Today’s world is a world of technology and education is not indifferent to it. However, use of ICT in education depends on availability of hardware/software as well as the knowledge of effective use of this hardware/software.
Faced with these challenges, how can teachers integrate technology into their teaching? An approach is needed that treats teaching as an interaction between what teachers know and how they apply what they know in the unique circumstances or contexts within their classrooms. There is no “one best way” to integrate technology into curriculum. Rather, integration efforts should be creatively designed or structured for particular subject matter ideas in specific classroom contexts. Honouring the idea, that teaching with technology is a complex, ill-structured task; approaches to successful technology integration require.
At the heart of good teaching with technology are three core components: content, pedagogy, and technology, plus the relationships among and between them. Nowadays with the invention of web 2.0 technology, this is also not a big issue. Web 2.0 technology opened the doors to create potential multimedia content at various platforms easily and free of cost.
What is web 2.0 technology?
Web 1.0 was read-only or static where internet users went online to find information. With Web 2.0, which is read/write or dynamic, people have become active participants and content creators. They not only find information on the Internet, but they also create and share content. The term Web 2.0 was coined in 1999 to describe web sites that use technology beyond the static pages of earlier web sites. It is closely associated with Tim O’Reilly because of the O’Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference, which was held in late 2004. A Web 2.0 site may allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where people are limited to the passive viewing of content.
Web 2.0 websites allow users to do more than just retrieve information. By increasing what was already possible in “Web 1.0”, they provide the user with more user-interface, software and storage facilities, all through their browser. This has been called “network as platform” computing. Web 2.0 technologies have allowed users to easily publish content online and to connect and network with other people from all over the world who have similar interests. The use of tags particularly enables us to collectively categorize and find content easily. Concisely, Web 2.0 could be characterized by openness, user participation, knowledge sharing, social networking and collaboration, user-created content, and folksonomy (Alexander, 2006; Brown & Adler, 2008; Downes, 2005; Thompson, 2007; Richardson, 2009). Popular examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, social bookmarking, etc.
Web 2.0 technologies in teaching and learning:-
Web 2.0 technologies provide teachers with new ways to engage students, and even allow student participation on a global level. By allowing students to use the technology tools of Web 2.0, teachers are giving students the opportunity to share what they learn with peers. Web 2.0 calls for major shifts in the way education is provided for students. This means that students, in a Web 2.0 classroom, are expected to collaborate with their peers. By making the shift to a Web 2.0 classroom, teachers are creating a more open atmosphere where students are expected to stay engaged and participate in class discussions. In fact, there are many ways for educators to use Web 2.0 technologies in their classrooms.
Web 2.0 technologies have “blurred the line between producers and consumers of content and has shifted attention from access to information toward access to other people” (Brown & Adler, 2008, p. 18). Emphasizing a participatory culture, Web 2.0 technologies encourage and enable teachers and learners to share ideas and collaborate in innovative ways. They also force educators to rethink the way we teach and learn and to transform our education practices so that we can support more active and meaningful learning that involves “learning to be” as well as “learning about.”
Web 2.0 has the potential to create more interactive and powerful learning environments in whichlearners become knowledge creators, producers, editors, and evaluators. Learners’ critical thinking skills can be enhanced through the opportunity to regularly compare their own contributions to those of their peers, and the affirmation of their relative standing in the class may be powerful motivation for learning.
Thus, Web 2.0 technologies has the ability to “support active and social learning, provide opportunities and venues for student publication, provide opportunities to provide effective and efficient feedback to learners. In addition, Web 2.0 provides numerous opportunities for social interactions and collaboration among students, teachers, subject matter experts, professionals in different fields, as well as a host of others with related interests.
Benefits of using web 2.0 technologies in teaching:-
The major benefits of using Web 2.0 technologies in teaching include
(1) interaction, communication and collaboration,
(2) knowledge creation,
(3) ease of use and flexibility, and
(4) writing and technology skills.
1. Interaction, communication and collaboration: using Web 2.0 technologies in teaching helps to build a sense of community, increases interaction and communication among the instructor, students, and other people, and promotes collaboration and resource sharing.
a) If used correctly, they can help develop a better sense of connectivity between students and teachers and afford students opportunities to connect and communicate with classmates and resources throughout the world.
b) They reduce the distance between teacher and students.
c) Students learn about new ways of collaboration.
d) Students and teachers see learning as a more social process. It’s not just the book and yourself; its collaborative meaning making.
2. Knowledge creation: Web 2.0 technologies enable students to become creators of knowledge. Web 2.0 technologies give students the opportunity to create content themselves instead of just listening to lectures, and this supports active and student-centred learning in which students take responsibility for their learning. Web 2.0 technologies create an environment where a teacher becomes a facilitator of learning rather than a distributor of knowledge.
3. Ease of use and flexibility: Web 2.0 tools are easy-to-use and flexible. They remove time constraints by providing a more flexiblelearning environment that is not inhibited to classroom walls.
4. Writing and technology skills: use of Web 2.0 technologies help students to become more proficient in writing and in the application of technology.
In addition to above four major benefits, using Web 2.0 technologies helps teachers understand a little more about the world of their students, and motivates the students. After discussing about meaning of web 2.0 technologies and there benefits, it’s time now to discuss about few such technologies.
Key Web 2.0 services/applications:-
There are number of Web-based services and applications that demonstrate the foundations of the Web 2.0 concept, and they are already being used to a certain extent in education. These are not really technologies as such, but services (or user processes) built using the building blocks of the technologies and open standards that underpin the Internet and the Web. As discussed earlier, these include blogs, wikis, multimedia sharing services, content syndication, podcasting and content tagging services. Many of these applications of Web technology are relatively mature, having been in use for a number of years, although new features and capabilities are being added on a regular basis.
Although the modern Internet community is moving towards social networks and clouds, there is still some space for traditional free web hosting that enables to publish a custom web page, or custom blog, or other “manually” build website on the web at absolutely no cost.