Community Building and Collaborating with Technologies

Chapter 6

- Computers sends a message to another computer and it can go all over the World.
- Technology is transforming our concept of community
- One does not need expertise to use the computer.

Web 2.0
- The second generation of the web.
- Instead of social networking call it educational networking.
- Global Awareness is essential in 21st century living.
- Technology has opened the way for more collaboration and teamwork.
- Schools do not offer knowledge building

Knowledge Building with Knowledge Forum
- The debate of what is the best way to teach students-Work on student’s knowledge or knowledge building.
- Knowledge building is active learning and having ones goal as learning
- By teaching students to develop their own knowledge database they learn how to evaluate and fix their own work.
- Knowledge Forum-Is a database where students can creates a deeper level of learning
- Students engages with others more through this data base and has improved test scores.
- Students learning and understanding is scaffold through this data base.
- Students need to use their critical thinking to work with Knowledge forum
- Knowledge forum can be used on many subjects.
- Students become owners of their own knowledge

Co-Constructing Knowledge with Wikisource

Using wikis to build knowledge building and community
- Anyone can add to a Wiki
- Purpose is to have ongoing dialogue
- The Talk Page allows for online discussion if a page is right or wrong.
- Other Wiki sites are: Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikiquote, and Wikisource.
- Wiki’s promote knowledge-building community
- Wikis are also used to upload media to the web pagesblog_wiki39211.png
- Wikis used for any age
- Wikis helps to prepare for exams

Building International Schools
- iEARN,Global SchoolNet Foundation,Kidlink , and ThinkQuest
- These helps to build communities with other cultures
- Helps to broaden students learning

- iEARN Learning Circles-Used to foster small group learning over the internet
- iEARN has an end task in mind and works to bring teachers and students from around the World together
- Works on social and cultural understanding
- Team participation is critical
- Learning circles work on a problem to solve, whereas forums work on a task
- A teachers job in a learning circle to just support the students and help when problems arise

Global SchoolNet Foundation

- Global schoolhouse is a place where students can reveal information, talk with one another and add to one another’s learning.
- Global Schoolhouse has 194 countries who are members and they also have “The Friendship Through Education”.
- The Friendship through Education is made for on-and off-line interactions between students of different countries to promote understanding of each other’s cultures and bring about human rights.
- Students become youth ambassadors and makes web sites of what they have learnt.
- A whole school can become involved in a global concern; such as waste that goes into a recycling project.
- The Students can then take what they have learnt from recycling and go to other schools near and far away. (Through technology, skype)
- give students a change to learn valuable life skills”.


- Global dialogue for secondary school
- Students can post in a safe environment issues and ideas that other students’ might find useful and interesting.
- Students learn also how to work through math challenges and uses critical thinking
- Students can make a recipe book, cards and make new friends.

Participating in International Communities
- iEARN, Global Schoolhouse and Kidlink all work on getting students from all around the World into communities with one another.
- Examples would be One Day in the Life through iEARN.


- Web site that has students solving problems to real life problems.
- Students use critical thinking and need to justify this thinking and how they solved the problem. (Example: Rainforest)

Discussing Interests with Social (Educational) Networking Groups
- People discusses and talks to one another. Networking groups help with the physical distance.
- Social networking groups help people to share their thoughts, feelings and photos.
- There are Google Groups for people with common interests.
- It’s “Schools and Education” has 20 subgroups.
- These help the communities to stay in contact with their interests.

Moodle and Ning Communities

.Social networking sites help students learn when they are not in the classroom.
.These sites can help students stay connected to the classroom and it is a safe site. (Ning and Moodle)
.These can be organic groups that are focused around the needs of the students in that class.
.It is a great place for students to post their reflections of the class.
.On-line lessons offer students a more meaningful learning experience.
.Ning offers videos, links to websites, and live chats with experts.

- Classrooms need to be more focused on community building and less on competing with one another.
- Classrooms should foster a community of common interest.
- Schools need to bring in this type of curriculum so that learning communities will develop
- Web 2.0 can promote learning if teachers plan for this type of on-line learning and community building.
.Through the use of on-line communities students are learning about the World and those who live in the World. Students are also having a more meaningful learning experience.

Discussion Questions

For the groups:
- Can you think of other examples of effective community building using technology that you have seen in the classroom? Have you ever seen any that failed? Why did they fail? If you haven’t seen any, can you think of any other forums that can be used other than those suggested in the chapter?
- Do you think that Facebook and MySpace can be effective educational tools? Can you think of ways in which these sites would be problematic? Do you feel that these sites can help knowledge building, or should they be blocked in schools?
- Do you agree with the statement that schools inhibit knowledge building? Do you think this is something you see changing as schools and boards evolve?
- Can you see any way that these programs suggested could be harmful to knowledge building? Can you think of ways that they can be improved?