What good are web 2.0 tools?
In module five we reflect on our current understanding of web 2.0 and the tools that may be used in this domain. Through the bubbl.us website, we are asked to create a concept map of web 2.0 tools and export it to include in this blog post.
I found the process of creating a concept map to allow me to more effectively reflect about what I thought was powerful from web 2.0 tools. In creating the different strands of my map, I decided that I thought the two most important elements of the web 2.0 environment are creating content and collaboration.
Through publishing tools, we can create vodcasts and podcasts to engage students, and compete effectively with other sources that clamour for their attention. We can create blogs and wikis that serve not only to house teaching and learning resources, but also to be a place where they are reflected upon. This reflection is the second part - the collaboration. Web 2.0 allows users to develop and refine together, efficiently. Gone are the email chains bouncing back and forth (well, almost) and now we can collaborate quickly in Google+, through wikis, on Twitter. This rapid feedback allows teachers to work with their peers and develop their resources and expertise. These tools allow for professional networking in real time, outside of school.
I think that gradually web 2.0 tools will replace existing professional development; it is free and accessible. I do not think this will occur rapidly, indeed, the majority of my colleagues do not have a professional online presence as yet, and there is an incongruence between those that do use online networking, and those that do not know it exists. There is also the problem that networks such as Twitter can easily end up as an echo chamber for the loudest voices. Yet, I do not think this is solely due to it being online, I feel sure there is historical precedent for certain people having voices which are heard when there are others which are not.