I recently had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of Medbiquitous, an organization I have written about elsewhere in this blog. Given Medbiq’s focus on education, I was glad to see Web 2.0 show up as one of the topic areas on the agenda. In my opinion—and I realize I am hardly a pioneer in expressing this one—the collection of collaborative technologies that comprise Web 2.0 represent a dramatic leap forward with respect to the Web’s usefulness as a learning tool. Not surprisingly, I plan to write often about these technologies—thus the points of ellipses in the title of this posting.
Naturally, I attended some of the presentations on Web 2.0 at the Medbiquitous conference, and it is worth sharing a few of the more choice resources that were offered. For starters, the first session I attended kicked off with a viewing of the now-ubiquitous “The Machine is Us/ing Us” on YouTube (well past 2 million viewings at this point). This is de rigueur as an initiation into Web 2.0. If you haven’t viewed this yet, click th elink and take a look (and, of course, come back once you are finished).
“The Machine is Us/ing Us” does a great job of capturing the essence of Web 2.0. If you want a great resource for exploring the diverse range of actual Web 2.0 technologies that are out there, however, look no further than http://www.go2web20.net/. Here you will find a huge—perhaps overwhelming—collection of links to Web 2.0 sites. The usual suspects such as Digg, Wikipedia, and Flikr are here, but so are any number of lesser-known sites—more than a few of which are aimed at traditional educational activities. Quizlet, for instance, provides a tool for learning vocabulary—not just useful for 4th graders but also for students planning to enter any field that is heavy on special terminology. Or, helpfulvideo where visitors can share videos about everyday knowledge and skills using Web-based video. Or, FreeIQ, which bills itself as “The Marketplace for Ideas.” A person could waste untold amounts of time at this site just exploring the full range of what’s available. Coming at it from a more productive viewpoint, however, spending time here is bound to generate at least an idea or two about how your organization might use Web 2.0 tools for sharing knowledge, managing data, productizing your intellectual property, and educating stakeholders—just to name a few of the possibilities.
Simply to prevent cognitive overload, I’ll bring this posting to a close, but look for additional posts soon on specific Web 2.0 technologies and their application to learning.
I am an avid lifelong learner who writes and speaks frequently on the critical role of learning in our fast-changing world.