Web 2.0 (W20)

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We are currently in a "Age of Authority" or a transmissive mode where information tends to flow in a unidirectional way, from teachers to student, from publishers to classrooms, from producers to consumers, from guru to pupil. This can be encapsulated by the 3 R's - Reading, Receiving and Responding. The concept of "anywhere anytime" learning is a growing idea. The students of tomorrow will be expecting to access information, learning and be able to interact with their teachers and peers in a much more flexible way than the students of today. In a focus group study [June 2007] parents said they want to use online technology to support their child’s learning, such as being able to play back school lessons to help with homework. Thus we must consider the pedagogies of learning that we currently operate and how these can be translated into the virtual or e-nvironment. 
We are moving to the "Age of Engagement" where these relationships become much more flexible and we all have to become experts at deconstruction and reconstruction. So information is created by many and must be made into knowledge and wisdom by all where expertise is more disparate and where boundaries become more blurred. This is encapsulated by the 3 C's - Connecting, Creating and Contributing.

The key ideas of Web 2.0 are:

  • The transition of Web sites from isolated information silos to sources of content and functionality, thus becoming computing platforms serving web applications to end-users
  • A social phenomenon embracing an approach to generating and distributing Web content itself, characterized by open communication, decentralization of authority, freedom to share and re-use, and "the market as a conversation"
  • Enhanced organization and categorization of content, emphasizing deep linking

This means that many of the students in schools are growing up with experiences of the web not just a source of information, the 'greatest library on the planet' but a social networking space, a showcase for their talent and creativity and a place to buy, sell and swap goods and services. Thus the growth of MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, YouTube, Skype, Ning, Wikipedia as well as blogs and personal websites and the growing use of folksonomies. A recent report (April 24th, 2007) from MySpace [a concerned party] in partnership with Isobar and Carat USA [link] states than 70% of Americans 15-34 are actively using social networks online, these results match a survey by Pew Internet at the beginning of the year which said that more than half (55%) of all online American youths ages 12-17 use online social networking sites. Data is similar for UK users. In fact one report from the recent massacre in the USA at Virginia Tech on April 16th, 2007 gave the fact that Seung-Hui Cho did not have a web presence as evidence that he was a loner.

Web 2.0 or "Web 2" is a fashionable expression that describes a new generation of websites. The term itself implies that the early internet should be thought of as "Web 1.0" - a first edition, or first version. It is argued that this initial version of the web was primarily for static information: material to be downloaded or delivered to the internet user. Web 2.0 is different, it is a more participatory, dynamic and social place. It is more about uploading, especially uploading for communication and collaboration.

See also the Video Inspiration materials.

Web 2.0 activities in secondary school. A research project on the use of web 2.0 techologies includes a range of ideas and tools and some case studies - link
Web 2.0 is a growing and expanding idea. This is a poster put together in early 2008 at a brainstroming session of "Web 2.0 sites/companies/concepts". It will be out of date! - link
This is a blog on "Back to school with the class of Web 2.0" a three part blog looking at Tools, Office Applications and ideas for the classroom. Though aimed at FE/HE there are a number of interesting ideas for using the tools - link to part 1
The Wikipedia entry on Web 2.0: Web 2.0 is a trend in World Wide Web technology, and web design, a second generation of web-based communities and hosted services such as social-networking sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies, which aim to facilitate creativity, information sharing, collaboration, and sharing among users. It is almost defined as the new era of the World Wide Web. The term became notable after the first O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in 2004 ... more
Educational Wikis: This site explores the use of Wikis in education. It gives support in the setting up of a wiki and has a huge list of educational wikis - link
Web 2.0 activities in secondary school. A research project on the use of web 2.0 techologies includes a range of ideas and tools and some case studies - link
A directory of web 2.0 applications and services - link
A collection of Web 2.0 resources from a Farmington fellow working on RE and Web 2.0 - link
Wikis in Plain English
Blogs in Plain English
RSS in Plain English
Social Networks in Plain English
Twitter in Plain English
Social Media in Plain English
Augmented Reality in Plain English
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