In this course we will explore what many refer to as ‘Web 2.0’, a concept first coined by Tim O’Reilly after the dot-com crash of 2001. In this 45 second interview O’Reilly mentions two components of this environment that are key to the work we will do in this course: the idea that the network is the platform and that users add value to this network. Over the course of the semester we will explore and evaluate some of the many expressions of those concepts, with a particular focus on their import for our students’ and our learning as well as for our ongoing professional development. I specifically chose the term social networking over social media to place priority on the interpersonal connections these environments enable over the tools themselves.
In our first week (both face-to-face and online) we will start off by looking at informal and formal communities of practice in education, how they currently impact our teaching and learning and how they might evolve as our formal and informal educational networks adopt and adapt these ‘network platforms where users add value’.