What is Web 2.0?
The term ‘Web 2.0’ was officially coined in 2004 by Dale Dougherty, a vice-president of O’Reilly Media Inc. Many believe the Web has entered a second phase, where new services and software – collectively known as Web 2.0 – are transforming the web from a read only medium to one where anyone can publish and share content and easily collaborate with others” (Eckstein, 2008).
Below are listed some invaluable Web 2.0 tools that teachers can use to enhance student learning in the classroom.
Blogs are a fantastic way for students to create personal learning communities. Students can reflect on their learning through blog entries, comments and responses from the outside community.
Teachers can also incite students to ‘blog for a cause’ in an area of their particular interest. It could be anything from a local community issue to global challenges. It is a simple, yet engaging way to connect students with others and enable them to make a difference in the world (Deckstein, 2007).
Podcasts are a great tool for students to find audio files (or sometimes videos) in areas of interest that are too obscure for traditional broadcasting to cover. Also, podcasts can afford creative learning experience as students can research a specific topic and transmit their ideas and messages to share with the world. For example, students could create a weekly news broadcast (Siegle, 2007).
Students can thrive in the creation of social networking environments such as Twitter or web-based discussion groups. These tools can offer a rich source of support as students can socialise with their peers through informal discussions about topics of their choice.
Social Bookmarking can be a valuable tool for the classroom. Especially in research type projects, where students can gather, label, and organize links that they come across during their research (Deyamport, 2011). Through Social Bookmarking, teachers can propel students to higher order thinking, particularly by having students evaluate, compare and contrast links that were bookmarked by different groups or individuals on any given topic. Students can explain their reasoning for saving that bookmark and why they felt those were important resources (Deyamport, 2011).
Collaborative Graphic Organisers
Collaborative Graphic Organisers such as Gliffy or Bubbl.us are other tools that can enhance the learning of students. These internet-based graphic organisers enable students to share and collaborate on diagrams and maps, help students with concept development for projects and to visually organise their thinking.
The educational benefits of collaborative documents for students are far reaching, offering new, contextual and accessible ways to collaborate with other peers on line, extending themselves academically and socially.
Video and Photo-sharing
Students can upload videos and photos in the same place to creatively organsie and share information with others. People can leave feedback and comments which can serve as a source of motivation. Also, students can use effective video strategies to voice issues, or create video pitches to bloggers.
Deckstein, M. (2007). Blogging for a Cause. Retrieved on 6 November, 2011 from http://talentedandgifted.edublogs.org/.
Deyamport, E. G. (2011). Gifted 2.0: Social Bookmarking. Retrieved on 11 November, 2011 from http://languagejourneys.blogspot.com
Eckstein, M. (2008). Gifted and Talented Education in the 21st Century. NMAG 2008 Summer Institute On Gifted Education. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/gtteacher/enrichment-20-gifted-education-for-the-21st-century-530600
Siegle, D. (2007). Podcasts and Blogs: Learning Opportunities on the Information Highway. Retrieved from http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/siegle/Publications/GCTPodcasts