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Using ICT to develop knowledge-building communities in subject English and the arts

Sue McDowall


We are, it seems, constantly being told that the main goal of education should be enabling students to build, rather than to “reproduce”, knowledge; and that knowledge building is a collaborative endeavour. Learners must now be able to connect and collaborate with other individuals and other sets of knowledge. Information and communication technology (ICT) is touted as one way of achieving this kind of connection. But exactly how might we go about using ICT to support collaborative knowledge building in classrooms, and what might this collaborative knowledge building look like? This article provides some practical examples of how a group of teachers used ICT in subject English and the arts, along with a focus on ideas as improvable things that are held in the collective rather than in individual minds, to enable the emergence of knowledge-building communities.

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