Weathering the storm of Web 3.0 and its implications for Education

 

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?

 

 

 

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Can you tell me how to get to Learning Street?

Postman wrote: “…We now know that Sesame Street encourages children to love school only if school is like Sesame Street.  Which is to say, we now know that Sesame Street undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents.”  The idea that Sesame Street undermines traditional schooling has merit when you look at it in the broader context which Postman explains in his article.  However, more than twenty years after the article was written, we as educators have embraced some of what Postman seemed to look at as harmful to students’ learning.  Instead of fighting against technology, we have (mostly!) embraced it as a tool for learning and as a method of communication for ourselves and our students.

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Some of my favourite memories are of watching Sesame Street with my brothers. Grover and Snuffleupagus were my favourites. Who did you love?

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Smartphones, computers, and other Internet enabled devices are becoming more mainstream as educational tools across North America.  Our current culture of smartphones has pushed educators to incorporate the technology – the seeming current language of today’s youth – into our classrooms and our schools.  BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and the integration of smartphones in classrooms does not just happen automatically without thought to acceptable use.  Educators must think about the advantages and disadvantages the incorporation of technology bring for students’ learning and incorporate digital literacy into our teaching. 

 

TEL person centered digital literacy

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In Educational Technology:  Historical Developments, Santosh Panda describes the evolution of AV Tech in Education. ” [T]he initiation of educational technology movement started with audiovisual aids and behaviourism and programmed learning.  In the process educational technology/ instructional technology systems got developed, learning was more personalized (i.e. oriented to one’s own ability, need andstyle), and group ‘interaction’ was frequent and enriched. The later developments in distance education largely used the educational technology developments so much so that today both constructivist learning and personalized learning environment on the web can combine together to offer customized and enriched learning experiences.”  AV Tech has evolved so much in the past few decades that it is hardly recognizable compared to the earlier modes.  With the evolution came necessary changes to the technology and the way educators and learners use technology.  In other words, as technology has evolved, so has educational practice.  Educational theory has shifted from earlier theories such as Behaviourism into Constructivism and then continued sliding into Connectivism.  Most educators today will agree that in order to effectively teach learners with a vastly differing set of abilities and learning styles, it is vital to deliver curriculum in a variety of styles and ways to meet the learning needs of students.  For instance, I am a learner who thrives on the written word but I do know that, for me, images and illustrations contribute significantly to the meaning and retention of the written word.  Haiming wrote, “One of the benefits that Audiovisual aid brings is that learning via AV creates a stimulating and interactive environment which is more conducive to learning.” Multimodal literacy is changing and enhancing the way students learn.  You can get an overview in the video below, posted on Youtube by Petra Judd.

 

 

With a vast array of AV technologies, such as apps and interactive educational shows, the format of schooling is changing.  Last week I explored and blogged about the use of Google extensions in the classroom.  These tools can aid educators in reaching the needs of the students.  The connectedness of our world is not going away.  We might as well get on the digital train and take it for a ride all the way to Learning Street.  Just be prepared for a bumpy ride and sudden stops along the way, as this train does not always promise a smooth ride.  

 

Continuing Education Constant Learning Street Signs

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