Social Constructions and Web/Learning Communities

Dr. Janice Flake
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This paper discusses the role of social constructions in online/web-based/learning communities. The targeted course is titled, Promoting Thinking in the Elementary School. The paper includes a review of literature on social constructions and online learning, as well as practical experiences gained through teaching such classes for the past three terms. Discussion includes ways of incorporating suggested principles of online learning into the actual classes. Participants ultimately develop plans to integrate the concepts of promoting thinking into their own classes of elementary students. Included in this paper will be the participants' reactions to the online class format and sample topics for the teachers' plans. The course uses Blackboard and uses Discussion Boards to help participants exchange ideas and share their views in the process. Through such Discussion Boards participants develop social constructions. Students found that they learned from each other, and many of them enjoyed the freedom of the online classes.

Keywords: Online learning, Web-based learning, Social Construction, Promoting Thinking
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Social Constructions and Web/Learning Communities

Dr. Janice Flake

Professor, College of Education, Florida State University

I have worked with teacher education for thirty five years. Much of that time I have also worked with technology education for teacher education, including completing one of the first dissertations using the PLATO computer system at the University of Illinois in 1973. At that time I had many visions of where such education could go. For the past ten years I have been actively exploring the potential of using the web as an instructional tool. Finally in the past few years with web-based instruction we are beginning to move to the directions that I had envisioned the many years ago. Through these years I have published several books and many articles, and presented numerous conference presentations, in a variety of areas including technology education. All of my classes are web-supported, and some are web-based. I have used a number of streamed videos, animations, and discussion boards in these classes.

Ref: T05P0074