Web 1.0. Web 2.0. Web 3.0. No, these aren’t Spiderman movies. It is the terminology used to describe the evolution of the World Wide Web. For those who need a quick overview, here’s a video:
Interesting to think that all of this has happened in a relatively short amount of time. Have we as educators helped our students to embrace what the web has to offer and taught them how to most effectively navigate this awesome tool they have at their fingertips? I can say, for me, the answer is probably a resounding “NO” – not because I resist the use of technology, but because I myself haven’t always had access to the tools or the knowledge on how to best support students and teach them to use the tools. There are so many avenues to explore when it comes to using the web, all while trying to instill good digital citizenship and develop social responsibility in students and in ourselves as educators.
In one article I read this week, I found these lines: “Using Web 2.0 tools offers the perfect opportunity to introduce students to good computing practices from how to safely share information to how to engage in civil discourse. If students do not have the chance to try out these tools, they will be left somewhat defenseless when they encounter them outside the classroom.” This is something that the ELA teachers in our school have discussed and tried to incorporate into our planning and teaching. Modeling how to be effective online citizens is an important part of teaching our students how to use technology effectively and appropriately. This knowledge is going to become increasingly important with the development of Web 3.0.
What in the world is Web 3.0? Essentially, it will change the internet from a searchable tool to a tool that can predict user needs. This Techopedia article said “Web 3.0 can be likened to an artificial intelligence assistant that understands its user and personalizes everything.”
If we let it, Web 3.0 can have a significant impact on education and on our students’ learning. Students could potentially gather a wide variety of relevant information about the topic they are researching, cutting research time down and allowing more time to sift through the information and organize it in whatever way they deem necessary for understanding. That’s just a tip of the iceberg, I’m sure. Just as I couldn’t have imagined the world we live in right now, I’m sure the advancements of the web will also bring an increase in applications that we are not even aware of yet. As my classmate Melanie said in her post, “What worries me is that, by the time our school systems embrace the fact that technology is here to stay and admit that the way we ‘do’ education is strongly affected by the advancements in technology (and, as a consequence, education will need to be subjected to some major changes), we will be ‘too behind’ to be able to implement all the expected changes.” Not only will implementation be a struggle, but equal access to resources may also prove to be an issue. Those who have access to technology would be the privileged while those who live in poverty may be disadvantaged due to lack of access. But as our presenting group pointed out last week, there are ways that we can help eliminate some of those barriers. There are more free wi-fi zones in various places throughout most communities and public libraries offer not only wi-fi access but access to computers as well for those who may not have access to technology in their homes.
My classmate Sage in her blog post this week eloquently summarized the key features of each version of the Web and corresponding educational approaches. Check it out! What scares and excites me at the same time when thinking about Web 3.0 and how it will affect education, is the barriers to technology and the lack of PD in this area. In our group presentation last week, there was a comparison made between the cost of two textbooks and the cost of a Chromebook. Think about that. Two textbooks costs about as much a a Chromebook. Which would you say would be most useful for your overall learning?
Gerstein said “The Web, Internet, Social Media, and the evolving, emerging technologies have created a perfect storm or convergence of resources, tools, open and free information access.” My question to you is this – will you weather the storm or will you hide from it?