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1 Opportunities and Challenges of Social Computing Kirsti Ala-Mutka European Commission, JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies Information.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Opportunities and Challenges of Social Computing Kirsti Ala-Mutka European Commission, JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies Information."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Opportunities and Challenges of Social Computing Kirsti Ala-Mutka European Commission, JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies Information Society Unit Learnovation workshop in the EDEN 2008 Annual Conference: Building a culture of innovation in learning The views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of the EC

2 2 IPTS : Part of DG JRC of the EC: 7 Research Institutes across Europe Mission : to provide customer- driven support to the EU policy- making process by researching science-based responses to policy challenges that have both a socio-economic as well as a scientific or technological dimension Institute for Prospective Technological Studies

3 3 Social computing Digital applications for social networking (e.g. Facebook); video-sharing (e.g. YouTube); photo-sharing (e.g. Flickr); user- generated content (e.g. Wikipedia); multiplayer virtual online worlds (e.g. Second Life); blogging, etc. Social computing applications enable interaction and collaboration: –Users are participants (co-creators not end-users) –Networks of individuals and communities become collective resources Related IPTS studies: –Exploratory research on socio-economic impacts of social computing –Web2.0 and user-driven innovation in public services –Social computing for immigrants and ethnic minorities –Social computing for health –Impact of Learning2.0 innovations for E&T in Europe –Upcoming: Pedagogical innovations and new learning communities

4 4 Adoption of social computing 9.5 million articles in all combined Wikipedia sites in approximately 250 languages, 680 million visitors yearly (May 2008) million unique visitors per month for YouTube, 6 th largest internet audience (March 2008) 110 million blogs (May 2008) Over 250 million profiles in Social Networking sites (Oct 2007)

5 5 Some suggested impacts New availability of resources for learning –Easy access to free information resources (dictionaries, encyclopeadia) –New variety of sources and resources –Education providers pressured to open up their resources to show their quality New learner empowerment and connections –New empowerment in choosing the learning provider –New means to express and show ones skills –Collaborative communities, new support for informal learning and professionalism New participation in learning processes –Digital natives expect to use participative approaches also in organized education –Learning tool developers are already integrating and developing participative tools to their products –Collaborative approaches let students with their special expertise support and teach others, also the teachers New challenges – Quality and reliability of information and resources – Responsibility and awareness of security and privacy issues – Ethical questions, e.g. cyberbullyinghttp://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ – Need for new skills (danger of new digital divides) -- both for learners and teachers

6 6 Conclusion Social computing is increasingly used for leisure, work, civic participation and learning, also in innovative ways Education and training need to prepare people for these tasks –Young people are already using social computing outside school, but may lack necessary skills –ICT skills, media literacy and participation skills are needed also by people past formal education Social computing can enable new collaboration between and among teachers, learners and other actors –New opportunities to support formal education with informal learning and networks –New opportunities to support building personal skills and resources for lifelong learning –New demand for quality in education through empowered learners Challenge of enabling everyone to benefit from the potential of social computing Social computing is both a driver and an enabler for innovation in education and training

7 7 Thank you for your attention!


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