Foundations of Education and Instructional Assessment/Technology/Web 2.0

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Web 2.0
by Darby Christian
[edit | edit source]

Overview[edit | edit source]

This article intends to address what Web 2.0 Tools are and what "Web 2.0" refers to, specifically in an educational realm. This article also addresses why educators are talking about the issue of Web 2.0 tools and why there is debate about the usefulness of these tools or lack thereof. The article will briefly discuss the different viewpoints from both sides of the fence regarding using Web 2.0 in the classroom. As we develop deeper into this idea of Web 2.0 we will learn how we can use Web 2.0 in the classroom.

What is Web 2.0?[edit | edit source]

According to Dan Fost, O'Reilly lists seven key components to web 2.0:

-- Using the Web as a platform, where anyone can write software that anyone else can use, instead of having to use Microsoft's Windows platform;

-- Harnessing collective intelligence, such as the way Google links to the most-popular pages and Amazon offers popular books, and the way Wikipedia and blogs use "the wisdom of crowds" to come up with information;

-- Enriching data for a deeper online experience, as seen in mashups like www.housing, which combines Craigslist apartment data with Google maps;

-- Software as a service, which gets constantly updated online rather than sold in shrink-wrapped packages;

-- Software such as Apple's iTunes, which works seamlessly online, on PCs and on iPods;

-- Rich user experiences, so that Web sites often feel like the software that runs on a PC. (2006)

The term Web 2.0 was coined and popularized by Tim O’Reily (Voithofer, 2007), it refers to an evolution of usability of Internet applications by way of collaboration technologies for social uses in different arenas such as business and education. These technologies include, but are not limited to blogs, podcasts and, wikipages (Alexander 2006), that became extremely easy to produce due to the fact that to use them one no longer needs to understand intense html coding (Geraci 2007). Barsky describes, Web 2.0 is ultimately a social phenomenon of users’ experiences of the Web and is characterized by open communication, decentralization of authority, and freedom to share and re-use Web content (2006). This as changed view so that people and collaboration has became the biggest factor of the Internet (O'Reilly 2005).

The previous version, of the Web, referred to as Web 1.0, was best summed as the software, browsers and other applications, being the most important part of the Internet (O'Reilly 2005). Web 2.0 is collaborative in nature, and is a mindset that we are the integral part of these technologies, not the html, coding, and machines (Geraci, 2007). Its collaborative nature also creates the concept of micro content and the idea that now we can access many different items from one single source due to an open sharing among domains, and servers (Alexander 2006). Web 2.0 is a term that encases an idea of using internet technologies for socioeconomic concerns. I mention Blogs, Podcasts, and Wikis, however we can become more creative and apply this idea to other technologies. Some of those could be online chats, a digital television recording device, and even RSS feeds (really simple syndication).

Three structural tools of Web 2.0: Blogs, Podcasts, & Wikipages

Check out this video to get a visual idea of Web 2.0
Web 2.0 according to Michael Wesch

Why Web 2.0?[edit | edit source]

Why is there a push towards Web 2.0 in the classroom? Remember that web 2.0 is an idea, not just one thing (Alexander 2006). Web 2.0 refers to all of us and how we access our internet, our world. The idea now is to use Web 2.0 to our advantage, specifically in school systems. The school of thought that is for the usage of Web 2.0 in the classroom believes that it is an asset to education. Web 2.0 is how “millennials [1]” are accessing the majority of their social world already (Voithofer, 2007). Another idea behind the push for usage in the classroom, is the fact that Web 2.0 tools are what we use everyday to access our world (Voithofer 2007). The thought is that students need to be aware of these tools, and knowledgeable of how to use them correctly and responsibly. We use Web 2.0 tools everyday, and we probably don’t even notice. When we express ourselves on our blog pages, when listening to RSS feeds, when we upload photos to a Flickr account we are accessing Web 2.0 . Our world is changing. We are becoming more collaborative and more creative due to the enlarging capabilities of the technology around us.

According to the Digital Media and Learning Fact Sheet published by the MacArthur Foundation, which sponsors a $50 million program study focused on the successful integration of digital technologies into the nation’s education system, 87% of America’s teens have home access to the Internet, and most spend up to 8.5 hours daily involved with some form of digital technology. The sheet also sites information gathered from 2005 Kaisor Family Foundation survey that states “the typical 8-18 year-old lives in a home with 3.6 CD or tape players, 3.5 TVs, 3.3 radios, 2.9 VCRs/DVD players, 2.1 video game consoles, and 1.5 computers” Giving further proof to the inundation of digital media in the lives of U.S. youngsters, MacArthur cites that suggests that 64% of 8-18 year-olds are download music online, 32% have their own Webpage, 66% instant message; 39% own cell phones; 18% MP3 players; and 13% possess handheld technology with Internet connectivity, and 80% of youth participate in online gaming.


