"Constructivism is a recent perspective or philosophy on learning with ancient roots (von Glasersfeld, 1995) that has extensive implications for the use of collaborative learning tools. In employing constructivism, some teachers believe that better learning occurs when knowledge is the result of a situated construction of reality (Brooks, 1990). Unfortunately, although constructivist revolutionaries have ventured onto the battlefield of epistemological change, most have not provided practicing educators with the wherewithal to reconstitute and embed constructivist ideas within their personal philosophies and teaching practices. Teachers might, in fact, design useful constructivistic learning environments and strategies, but may not recognize that they operate from a constructivist paradigm (Harris & Pressley, 1991). Even when constructivism is recognized as valuable, few guidelines exist for implementing and assessing it. So, when CSCL tools enter the instructional arsenal of public schools and higher education settings, constructivism may not be the theory of choice. And, undoubtedly, many scholars and researchers fuel this problem with intense debates that most practitioners simply lack the time and energy to deal with (e.g., see Ernest, 1995; von Glasersfeld, 1995).
Further muddying the debate, there is no canonical form of constructivist theory. Cobb (1994) identified two variations - cognitive constructivist and social constructivist - and there are undoubtedly more. Cognitive constructivists tend to draw insight from Piaget and focus on individual constructions of knowledge discovered in interaction with the environment ... Social constructivists rely more on Vygotsky (1978) and view learning as connection with and appropriation from the sociocultural context within which we are all immersed."
(Curtis Jay Bonk and Donald J. Cunningham, p.33)
Bonk, Curtis Jay; Cunningham, Donald J. Bonk, Curtis Jay (Ed); King, Kira S. (Ed), (1998). "Searching for Learner-Centered, Constructivist, and Sociocultural Components of Collaborative Educational Learning Tools" in Electronic collaborators: Learner-centered technologies for literacy, apprenticeship, and discourse., (pp. 25-50). Mahwah, NJ, US: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
"CSCL is focused on how collaborative learning supported by technology can enhance peer interaction and work in groups, and how collaboration and technology facilitate sharing and distributing of knowledge and expertise among community members."
(Lasse Lipponen, 2002)
2). Lipponen, L. (2002). "Exploring foundations for computer-supported collaborative learning". Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning: Foundations for a CSCL Community. Boulder, Colorado, International Society of the Learning Sciences: 72-81.
"Teachers and learners should be encouraged and supported in their efforts to find and use the most appropriate and effective best-of-breed tools outside the LMS. For example, they can post slide presentations on SlideShare, create group collaboration sites on Google, stream and archive lectures on UStream, and build shared resource collections with Delicious. Such tools can be aggregated via course blogs, wikis, or mashup sites like Netvibes.
Some institutions have made significant, pioneering efforts to bridge the gap between the institutional network and the web by integrating Web 2.0 tools with administrative systems. For example, three years ago the University of Mary Washington deployed an instance of WordPress MultiUser (WPMU) as an alternative teaching and learning platform (UMW Blogs). UMW's blog platform blends the LMS and PLN paradigms by integrating their WPMU instance with the university directory, enabling the creation of blogs that automatically enroll students in courses as 'members' of class blogs created by instructors."
(Jonathan Mott, 2010)
Mott, J. (2010). 'Envisioning the Post-LMS Era: The Open Learning Network.' Educause Quarterly 33(1).
"The Fifth Dimension is an afterschool setting where collaborative learning is organized around computer game playing. Learning and cooperation in the Fifth Dimension are analyzed in the paper from the point of view of Activity Theory, a conceptual approach originating from Russian cultural-historical psychology. It is proposed that the mechanisms underlying the influence of social context on learning and development are mutual transformations between individual and collective activities. Three distinct phases of intersubjectivity 'life cycles' are identified: (1) external coordination of individual activities, (2) emerging group identity, and (3) transfer of group experience to individual activities. Implications of the study for design and evaluation of CSCL environments are discussed."
(Victor Kaptelinin and Michael Cole)