Saturday, April 19, 2008

Web 2.0 and Personal Learning Networks

I'm adding more thoughts on the article“Web 2.0 a Social Movement” by William Birdsall. In reading the article again, I found the following:

“Web 2.0 has increased the participatory role given to users of the Web in its development and use. Tim O’Reilly, who is often given credit for coining the term Web 2.0, talks about development principles that include: “an architecture of participation;” “harnessing collective intelligence;” “rich user experience;” “trusting users as co-developers;” development in a state of “perpetual beta”; “the wisdom of crowds” (O’Reilly, 2005).

These crowds have become our own personal learning networks, our communities. We use blogs and wiki’s and subscribe to feeds. Feeds in themselves change how we interact with the internet; we are having pertinent information given to us. We are no longer searching endlessly for that information. Imagine the potential for students. Have you ever seen an 8th grade student in a computer lab or library try to perform nettrekker and google searches and come back frustrated as can be. I have. We are removing a piece of frustration and giving back to our students the time they need to digest information instead of having them spend all of their time searching for information. None of this would be possible without web 2.0. And where does that leave us in education, where do we focus when it comes to web 2.0 and professional development, lacking indeed.

Personally having become a web 2.0 user of late, I am amazed at the amount of tools that are out there and the amount of information I have already learned and accumulated via these tools. In eight weeks I have played with at least 10 different tools, and I haven’t even begun to touch the surface. Web 2.0 has allowed me to connect to people all over the world, via my blog, my wiki, my twitter account, and various other bookmarking and networking tools that I have found. I am thrilled to be a part of such a large and growing community.

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