Ruth Walker


Wikiworld (2010) offers an engaging account of the possibilities opened up in the area of education and digital media by 'wikis'. The authors, Juhu Suoranta and Tere Vadén, point out that wikis, as decentralized web-based writing platforms, represent a 'new' ethos of participation, collaboration and co-operation for higher education. They explore the ongoing fascination with new technologies in moving towards a progressive transformation from the institutionalized and individualized forms of learning to more open and collaborative learning. In this book, which was first released as an open-content online publication, the authors not only put forward a challenge to the integrity of the 'closed' university system - with its emphasis on qualifications, competition and the marketisation of higher education - but they support this with a broader critical evaluation of the development of Western information societies. Participatory online media such as wikis are proposed in this book as ideological battlefields, whose central characteristics include voluntary participation, sharing and anonymous collectivism. These activities, the authors claim, are 'practices of actual freedom' (p.1).

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