This is a reflection post as part of a Professional Development course our school is undertaking.
In this module, participants were introduced to the concept of Web 2.0 tools. For me, this is not an entirely new area of discovery, but there were 2 resources that I had not come across before. The first was this video titled Viral Education 2.0
And the second was this brilliant list of Web 2.0 resources curated by @kristenswanson and @joycevalenza.
I remember the web prior to “2.0”. Essentially for years the web was a “read network”, where you would call up a webpage and have information at your fingertips in front of you. It was a web that was not really designed for interactivity, which I think in essence web 2.0 is about (the read & write web). Hardware and software has developed, internet connections are faster, and users today are more connected than ever. This is what has afforded the nature of Web 2.0 interaction (whether it be creating content online, commenting, sharing information, social bookmarking etc).
I thought about Web 2.0 tools that I have used with my students over the last few years, particuarly those which have devloped over time since their inception. Wallwisher (now Padlet) and Wikispaces stands out in my memory, and more recently the use of Google Apps.
A website that I have been using for a few years to discover Web 2.0 tools is http://www.go2web20.net. I remember visiting this site in university, and was a good way of keeping tabs onto the next start up that was available on the web. Recently, I haven’t found it as useful for discovering new services, but perhaps the way I user twitter and RSS today has changed the way I disseminate information.
Which brings another point from this module, and one from the Viral Education 2.0 video mentioned above. My favourite quote was “How can we syndicate this flow of meaning into understanding?“. As the http://www.go2web20.net shows, the web is a vast, ever growing network that develops not each day, but every minute. I think it is also demonstrated nicely by this infographic:
It’s literally a jungle out there. So my critical point is this, that as educators we need to ensure that our students have the ability to make sense of the vast WWW. For this, I think 3 (non exhaustive) things need to happen:
- we as educators need to understand it ourselves.
- students will need critical cognitive skills to search, comprehend, analyse and critique complex information from the web.
- students need the opportunity to exercise those skills in safe settings.
To me, this is what effective integration of web 2.0 tools in the classroom should entail.
How do you integrate Web 2.0 tools in your classroom?