Technology has presented major advancements in the learning and training fields. Individuals can now be trained and learn from any place in the world, at any hour of the day, and on nearly any type of device. Three technology tools that have allowed for major advancements in these areas are wikiHow, SlideShare, and WordPress. A breakdown of these technologies will assist in determining the best usage.
One method of learning using technology is through an online collaborative effort. One such collaborative effort is a site called wikiHow (Dishaw, Eierman, Iversen, & Phillip, 2011). This site allows individuals to create how-to, step-by-step articles on nearly every topic (MediaWiki, 2015). This method of learning allows for quick and easy to understand answers on questions related to any subject from education to business to personnel.
Sites such as this offer a wide-range of information and are easy to navigate. They are directed at all individuals including students looking for homework help, businesses wanting to learn how to setup a new budget, and any curious individual. Drawbacks include unreliable information since contributors can be anyone. Information provided is not necessarily proven and sites can also be edited by anyone, which can lead to erroneous information as well. The best use for these types of sites is for non-educational purposes that do not require guaranteed, referenced information.
SlideShare is an also a collaborative site; however, this site focuses on sharing slide presentations, pdfs, or other formatted items created by subject-matter experts (LinkedIn, 2015). Businesses, teachers, and individuals can use SlideShare to learn about a variety of topics and to share others presentations. Items can be viewed from nearly any device, allowing for easy access.
SlideShare’s offers are wide-range of presentations, where individuals can provide feedback or comments. This collaborative site differs from the wiki sites in that individuals cannot edit content, allowing for slightly more reliable information. This is quite beneficial for teachers or instructors who wish to reference or utilize others presentations. The only drawback is once again the possible unreliability, it is important to review the author’s background, the content, and references before concluding the information to be valid and true. SlideShare is quite useful for businesses and educational purposes.
WordPress (2015) is a website, blog, and app making site. WordPress is beneficial for any individuals who wish to provide comment, interpretation, and information on a variety of topics. A benefit to the blog format is that individuals can tie information to personal experiences, a learning theory known as pedagogy (Zhang, 2013).
WordPress also runs into the same issue as all other social media, collaborative, and networking sites, the fear of unreliable information. Educators and businesses would find it useful and beneficial for connective with their students and employees. They would find it easy to use and provide collaborative efforts from anywhere.
Selecting the appropriate technology is crucial depending on the intended outcome and audience. Businesses and educators may not find the same technology to be useful. The above three technologies each offer their own benefits and drawbacks and can be very useful depending on what the purpose for their use. The key is choosing the one that is best for the purpose.
Dishaw, M., Eierman, M. A., Iversen, J. H., & Philip, G. C. (2011). Wiki or word? evaluating tools for collaborative writing and editing. Journal of Information Systems Education, 22(1), 43-54.
Hossain, M. H., & Aydin, H. (2011). A web 2.0-based collaborative model for multicultural education. Multicultural Education & Technology Journal, 5(2), 116-128. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17504971111142655
LinkedIn. (2015). SlideShare. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/
MediaWiki. (2015). wikiHow. Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Main-Page
WordPress.org. (2015). WordPress. Retrieved from https://wordpress.org/
Zhang, S. (2013). An empirical study of the factors affecting weblog success in higher education. Journal of Information Systems Education, 24(4), 267-279.