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Web 2.0 and Education

from: Internet Exposed Files

The concept of the Web 1.0 model is basically the idea that someone has a product or content they want to give or sell to me. It is a linear approach to providing something, as in a product or knowledge, to a user. In the Web 2.0 model on the other hand, the user can be active in the creation of the product or content, and use the present content freely. Web 2.0 is not just a place where something is made. Web 2.0 at the basic level is a community of users collaborating in the creation process.

Education today is aiming more toward adopting personalized learning approaches, and considering that Web 2.0 is a community of collaborating users it offers educators and students alike vast learning opportunities. Here is a brief list of the benefits that Web 2.0 can provide. Keep in mind this list may not be exhaustive.

Engages Students

Most of today’s students find that studying on the internet can be very engaging. Students are not limited to the information that is disseminated from the textbooks that were selected by the faculty. Instead, the internet, specifically Web 2.0 allows students to explore other interesting information and even contribute new information on many sites. This can actually have an inspiring affect on students and aid in helping them focus on their learning.

Authenticity

When I was in grade school and wrote my reports and essays there were only two people who would see my work. Those were my teacher and my parents, of which received little feedback other than a grade or compliments. Today students using the internet create and write for a larger and very real audience. Whether the Web 2.0 programs are limited to the school’s network or those students are publishing material reaching beyond, the work being done and the audience reading that work are very real.

Participation

There is nothing more inspiring for a student than to interact and make a contribution to something and realize that the rest of the world can see that contribution. Prior to the internet learning was held within the walls of the school for the most part and, personally speaking, rather boring. Community learning was basically limited to shared reading out of a textbook, standing in front of class for a spelling bee, or listening to the teacher express their version of US history. It was linear education with little if any real educational interaction. Today students can share and participate in learning on a global scale and this breeds broader world visions and understanding.

Access To Information

There is not a child who is not curious. Curiosity is part of the nature of being a child. With that said, the world of the internet is nothing short of being a warehouse of information. Web 2.0 eliminates restrictions of access to learning opportunities and gives the student the ability to learn something new.

Personal Expression & Genuine Interest

One of the greatest features of Web 2.0 is that it facilitates both genuine interest and personal expression. One of the most profound examples of this is a classroom full of students collaborating on a science project with NASA astronauts in space via the internet. NASA has done this type of collaboration on more than one occasion. Imagine the amount of learning inspiration those students received from those collaborations. In a sense those students conducted science experiments in outer space without even leaving the classroom. In a nut shell, that is the educational power of Web 2.0.




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