Web 2.0 Rants and Raves
One of the texts I use in my Automation course is Library 2.0 and beyond: Innovative technologies and tomorrow’s user (Nancy Courtney, ed. – 2007009007). Chapter 2 in this text is called “Looking Toward Catalog 2.0.” As we discussed the content of this chapter at our one (soon to be none) face-to-face session, it was very interesting that students had strong opinions on positive contributions as well as negative impacts of web 2.0 in education. The class spent a good deal of time ranting and raving, and I wanted to share some of the rants and raves (plus one rage) with you all. (Many opinions here have been debated for quite a while.)
Some of the RANTS:
- How can we use tools effectively if the school district is BLOCKING all of it???
- Many library media specialists refuse to acknowledge 2.0 tools, and that reflects poorly on the profession.
- We lose our person-to-person connections.
- Use of some of the tools inhibit collaboration by eliminating F2F discussion.
- It takes a huge chunk of time to learn about the tools, then additional time to integrate effectively into instruction.
- While students are using these tools extensively, we are oftentimes under the wrong impression: we think students are learning when, actually, they’re just using the tools!
- Texting creates a false sense of socialization.
Some of the RAVES:
- We have a wonderful opportunity to gain from collective intelligence through technology connections.
- When a need exists, speed and accuracy of the technology fills that need immediately.
- Blogging encourages groups to communicate and creates unity.
- Multitasking is a way of life today, and web 2.0 provides many avenues for this.
- Connectivity is fast and can occur across huge distances.
- Location of information is instantaneous and massive.
- Web 2.0 allows for individual creativity to abound.
These were only a few of many points brought up in the discussion. While the debate rages about if, how, and when we should use web 2.0 in the schools/library media centers, I have a firm opinion which is partially based on research findings, and fully based on my astute observations. After working in the P-12 schools for 30 years, and seeing young people using a variety of technologies in ways that were at times even difficult for me to grasp, I realize that marrying appropriate [web 2.0] technologies with sound pedagogical practices is paramount in teaching kids. While I can study the research and glean details about teaching strategies from workshops and conferences, common sense tells me that it is imperative that we really look at, and embrace, where kids are today – and where they will be tomorrow. We don’t need technology for the sake of technology, but we do need to speak a language that will engage and enlighten our students.
Phyllis R. Snipes,
University of West Georgia