Current events are putting pressure and influence on many and different fields of human life. Globalisation and the new economical complexity are the most important factors on influencing lifestyles and therefore the creation of international organisation, innovative and creative work are increasing the complexity of the new professional profiles and workplaces. Changes to management skills, transversal and meta competences are much more required to work and to life in any environment as well. Employees in all professions as well as simple citizens need to continue to improve their skills, competences and abilities.
Today it is not sufficient to have knowledge and experience, it is indispensable to be able to share them, to belong to a networked knowledge community and to have skills of lifelong learning in order to exploit all information, competences and skills, learnt from formal, informal and non-formal learning experiences. These continuous changes determine the evolution and innovation of learning process in order to explore a new approach and new tools.
Over the years research, studies and discussions are widening the awareness about this topic of Educational Media and Educational Technology. Today, this argument takes up more space in workgroups, where interest lies in both the learning process and technological matters. This work wants to face the aspects on the new educational media and technology of web 2.0 and how they can be used for teaching and learning.
Educational Technologies are defined slightly differently on the following sites:
The cited definitions have in common the use of technologies to support the learning process.
Educational Media is defined as media for learning and teaching or learning software.
Educational Media in terms of multimedia generally includes the integration of text, graphics, video, sound, etc. Apart from merging different types of media - interactivity, multitasking (simultaneous execution of multiple processes) and parallelism (based on the parallel media presentation) are all playing an important role. In this context we can speak of an integration and presentation aspect of the multimedia concept. These aspects of the technical dimensions of the definition of multimedia need to be supplemented with further aspects: the dimension of the application. Only the application of multimedia technology concretised the concept. In this way, just the combination of media is not already "multimedia". Weidenmann is also proposing a categorisation based on constructivism in media (books, computer, VCR, etc.), coding (text, pictures, numbers, etc.) and modality (visually , auditory, etc.). (Weidenmann, 1997)
The use of media is primarily aimed at producing the optimal combination of media in order to support learners and add value compared to traditional courses. As evidence for this added value is the combined use of several different media (pictures, texts, audio etc.) improving the learning capacity (Reglin, 2004). Weidenmann criticized the universality of this approach, since the internal processing and representation is limited by the external presentation of the Educational affected [Weidenmann 1997, p20]. Hasebrook believes that multimedia definitely has the potential for increasing the effectiveness of learning, but that the vast majority of todays use have little or no positive impact on learning (Hasebrook, 1995).
The potential of multimedia educational software can be broadly classified by the following factors, according to Kerres (2001, p94) and Reglin (2004, p73):
If the exercises are close to the reality, this has a good impact on the learning effect. The media serve as carriers of information from sender to receiver, and simulating the reality in this way.
A strong action orientation based on a realistic problem promotes learning. In addition, explorative and medial hyper-structured learning environments have a big potential. This is the approach of many applications in the GBL.
The self-determined pace and the possibility of recurrence is considered a great plus for multimedia software.
E-learning is an umbrella term for various versions of computerised learning. These include Computer Based Training (CBT), such as educational CD-ROMs, Web Based Training (WBT), Learning Management Systems (LMS), Forums, Videos, online tests, online scorecards, virtual classrooms (VC), online learning systems, online conferencing and business TV. The internet search is not part of the actual E-Learning, the content here is not educationally prepared, even the classroom presentations (e.g. PowerPoint) are not defined as computer-aided learning. In practice, CBT is often combined with WBT, multimedia presentations, video clips, etc. and are offered on appropriate media, while offering support for learning, tests, etc. The asynchronous communication tools (wiki, forum, mail) especially in learning platforms can be used as well to support learning.
(c) Back, Bendel, Stoller-Schai (2001)
The main advantages of e-learning:
The following types of different Educational Media are very well described in the "Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning" of Siemens and Tittenberger, 2009.
A blog is a basic web page with posts presented in reverse chronological order. Posts can be retrieved via an RSS reader (such as Google Reader), negating the need to visit the blog.
Google uses its blog to communicate new products or offerings. CNN uses blogs as an alternative news source. NASA has a launch blog. Well known people like Dave Barry, Scott Adams (Dilbert), and Tom Peters use blogs as well. Even the president of Iran has a blog. Blogs figured prominently into the last American president election, providing candidates with another venue to connect with voters.
The simplicity of blogs is deceptive. Blogging enables unique opportunities for educators to improve communication with (and between) learners, increase depth of learning through reflection, and enable the formation of diverse viewpoints and perspectives. Perhaps most importantly, they enable educators to connect with each other.
Wikis - or more broadly, collaborative writing on the web- have captured the interest of business leaders and academics. Well known, and increasingly referenced, is Wikipedia. A wiki is basically a simple web page that anyone can edit. At least that’s the standard description or what wikis were when first started. The openness of wikis has encountered the reality of human behaviour (or more precisely - spam). Wikis are chaotic, informal knowledge spaces. Wikis enable individuals to create a collective resource. Whereas blogs enable individual voices, a wiki over-writes individuality.
The messiness of wikis can be intimidating to newcomers. Why do people contribute? What motivates individuals to spend time editing and proofreading sites? What about vandals who simply delete text? But wikis are not without governance or management. Wikipedia has extensive resources available on how to handle concerns arising from community conflict. Democracy and openness drive actions in this space.
Social bookmarking is a way to store and organize bookmarks (favorites) on the web. Having bookmarks on the web means they are accessible from any computer with an internet connection and a browser.
Podcasting is the distribution of audio online through RSS. Technology has developed to the point where an educator can record and distribute audio files with only a computer, a microphone, and internet access.
Of particular potential in audio is the increased use of different audio tools for easy collaboration (such as Seesmic or Voice Thread). While podcasting is generally a one-way flow, collaborative audio creation around images adds the learner’s/listener’s voice to the exchange.
