Friday, September 05, 2008

Web 2.0 in Education

The differentiations between web 1.0 and 2.0 have been primarily focused on business--how to capitalize on the evolution of the web, taking advantage of social networks and prosumers (a conflation of producer/consumers, or active consumers who participate in production--See Toffler's Third Wave page 5 or the ubiquitous Wikipedia discussion on the term).

However, web 2.0 has also glommed onto the imaginations of educators and related terms like e-learning 2.0, education 2.0, scholarship 2.0 and so on have proliferated. Much discussion of the second coming of education, and especially online education, reverberates with evangelical fervor claiming a new millennium of empowerment for learners.

Of course, we heard much the same in web 1.0 concerning online learning, virtual courses and degrees--"go to class in your slippers," "short on time? Take an online course" were found even on LCC's schedule books in the first semesters when online courses were offered. Obviously, we found problems with overselling online courses--some students were not ready, nor were some faculty, for the intensive, solitary work of online education. And doing so on dial-up, when sometimes AltaVista Forum or Blackboard would take ten minutes to download and uploading files took hours of fasting and praying--well, it was not for the faint of heart!!!!!!

So as we delve more into what web 2.0 education, especially online learning, looks like, we need to keep in mind that some of what we look at will be wild-eyed fervor. I will try to sort out the evangelical tropes from the realistic down-in-the-dirt potential of web 2.0 applications and approaches. However, if I begin to rave uncontrollably, just slap me!

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