By Terry Freedman
The web is, and always has been, an exciting place for education in terms of the possibilities it offers for research and collaboration. Now, it is even more exciting, with the appearance and development of new tools which have become collectively known as “Web 2.0”.
The purpose of this booklet, which brings together the expertise and experience of a range of leading-edge practitioners, is to provide a gentle introduction to Web 2.0 to teachers who aren’t at present too sure of what it’s all about.
The aim of the booklet is not to be comprehensive, which is impossible in a sense: there seems to be new tools appearing every day. It is, in fact, intended to be a “taster”, to encourage you to dip your toe in the water.
A cynical response might be, “just another label”! In fact, whereas until recently the world wide web has been seen pretty much as a publishing medium, and therefore a fairly one-sided affair in many respects, it is now regarded more as a participatory platform. That’s what blogs, wikis and so on are really all about: not merely another way in which “ordinary” people can publish their views, but a means whereby just about anyone can contribute to an ongoing “conversation” in which knowledge is both discovered and constructed as it goes on.
But hey! If all this sounds somewhat esoteric, don’t worry about it, but just enjoy reading about other educationalists’ experiences and resolve to try out these things with your own students. (If you wish to explore the concept of Web 2.0 further, see the article by Steve Lee and Miles Berry on page19, and look at Chris Smith’s http://www.shambles.net/web2/.)