E-Learning 2.0 process. Along this section, some classifications for the e-learning key elements are established and commented. According to the students’ social interdependence andinteraction in the classroom, learning methods can be classified in the following three types: • Individualistic learning, which means “working by oneself to ensure that one’s own learning meets a present criterion independently from the efforts of the other students” (Johnson & Johnson, 1999). • Cooperative learning, which is the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning. (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec 1998). Students are rewarded on the basis of the success of the group (Woolfolk, 2001). • Competitive learning, which is mainly based on activities carried out by students that compete individually or in teams. Students work against each other to achieve a good grade and only some of them succeed. Cooperative learning may be contrasted with competitive learning andindividualistic learning. In addition, within competitive situations, individuals seek outcomes that are beneficial to themselves and detrimental to others. The student effort is on performing faster and better than classmates. (Johnson & Johnson, 1999). However, team competitions could combine the better of competitive learning with the better of the collaborative one. On the other hand, there are some “social” tools that are very useful for e-learning: • Wikis provide unique collaborative opportunities for education. Combining freely accessible information, rapid feedback, simplified HTML, and access by multiple editors, wikis are being rapidly adopted as an innovative way of constructing knowledge. • (Edu)Blogs are increasingly finding a home in education. Blogs remove the technical barriers to writing and publishing online, encourage students to keep a record of their thinking over time and facilitate critical feedback, by letting readers add comments—which could be from teachers, peers, or a wider audience. • Flickr is a free photo sharing site which provides to teachers and students an easy way to upload, share, and add notes to the photos on the Web. • Google Docs has quickly jumped into the educational field. It is an easy-to-use online word processor, so that students can access from anywhere with an Internet connection and work collaboratively. • Synchronous communication tools (such as videoconferencing or chat) allow online communication in real time and can be helpful in assisting group work and peer learning among students. • Asynchronous communication tools (such as e-mail or newsgroups) allow time-independent interaction between participants and are well suited to cooperative learning strategies. Forums, blogs, wikis, flickr, and so forth, can all be created to surround your course with an expanded set of learner resources. But, it is a need to be very careful to ensure that you understand who you teach, that is, the learner’s scenario: primary school, secondary school, university education, long-life learning, or informal learning. Finally, the role of teachers and students should change. • Teacher: from leader to facilitator. The teacher’s role should go from absolutely controlling and leading everything that happens in the classroom to staying aside and accompanying students along their walk.
E-Learning 2.0 • Student: from passive to active. Students can rely on their teachers and class sessions when learning something or evaluating, making decisions, and being responsible for their own learning. In this context, E-Learning 2.0 is mainly oriented to collaborative (or mixed competitivecollaborative) methodologies applied in each and every scenario where the teacher tends to be a facilitator and the student is encouraged to be as active as possible. In addition, relatively new tools, such as blogs, have already found their place in the e-learning framework: the edublogs. Examples of edublogs can be found in Web sites such as Weblogs of teachers (http://www. superblog.org/planet/educacion), Aulablog (http:// www.aulablog.com) or Edublogs (http://www. edublogs.org). The collaborative aspect of blogs is what has brought many teachers into the fold. Commenting capabilities in many of the blogging software packages provide students and teachers with an easy peer review tool and make easier bringing in experts from outside the classroom. In this respect, an interesting experience is the one developed by Will Richardson (pioneer educational blogger). In 2002, his school had adopted Sue Monk Kidd’s book, The Secret Life of Bees, as part of the literature curriculum, and he decided to set up a blog for students to converse about the book outside class. With great delight, he watched the students post ideas as well as artistic interpretations. He also posted a blog for parents to join the discussion. The result was a truly democratic learning space (O’Hear, 2006). It is also important to underline that E-Learning 2.0 raise new challenges or barriers. So, for example, digital literacy should be extended to cover the new tools (such as blogs, wikis, and so forth), what will be essential for the definitive launching of E-Learning 2.0. There are a lot of people who still have to learn there is life on the Web beyond e-mail and e-commerce. First of all, it is necessary to know and learn the use and features of Web 2.0 tools. This is a prerequisite in every scenario and for every participant, independently of the teachers’ and students’ role and of the methodology. Digital literacy must cover every tool to be used, including of course, synchronous and asynchronous communication tools, but specially focusing on the new tools and their possibilities. Moreover, it is necessary that students and teachers are familiar and comfortable with collaborative writing and the use of these new tools. The social and cultural practices of collaborative working are not in the students’ repertoire of shared practices yet. So, for example, Grant (2006) implemented a 3-week wiki writing segment in her class of 13- to 15-year-olds and found that her students had great difficulties writing in a public space and altering other student’s wiki work. The second important challenge has its originin the anarchy and uncontrolled character of the Internet. E-Learning 2.0 encourages socialization, networking, participation, and collaboration, but how can we be sure that learners are out of all dangers that can be found in the net? These dangers can be simply distractions when students waste time in activities that do not contribute to the learning objectives, but they can also be really harmful as digital predators know how to virtually capture their preys. This challenge is especially important in primary and secondary education andinformal learning where the student’s family and environment must take a special care of the paths the teenager walks. Finally, another aspect is that these new tools are being used to do the same. In this sense, blogs may seem to be replacing the classic Webs that teachers used as a notice board or as a space to deliver materials for their students. At the same time, the efforts to motivate students to create their own blogs obey mainly to the classic patterns of learning practices: the teacher usually suggest the content, periodicity of updating, number of posts, style, type, and number of links, and so