There has been some debate about employing Web 2.0 tools in the classroom. Some feel that Web 2.0 is merely a scheme to market “hot web-start ups” (Geraci, 2007). Corporate businesses use the term "Web 2.0" to target millennials to help publicize new web domains. Alexander notes,(web 2.0 tools) They are the creations of enthusiasts or business enterprises and do not necessarily embrace the culture of higher education (2006). Another problem presented by Web 2.0 is maintaining intellectual integrity as information is more easily shifted and moved from domain to domain (Alexander 2006).

In the Classroom

We need to embrace these technologies in our classroom, so that we can enhance our students’ access of knowledge, and teach them evaluation skills that will be crucial when using these new applications. Dodge defines, A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the internet, optionally supplemented with videoconferencing (1997). Webquests [2] are a great way to involve Web 2.0 in the classroom and keep students on task with the content. Webquests can use several different web 2.0 tools to demonstrate knowledge of content. For example, the unit being studied could be the lifespan of a butterfly for third-grade science. The Webquest assigns specific tasks to the students using applications found on the internet. One task may be to observe a video of the life-span of a monarch butterfly on that was downloaded from unitedstreaming [3]. Another quest after the video could be posting a blog about one’s interests in the life-span of the monarch butterfly.

Finding Web 2.0 Tools You Can Use in the Classroom

Dr. Bernie Dodge who works for the San Diego State University, Department of Educational Technology has created a Webquest.Org site that teaches how to create Webquests. In addition, the site provides a search engine to find pre-designed Webquests you can use in your classroom that are grade level and subject specific (Dodge, 2007). Click on to view the site.

In addition to Webquests, another cooperative Web 2.0 tool that you can use in your classroom is a blog. The classroom blog is a service created by David Warlick and the Landmark Project. It is free to all teachers working in an Educational Institution. It designed to let a teacher create a classroom blog that is completely secluded from the outside world. You will be able to enter your students’ names, and have the students write articles and reports that are posted for you and their peers to review and comment on (21st, 2008). To access the Landmark site, click on

Another fun idea for using Web 2.0 is video sharing. You and your students can download and uploading educational video from Google video (21st, 2008). Your class could create a video science project on the Monarch butterfly that could be uploaded to Google video. Producing something that a world-wide audience could view could be a huge motivator for your students.

To access the Google video site, click on

<left>PROS:Easier to access more information. CONS: Intellectual Theft, Copyright infringement.

Final Thoughts[edit | edit source]

Web 2.0 is best described as a new version of the internet that focuses on the web as a platform of usability; it also refers to viewing people and the partnership between them as the important part of the web, not machines and codes (O'Reilly 2005). The world is evolving and we are entering a new frontier where Web 2.0 tools allow us to become more collaborative, communicative and creative. We are embarking on a new era in which many social formalities are completed online. Education of responsible and appropriate use of these tools is a needed area in the classroom. The children of today and tomorrow will and are becoming more technology saturated. As educators it is our duty to teach our students integrity and make them accountable for themselves. We need to adapt to students learning capabilities, and using web 2.0 tools in our classrooms as teaching strategies is the best way to do this.

Links to Web 2.0 Tools[edit | edit source]

Top 1,000 Web 2.0 Tools

References[edit | edit source]

Alexander, Bryan. (2006). Web 2.0 A new wave of Innovation for teaching and learning? Retrieved February 2, 2008 from

Barsky, Eugene. (2006). Introducing Web 2.0: weblogs and podcasting for health librarians. Retrieved February 12, 2008 from

Dodge, Bernie. (1997). Some Thoughts About WebQuests. Retrieved February 19, 2008 from

Dodge, Bernie. (2007). Webquest.Org. Retrieved April 19, 2008 from site:

Geraci, Michael. (2007). Now Playing: Web 2.0. Retrieved February 2, 2008 from

Fost, Dan. (2006). What exactly does Web 2.0 mean? Well... Retrieved February 12, 2008 from

O'Reilly, T. (2005). What Is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software. Retrieved February 2, 2008, from

Wesch, Michael. (2007). Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us. Retrieved February 2, 2008 from

Safer, Morley. (2007). The "Millennials" Are Coming. Retrieved February 13, 2008 from

Voithofer, Rick.(2007). Web 2.0: What is it and how can it apply to teaching and teacher preparation? Retrieved February 2, 2008 from

Digital Media and Learning Fact Sheet. Retrieved April 24, 2008 from the John T. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation site.{7E45C7E0-A3E0-4B89-AC9C-E807E1B0AE4E}/DL%20FACT%20SHEET.PDF

21st Century Information Fluency Project. (2008, April). Retrieved April 19, 2008 from IMSA (Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy) site:

The previous version, Web 1.0, is best summed as the browsers, software