Why Web 2.0 Technology in Education

Why Educators and Learners Should Know about Web 2.0 Tools

I. What is Web 2.0?

  • A web platform where applications are built on the web rather than installed on the desktop
  • A web system that breaks with the centralized web concept and moves the power of the web to each individual’s desktop

II. Characteristics of Web 2.0

  • Readable & Writable Web (Consumer & Creator)
  • Distributed & Interactive
  • Participation, Collaboration, and Sharing
  • Service-based (No install, Just Use Online)
  • Two-way communications

III. Learning Theories

1. Social Learning Theory

Human beings can learn from observation that can occur in relation to a model from the real world, verbal instructions with desired behaviors, and symbolic media.


Examples


  • Communicating with peers, expanding social connections, and developing professional skills and knowledge in social networking sites
  • Sharing interests and bookmarks within social bookmarking and media sharing services

2. Constructivist's Theory of Learning

Constructivism embraces a "top-down" rather than a "bottom-up" instructional methodology. This means that, rather than teach all of the details that lead to a main idea, students discover the main idea and then derive the details.


Examples


  • From Piaget, we get active learning, schemes, assimilation and accommodation, etc.
  • From Vygotsky, we get social constructivism, group work, apprenticeship, etc.

3. Theory of Motivation

Motivation is a piviotal concept in most theories of learning. It is closely related to arousal, attention, anxiety, and feedback/reinforcement. For example, a person needs to be motivated enough to pay attention while learning; anxiety can decrease our motivation to learn.


Examples


  • Teachers can employ Web 2.0 tools not only to leverage their teaching efficiency but also to motivate students by showing them how fastly, conveniently, and efficiently learning can be performed and how creatively and innovatively learning outcomes can be produced.
  • By doing so, students can be more engaged and interested in their learning and class activities than before. Then, students can figure out more diverse and advanced manners for them to utilize Web 2.0 social technologies in their learning experiences.

IV. Web 2.0 Application in Education

1. Blogs/Wikis

Blogs, starting from the idea of an individual homepage, have two different names: a personal web-publishing tool and a reflective web log. Despite these two different titles for blogs, both names represent the three characteristics of blogs – personal, chronological, and reflective.

2. Social Networking & Bookmarking

Social networking services (SNSs) are web-based networking services that enable individuals to build a public profile within a given online social context, connect with other users sharing profiles and maintaining relationships, and browse others’ networks for creating new or further relationships and grasping new information.

3. Idea Buliding

Concept maps are effective knowledge representation methods that are advantageous in both teaching and learning practices because of the feature regarding cognitive visualization skills.

4. Collaborative Documentation & Visualization

In terms of other collaborative Web 2.0 tools, in addition to wikis, multiple students can instantly write articles together and conceptualize ideas with their peers by the support of collaborative writing and mapping tools such as Google Docs, QikPad, Zoho, EditGrid, Editstorm, Typewith.Me, Mind42, and so forth.

5. Media Sharing

As one key tool of Web 2.0 technologies in education, media sharing has been of great importance in informal learning environments, enabling individual learners to share the content generated by themselves or others under the agreement to be shared over the networks. And the range of the media for sharing is diverse from documents, images, audios (podcasts), to videos (vidcasts).

6. Self-Representation

Educators and learners can build their online social bookshelves on the web by social cloud computing, thus pursuing their social reading whenever they want at wherever and with whatever computing devices at their own paces.