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The appropriation and repurposing of social technologies in higher education


Ray Land, University of Strathclyde, CAPLE, 50 George Street, Glasgow G1 1QE, Scotland, UK. Email:


Abstract  This paper presents some of the findings from a recent project that conducted a virtual ethnographic study of three formal courses in higher education that use ‘Web 2.0’ or social technologies for learning and teaching. It describes the pedagogies adopted within these courses, and goes on to explore some key themes emerging from the research and relating to the pedagogical use of weblogs and wikis in particular. These themes relate primarily to the academy's tendency to constrain and contain the possibly more radical effects of these new spaces. Despite this, the findings present a range of student and tutor perspectives which show that these technologies have significant potential as new collaborative, volatile and challenging environments for formal learning.

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