Session One—What is Web 2.0?

Interconnected World

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.


2 Responses to “Session One—What is Web 2.0?”

  1. martinawp Says:

    The Sixth Skill?

    I am looking forward to our class this semester. It will be interesting to learn new ways for successful teaching and research and–in the meaning of “The Power of the Mashup” by Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss– to “combine essential learning and with new technology tools.” I heard a lot about new ways of web based teaching beyond WebCT /Vista and it will be great to exprerience this first hand.

    These thoughts bring up an essential question: Considering these new tools and the wonderful ability of (most) students to deal with them so easily–by the way, it will be tough to tell our children/grand-children one day that we grew up without, for instance, Internet, I-Phone, I-Pod, and cell phone and that we had to learn how to use these revolutionary technologies–I believe that this new generation has to have skills that were not needed before, e.g. use the endless possibillities of the net and to find and filter webbased information. Our students should be able to deal with tags, podcaststs, wikis etc. in a very fast changing environment. If we want or not there is this “Demand for On-Demand” as Bob Weir has put it. Students will need this skill for the academic and the professional life. To bring the famous Latin words into mind: Non scholae sed vitae discimus! From this point of view I am positive that we should reconsider our “5 Skills” and add “Web2.0/social networking”, and, so to speak, add (at least in mind) a Sixth Skill.

  2. Tadeusz Lemańczyk Says:

    Global learning experiences

    Analyzing Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss’s article “The Power of the Mashup” I’ve shared David
    Fagg’s fascination (“What’s more, social studies students from a Missouri middle school would be listening and commenting as part of their global learning experience.”– ). Web 2.0 really enables us to learn together all over the world. As for Google Earth, it once helped me to emphasize the unique character of Web forums [ > English > European Discussion Forum > Feeling towards Europe and the Union’s tasks > Breaking News: The UK never joined the EEC! Can it be true? (El Lupo, 15/08/2006) > RE: The EU permanent forum (Tadeusz Lemańczyk, 18/08/2006)–(available also at )].

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