Web 2.0 Tools for Learning in Higher Education: The Presence of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, Microblogs, Facebook and Ning
Abstract: In a few short years, changes in technology have led the Internet to become a more networked place than ever before; thereby enabling communication, sharing, and participation in public discourse on a much wider scope. This paper is an overview of how some of the Web 2.0 tools are currently being used in higher education. Learning approaches (formal, informal, collaborative, and constructivist) relevant to Web 2.0 tools (blogs, wikis, podcasting, microblogging, Facebook and Ning) are described. Overall, these tools were found to promote community building, enhance social presence, and facilitate communication. Moreover, they contribute to the increasing “openness” in the learning environment, and are often blended naturally with cloud computing. The conclusion includes highlights of the gaps in the current literature, limitations and general recommendations for future directions in using these tools in higher education.