Web 2.0 is one of those phrases that librarians and computer people love to use, but that can sometimes be confusing. So let’s see if we can make some meaning. 🙂
In the early days of the “web”, information was static. People made pages (geocities, anyone?) and other people read them, and maybe got some information. Even online encyclopedias worked this way. Users were passive- they read the text on the page, and that was the extent of involvement.
Flash forward to Web 2.0. The idea behind web 2.0 is that the web is a collaborate space, where users are sharing information and interacting and manipulating the information on the screen. Many of these products have great application possibilities in the classroom. Prezis can revamp “boring” old powerpoints. Glogster is an online, web-based alternative to the paper-and-marker poster. Animoto can allow users to create video book trailers, instead of typing out a book report. Many of these Web 2.0 tools put the user firmly in control- the only limit is the imagination. As a bonus, the vast majority of these services are FREE, especially for students and educators.
Check out those web 2.0 applications, and see what you can create!
One footnote: I mentioned encyclopedias before, which often brings up one of the bogeymen of Web 2.0: Wikipedia. The fear that many have is that Wikipedia is bad, because anyone can edit it. But that perceived weakness is actually a fantastic STRENGTH. As I’ve said in my classes “The bad thing about wikipedia is anyone can edit it. The GREAT thing about wikipedia is that anyone can edit it.” While you may get an amateur writing about space, you may also get an astrophysicist writing about space. Because anyone can apply to be an editor, every article is viewed countless times by people who may be experts on the subject- and they are very quick to correct inaccuracies! Plus, most of the articles have sources cited at the bottom- which is another resource for a student. I offer this advice: “Wikipedia is a good place to start- it’s just a BAD place to finish!” Take the sources listed, and explore them further. And if you are an expert on something, consider becoming an editor yourself. 😉
Thanks for stopping by!