Web 2.0 is all the rage in education... in the words of Apple, if you have a classroom challenge or issue, "there's an app for that". In a nutshell, Web 2.0 applications are simply online software that runs directly from the host browser, typically with no downloads or installs involved. And, the best part for budget-strapped educators... Web 2.0 applications are often free! But, are the educational benefits available via Web 2.0 applications worth all the hype?
As discussed in a recent interview in Campus Technology:
Instructional Technologist Marta Masterson is used to some skepticism when students see her syllabus. A lot of them have never heard of Web 2.0 technologies like Diigo, Glogster, Prezi, and PBworks. For some, the thought of using any technology they can't access from their phone breaks them out in a cold sweat. For others, there's a very real concern that investing hours into Web 2.0 projects could result in waking up one morning to discover the cloud ate their homework.
Masterson said she has faith that the four technologies she finds most useful in the classroom aren't going anywhere. She's willing to back that faith up with examples of real world success in using Diigo, Glogster, Prezi, and PBworks as teaching tools.
Realistically, Masterson said, there's a risk these technologies might disappear, but she said she believes teaching students how to use Web 2.0 technologies is almost as important as the course material. "Students are going to be using a computer every day at their job, even if they're not in an IT field," she said. "There aren't a lot of jobs out there anymore where you're not sitting in front of a computer every day. The more you know about computers the more job opportunities you're going to have. Plus, not having to wait for the help desk makes you more efficient. If you're on a deadline and you know how to solve your own problem, that makes you a real asset."
By the end of her classes, Masterson said, she's converted most of her skeptics.
Campus Technology recently had an opportunity to talk to Masterson about how she uses Web 2.0 technologies in both the graduate library science course she teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in her position as Instructional Technologist at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI.
Read the full article in Campus Technology.