An exploration of the use of Web 2.0 to enhance teaching and learning in an Australian Catholic secondary school


Sharkey, Kevin T.. (2012). An exploration of the use of Web 2.0 to enhance teaching and learning in an Australian Catholic secondary school [Thesis].
AuthorsSharkey, Kevin T.
Qualification nameDoctor of Education (EdD)

The rapid development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) over recent years presents educators with significant challenges. There are many options emerging to enhance the process of teaching and learning, particularly through the use of Web 2.0 Internet sites. These have become part of the lifestyles of today's students yet schools are struggling to come to terms with the effective use of these emerging technologies. Although Web 2.0 offers significant potential to enhance learning this is proving to be difficult to implement effectively. The general research question is What factors influence Secondary School teachers to use Web 2.0 effectively to enhance learning? This research was conducted in the interpretive paradigm using a case study methodology involving me as researcher in the role of senior secondary school teacher with a position of leadership as learning technology facilitator. The study was conducted in the Years 10 to 12 Sandhurst Diocese co educational campus of a Catholic Secondary School of approximately eight hundred students. The contextual characteristics of the case study at the college were identified through a questionnaire distributed to teachers and source documents relating to the curriculum and the ICT resources in place at the college. Teachers participated in interviews and a series of workshops to promote the advancement of pedagogy with Web 2.0 leading to enhanced student learning. Data analysis was done manually which resulted in the production of a series of conclusions and recommendations. The research highlighted the importance of the formation and articulation of a vision of the place of Web 2.0 in schools. Having this vision can lead to an improved understanding amongst teachers of curriculum frameworks for teaching and learning with Web 2.0. The promotion of a collegial and collaborative environment amongst teachers was found to be important in enabling them to improve their practice.;This collaboration includes the cultivation of on-line personal learning networks for teachers. Teachers' effective use of Web 2.0 was found to depend largely on a pedagogical focus to foster higher order thinking, individualised learning and information literacy in students. The research involved an exploration of the effectiveness of senior leaders and teachers in leading whole school change in promoting the effective use of Web 2.0 to enhance teaching and learning. Recommendations based on these findings have been made for professional learning leaders, curriculum leaders, school leadership teams and systemic authorities. The research findings have implications for further research into improvements in effective teaching practice with Web 2.0 to enhance learning. More research is needed to investigate personal learning networks for students and teachers, semantic aware applications, the re-definition of the mission of schools in this digital age and drivers for sustainable technological change in schools.

KeywordsWeb 2.0. Education; Secondary; Catholic high schools
PublisherAustralian Catholic University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Research GroupSchool of Educational Leadership
Final version
Publication dates29 Feb 2012
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