Web 2.0 is an upgraded version of Web 1.0. It is known as the second generation of web-based applications and services. Web 2.0 makes it easy for users to create, distribute and share content, often collaboratively. Web 2.0 tools include blogs, wikis, and social networking tools and applications. Web 2.0 allows digital information to be created, shared, stored, distributed, and manipulated. One of the biggest benefits of using Web 2.0 tools is that they are less expensive than traditional software; in fact, in many cases they are free. For example, Google spreadsheets is a spreadsheet tool that is very similar to Microsoft Excel; however the benefits are that it is free, it’s web-based so there is no need to install software (freeing up computer memory space), and it’s collaborative so multiple users can work on the spreadsheet at the same time. Another benefit is that Web 2.0 is web-based so data can be accessed from anywhere.
I believe that Web 2.0 technologies can be used to change the face of education. Because we are teaching digital natives, people who were born during or after the introduction of digital technology, educators can no longer teach in a traditional manner (lecture based and teacher focused). Teachers must find a way to keep today’s generation of students engaged in learning and Web 2.0 technologies are a great tool for student focused learning. My initial thoughts and concerns about integrating Web 2.0 tools, as a strategy for teaching is digital access. In my school, we have 2 computer labs with a class set of computers; however they may not always be available to use when I need them. We also have a mobile laptop cart; however the laptops and Internet functions are extremely slow. In many instances, they get stuck or simply shut down in the middle of lessons. We also don’t have wireless Internet service in my building so allowing students to bring in their own laptops would pose a problem as well. I also fear that not all of my students will have Internet access at home and those that do (which will be the majority) will not take the initiative to log in and learn from home.
Wolcott, M. (2007, May 15). What is web 2.0? CBS News. Retrieved April 2, 2010 from, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-51066094/what-is-web-20/