In our first session we are going to discuss Thomas Friedman’s book, The World is Flat and the significance of his ideas for our profession. We’ll view his talk at MIT and read Bryan Alexander’s article, Web 2.0: A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning?
In the latter half of the session, we’ll take a look at Jeff Utecht’s YouTube video explaining the concept of Web 2.0.
Before we practice with our blog, we’ll view Lee Lefever’s clever, clear and quick video explanation of RSS.
Finally, we’ll get out our iPods and iTalks and practice searching for and downloading podcasts to follow and post about for the rest of the semester.
We no sooner start our exploration and contemplation of Web 2.0 than discussion turns to Web 3.0. In his post, Web 3.0: The Dreamer of the Vine, William L. Hosch of Brittanica describes Web 1.0 as the read web, 2.0 as the read/write web and the coming 3.0 as the read/write/execute web. In Web 3.0 computing is pervasive, adaptive to user needs and contextualized. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, in response to an audience question at the Seoul Digital Forum, predicts that Web 3.0 will see applications that are pieced together, fast, customizable, run on any device, and most importantly, disseminate virally–through social networks. And finally, Alex Iskold of Read/WriteWeb sees Web 3.0 as the precursor to Tim Berners-Lee’s semantic web vision where web sites effectively become web services that expose their information to the world. He lists Amazon Web Services, Dapper and Teqlo as examples where users can collectively query and remix data. Virally disseminated, adaptable, customizable, remixable and ubiquitous, Web 3.0 promises more opportunities to create educational environments where students can collaborate and communicate with others, and create and critically evaluate resources that will increasingly find a home on the web.
I believe it is very important for every instructor to be familiar with what Tim O’Really calls web 2.0. The concept of Web 2.0 “began with a conference brainstorming session between O’Reilly and MediaLive International” and was later explored in more depth during the first O’Really Media conference on web 2.0, which was held in 2004. What lies at the core of Web 2.0 is the idea that the web should be used “as a platform”. As a consequence, according to Wikipedia, web 2.0 refers “to web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis, and folksonomies — which aim to facilitate creativity, collaboration, and sharing between users.” (see source) As an instructor, while I am aware of multiple teaching strategies, for my language classes I adopt the communicative approach, as per departmental policy and also due to my personal belief in the efficacy of this method. I am deeply convinced that students learn better when they can relate not only to the material but also to the way it is presented to them. For this reason, I believe it is crucial for every instructor to be familiar not only with e-learning platforms for delivering activities over the web to students (suche as QUIA), but also with Web 2.0 applications. In my language classes, I usually integrate in the syllabus several activities (whose grade could be added to the overall grade for participation, or considered per se). Among these activities I think I should mention the usage of IM (Instant Messenger, which I have started using as part of my advanced Italian classes back in 2004), and, more recently, blogs and wikis. I look forward to integrate more web2.0 applications in the future thanks to this course.