Before suggesting to any teacher that Web 2.0 resources are worth investing in for the purpose of improving learning for our students, you should first be informed about what Web 2.0 is as an instructional technology.
According to Wikipedia.com — Web 2.0 is a growing World Wide Web technology, and web design, a second generation of web-based communities and hosted services such as social-networking sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies, which aims to facilitate creativity, collaboration, and sharing among users…
From creating blogs, using virtual reality schemes such as Second Life, to video media production, and even joining online social networks such as MySpace & Facebook, Web 2.0 is the current popular technology trend that many educators & students are utilizing to gather and share vast amounts of information on the Internet and by using computers… And you can distribute this data in incredibly creative and innovative formats.
There seems to be a limitless supply of technology resources within Web 2.0. These technologies are as big and expanding as a person’s imagination. To neglect to see the advantages of using Web 2.0 technologies to advance K12 education might be seen as to deny our students the use of learning cutting-edge capabilities. If we avoid investing and using these technologies to improve learning… could we be making our students less-marketable in today’s “techie” society? It seems essential to use these new technologies to teach our learners skills they will need to be marketable. So, are the initial investments to teach our students about these technologies necessary if we, as teachers, want our students to be competitive?
Maybe a good question to ask is what is the true monetary value to keep our graduating students equipped with a rich amount of skills that they will need to gain employment? To remain competitive by teaching our students new and innovative skills… is it possible we are simply insuring that our kids will be competitive workers in our advancing world economy.
What do you think? Is technology “really worth” all of the efforts and money to enhance the learning experience of our students? Some say yes, while others think we are wasting our time and resources. There is no easy, cut-clear answer here… or maybe there is? 😉