Social-Constructivism

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It’s about bringing the puzzle pieces, together!

Social- Constructivism combines the ideals of Vygotsky’s 1978 constructivist theory by which learners personally construct their own learning based on their experiences, with the social aspect of doing so in an interactive environment. The constructivism model focuses on learner centred instruction with evidence students are more greatly stimulated and motivated when they are encouraged to discover things for themselves and build their own reality based on their experiences (Enonbun, 2010). The way in which learners are best equipped to be active in constructing their own learning is to interact with both the people and the resources within their environment. This is where web 2.0 becomes a powerful in the 21st century classroom.

Web 2.0 is according to Enonbun (2010, p.  20) viewed as a ‘second generation of web development and design that facilitates communication and secures information sharing,… and collaboration on the World Wide Web’. It is advanced in comparison to Web 1.0 where information is simply readily accessible, where as web 2.0 allows the content to now be modified on the learners terms- becoming an interactive and constructive environment. Web 2.0 tools include those such as wikis, blogs, social networking sites etc where students can erect their own learning setting that they can go on to share with others beyond their immediate classroom environment. They can modify and edit their own content dependent upon their chosen interactions with other sites and individuals, stimulating their active involvement in the maintenance of content and assisting in broadening the critical understandings of socially constructed learning. (Enonbun, 2010)

This online form of social-constructivism provides many opportunities for enhancing the learning experience as well exposing children to wider society in a variety of forms. It does however pose some social and educational risks in the learning environment. Underdeveloped countries would be unlikely to have access to web 2.0 reducing their social learning capacity, also having an effect on those who do have access with these learners not having the opportunity to interact with and gauge an insight into the views of these learners in these countries. The opportunity to modify and edit any information negotiates the validity and integrity of the not only the content but also the learning, with limited privacy also being major factor. (Enonbun, 2010)

Social Constructivism provides students with greater opportunities to draw relevance between their classroom learning and the outside world in a way in which suits their individual learning needs, but this must be done in a safe and controlled environment to ensure learning beneficiaries are the result and student safety is not compromised.

Enonbun, O (2010). Constructivism and web 2.0 in the emerging learning era: A global perspective. Journal of Strategic innovation and sustainability, 6(4), 17-27. Retrieved from http://www.na- businesspress.com/JSIS/EnobunWeb.pdf

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