doubt, this would encourage greater crimages.jpgeativity and initiatives for students to get involved in their school work.

User Created Content's Effects on Education
Created by Nelson L (SAS)

What needs to happen in education:

Revolutionary Education System -
A revolutionary change in the current education system in order to utilize the full effects of user-created contents. Educators will now have to center their teaching strategies more towards letting the students themselves contributing to the learning materials, whereas in the past teachers are primarily concerned with students passively obsorbing information from their instructors and textbooks. In simple words, the focus of education will need to be gradually shifting from the instructions of the teachers to the contributions of the students themselves.

College Education

Current Impact

As we all know that college education is mostly about a lot of research, social bookmarking would be the best solution for college students to mainly organize their work or rather their research work. For example consider a student of the Economics department of the London School of Economics, who needs to do a lot of research work for an upcoming project. He does a search on Google on his topic and gets loads of pages popping up on his screen. He selects quite a few say about ten and then bookmarks them using his del.icio.us account. He would then easily access them at a later time and then use them for his project. When he submitted his project he got a very decent mark and this was only because he could manage to organize his research work which reflected in his grades.Thus it can be concluded that the project was a lot less tedious. This system has several advantages over traditional automated resource location and classification software, such as search engine spiders. All tag-based classification of Internet resources (such as web sites) is done by human beings, who understand the content of the resource, as opposed to software which algorithmically attempts to determine the meaning of a resource. This provides for semantically classified tags, which are hard to find with contemporary search engines.Additionally, as people bookmark resources that they find useful, resources that are of more use are bookmarked by more users. Thus, such a system will "rank" a resource based on its content matter and also let others know who are willing to bookmark it that what exactly is its rating currently.

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Not only does social bookmarking help college students with managing and organizing their research works, it also helps them find as quick as possible for them. The method of tagging used would allow them to identify and classify where that particular item or information would go to or instead what would it be used for. Other than social bookmarking, social networking sites and web 2.0 tools such as Blogger, eduspaces, Face book, wikispaces and others are also used by many others to improve their work i.e. they often put up their work on their blogs and wait for feedback from experts of that field. They can also compare their works with the works of others that are available and actually come to know how much their output is. This would definitely inspire them to work consistently and also improve their work greatly.

This system has several advantages over traditional automated resource location and classification software, such as search engine spiders. All tag-based classification of Internet resources (such as web sites) is done by human beings, who understand the content of the resource, as opposed to software which algorithmically attempts to determine the meaning of a resource. This provides for semantically classified tags, which are hard to find with contemporary search engines.

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The thing that has made the most mark these days is Flickr a site for images and pictures. Recently the photography department students of the Rowan university is basically using Flickr to post their work. Now this really is helping them as they get loads of comments from their teachers, collegeaues and critiques. Their professors also provide them feedback on the work that has been posted and then they discuss the problems faced in class. Now this is something completely new.
Some other applications of user created content are uthtv which is an online community for young people who are mostly college students. This particular site allows the sharing of video, audio and other media. Popular sites that allow tagging of resources on the Internet for college students are PennTags which is used by the students of the University of Pennsylvania and Technorati which is used by students of all age groups.

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In the near future the use of these user generated tools such as social networking sites, social bookmarking, tagging standards, blogging etc would definitely increase. Keeping in pace with the recent trends we do realize that the use of these user generated tools would some day replace almost all of our paper work that we do today. For example a teenager, 10 years from now, would not do homework into his note book or copy book. Instead he/she would prefer to use web 2.0 tools such as Google docs and then post it on to the Internet either using blogs or wikis. The teacher on the other hand would check it up and send feedback, instead of writing comments on the note book. This would surely benefit both the teacher and the student as they would save both time and paper. Other than that the student would learn more and also improve his or her own work over time as they can now access works done by others. This would help them find their mistakes and compare that to others. Other than that it is also possible that there would be no particular colleges or schools at all. What I mean is that there would be a social networking that would dedicate itself to various subjects such as science, arts Mathematics etc. Now students of various subjects submit their work or assignments on any one of these sites so that they can be checked by experts of that particular field. This would surely start a new era to the whole method of education we have right now. This is because this is a completely new method. Secondly the students learn more after observing a scrutiny in their work by various judges and peers. Thus they would compete more and more and get the best out of themselves. This is what college education would be like in the future and these are some of the possibilities that might be seen in the future.

What needs to happen in education:

The first thing that needs to happen is that we must come out of the traditional education system of using pen, paper and pencil. Educationists and reformers are the ones who should step forward to bring about this change. They would be helped by Information technology experts so that they get a clear picture of what needs to happen, what are the advantages of these user created tools and how they would foster education. Educators and social reformers must organize campaigns and presentations to convince teachers about the advantages of these user created content tools such as blogging, tagging and many others. These presentations must tell the teachers why they would use these user created content tool and also evaluate the advantages and the cost/benefit analysis.

Resource Documentation

  • Collaborative Tool-

Sabbabs delicious book marks' last del.icio.us links

    • Credits-

    All resources can be found on del.icio.us accounts

    • Related Information-

    The Marketing Message Blog