Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Web Squared comments



I have learnt a lot from reading Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On by O'reilly and Battelle. It may be business orientated but it's given me insight into the future and a different perspective on the essence of Web 2.0. However, when I went back over it and thought about some of the main points with education in mind, I didn't get a great deal of insight. But one point is worth exploring:

Web 2.0 is all about harnessing collective intelligence
Yes, indeed. Web Squared talks about how applications get better the more they are used. The tools learn and use the user contributions. The key phrase here is harnessing collective intelligence. For me, this reinforces my belief in the collaborative/constructivist pedagogies. You could say that Web 2.0 is a collaborative/constructivist approach to the internet. An approach that people have voted for en masse. Similarly, you could liken Web 1.0 (if that's a phrase) to didactic teaching. No input from the user into the static html.

So what for education? Well, the above is my biggest learning point. But conceptually educators need to get used to the idea of constant improvements and updates and actively engaging in this process themselves. Putting up with a static VLE for years and years isn't what we want to be doing in 2009.

Some interesting stuff on how the Web learns from bodies of data. This is useful to know and you can see how the semantic Web will take shape from this. However, there is nothing profound here for education that springs to mind except how exciting some of the tools look. Definitely some educational potential here. If only everyone had an iphone!

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