Integrating Web 2.0 learning technologies in higher education: the necessity, the barriers and the factors for success

Lisa Donaldson

Abstract


 

The pace of technological advance has led to significant change within higher education. Technology can be an enabler to develop sought after 21st century skills but this requires that educators redesign teaching and learning activities.

 

The aim of this case study was to uncover the factors impacting the integration of learning technologies in the classroom. It sought to measure the degree of technology adoption following usage of an online learning resource incorporating Web 2.0 tools.

 

A single cohort of eleven lecturers in Ireland used an online learning resource for a period of 6 weeks. The Technology Toolkit was developed on social constructivist principles using Captivate software. Participants completed surveys before and after they used the Toolkit and three of them were also interviewed.

 

A general confidence in technical abilities was reported on completion of the research despite time being a significant barrier to utilising technology. Participants declared a preference for a blended learning format accompanied by peer sharing sessions.  Findings showed that lecturers regardless of age or experience can develop positive attitudes towards the adoption of technology enhanced learning.

 

A series of recommendations for integrating learning technologies are offered to support educators as they strive to innovate their pedagogy.

 


Keywords


Higher education, training, online learning, 21st Century skills, Web 2.0, Twitter, Wikis, elearning, barriers to technology integration

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