The last decade has seen the web transition from a text-based medium to a multi-media platform with audio, video, and greater interactivity. For educators, this presents a great opportunity to add diversity and variety to courses.
While video-taped lectures have been common on university campuses for decades, the increased bandwidth available to most computer users has opened the door for a new approach to extend lectures - enabling learners to view missed (or not fully understood) lectures at their convenience.
Open educational resources (OERs) are not tools of the same nature as others in this section, but are included here due to their potential to influence higher education.
While LMS’ were gaining acceptance in education, discussion of digital learning resources (largely under the banner of “learning objects”) grew to an almost fevered pitch. Proclamations of learning object repositories as the future of learning abounded. Institutional, discipline-based, provincial, national, and even international groups established repositories for their members. Unfortunately, the idea was too new, or perhaps more accurately, too unlike what educators were comfortable with. While discussions raged on the value (economical and pedagogical) of learning objects, many repositories gently slid into obscurity. A few remained - MERLOT most notably - but many moved to more institutional repositories of educational resources (like DSpace), rather than self-contained learning objects freely available to the larger academic community.
While interest in learning objects has somewhat abated, interest in OERs has grown. OERs are materials made freely available online for educators and learners to use, repurpose, and extend. MITs OCW initiative raised questions about the value of content. MIT, in making course resources freely available, expressed a view that the economic value point for learners is found in faculty and learner interactions and accreditation not in academic content.
Social networking has been popular in various forms since the development of the internet. Social networking was initially the domain of early adopters or sub/counter-culture individuals. Newsgroups, WELL, and other online “communities” formed with the participants who possessed a degree of technical competence and ability to accept communication untethered from physical contact. As the web developed and grew in prominence, other tools of informal social connections - such as blogs - developed. The audience was again largely confined to a subset of society, often limited by technical skills or the ability to tolerate the conceptual shift of transparency in an open forum.
In the late 90’s/early 2000’s, social networking sites became more popular with the development of sites such as Friendster. These sites allowed people to create a profile and begin to form a network of connections with others from around the world. The development of sites such as MySpace, Orkut, and more recently, Facebook, moved social networking from the sub-culture domain to mainstream. The ease of use and ability to connect with others of shared interests resulted in rapid adoption.
Webconferencing is used to facilitate group meetings or live presentations over the Internet.
In its simplest form its text messaging, at its most complex, it’s videoconferencing combined with application or desktop sharing. What is common to all forms of webconferencing is that they are synchronous communication (real time) tools using computers and the internet. Most webconferencing programs now have recording capability which allows you to save your conference for later playback. The advantage of webconferencing to videoconferencing is that webconferencing can be accessed from anyplace that has a computer with the appropriate software and an internet connection. Unlike traditional videoconferencing, expensive videoconferencing equipment is not required and the technical overhead to ‘operate’ a webconference is much lower. The disadvantage to webconferencing is that the quality of video in videoconferencing systems is usually superior.
Blogs, news, social bookmarks, academic journals, Flickr images, and YouTube videos produce a sea of information that threatens to inundate us to the point of paralysis. How can learners manage these disparate sources of information in meaningful ways? With more technology of course!
Tools like iGoogle, NetVibes, and Google Reader give learners control of information. By subscribing to blogs, journals, Moodle forums, and other online services, learners can bring together meaningful resources.
Virtual worlds and games are common topics discussion in educational conferences. Most educators have at minimum, indirect experience with games - whether through conversations with students, the activities of their children, or their own personal use of virtual games.
Virtual games - such as World of Warcraft - generally involve the achievement of a certain goal, such as mastering a game level. Virtual worlds, in contrast, are environments where individuals can interact with each other, but may not necessarily be focused on achieving a particular goal. Traditional video game systems – XBOX and PS3 – now offer online gaming as well.
Second Life has received considerable attention from educators over the last several years. SL provides an alternative learning experience to a traditional online course, as learners interact with peers and educators through avatars, explore course material (often in a more interactive manner than only reading text), and express personal learning through visual means.
Simulations are particularly valuable as a learning tool in providing learners with a situated experience that is more cost effective than actually performing the task (such as flying). Simulations can be expensive to design and administer.
The use of ICT and educational media until the last years was overall dedicated for self-learning. Since the upcoming trend of "Web 2.0" that is focusing on user-generated content and interactivity, also the forms of learning are changing in the direction to community-based approaches.
Dr. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Vice-President of the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning (EFQUEL), mapped this change 2007 in the following graphic for different workshops:
Also the merge of different media for education will probably increase in the next years and new forms of media which are actually not fully explored like mobile learning.
 Weidenmann, Bernd: Multimedia, Multicodierung und Multimodalität im Lernprozess - Neubiberg: Inst. für Erziehungswiss. und Pädag. Psychologie 1995
 Reglin, Thomas: Computerlernen und Kompetenz, vergleichende Analysen zum Lernen im Netz und mit Multimedia - Bielefeld: Bertelsmann 2004
 Hasebrook, Joachim: Multimedia-Psychologie, eine neue Perspektive menschlicher Kommunikation - Heidelberg [u.a.]: Spektrum, Akad. Verlag 1995
 Kerres, Michael: Multimediale und telemediale Lernumgebungen, Konzeption und Entwicklung. – 2. vollst. überarb. Auflage - München, Wien: Oldenburg, 2001
 Back, Andrea; Bendel, Oliver; Stoller-Schai, Daniel: E-Learning im Unternehmen. Grundlagen - Strategien - Methoden - Technologien. Zürich: Orell-Füssli, 2001
 Siemens and Tittenberger, 2009 "Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning" available at: http://umanitoba.ca/learning_technologies/cetl/HETL.pdf