Activity 17: Abundance of content – filtering

With the Web 2.0 it is easy to create and share content, everybody can be a content producer, this lead to an abundance of content. What does it mean for teaching and learning?

In the conclusion of A pedagogy of abundance, Martin Weller asks two questions.

How can educator take advantage in their own teaching practice?

I think the the abundance of content is of great value for both teacher and learners. I have been teaching multimedia and web programming in adult training. In  this context i appreciate the diversity of resources. Especially in the field of computer technology that change rapidly its important to have access to new and/or updated resources. The ease of producing and delivering digital content over the internet comes in very practical as we are able to provide new content more quickly. It can happen that i can’t use the same resources in the next course, it could be already outdated. That’s why i prefer working with open resources, and i support learners to make use of it too.

How do educators best equip learners to make use of it?

When dealing with a large choice of content you need meta-skills, such as evaluating and comparing resources, and verifing the source. As teacher we can promote the use of open resources by integrating resource-finding-evaluating tasks in our teaching.

By Thiemo Schuff (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Thiemo Schuff (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

To give an example relating to my course:

Everybody is talking about html5 and the nice animations. There are lots of code libraries to use for creating animation effects. So the task would be to find a suitable animation library. Learners should work in group and find 3 libraries within a given time. They should evaluate and then share with others. Then they can start programming the animation.

My suggestion is based a little on a Problem-Based-Learning approach, here the cooperative process of understanding the problem is more important than the solution to the problem. The given fixed number of resources and time is important, so the group is forced to filter resources and i think this restriction should ensure that learners don’t get lost in time and endless resources.

This approach is quite different than typical programming courses where the teacher would introduce the code library and then go on with step-by-step exercises. But that is not how it works in the practice.

Weller, M. (2011) ‘A pedagogy of abundance’, Spanish Journal of Pedagogy, vol. 249, pp. 223–36. Also available online at 28774/