In the last decade, the use of web technologies in education has increased rapidly. It started with the use of email and websites displaying class information, and it has now evolved into using web resources as a part of teaching lessons. An example of this evolution into the use of web resources as instructional tools is Web 2.0. Web 2.0, sometimes referred to as the “red/write Web” is a type of web technology that “provides online users with interactive services, in which they have control over their own data and information” (Haya and Hartshorne, 2008, p. 71). Wikis, blogs, Skype, and Diigo are all examples of this type of technology. This primarily free resources are becoming increasingly popular in the classroom; “Web 2.0 has emerged with the potential to further enhance the teaching and learning environment in education” (Haya and Hartshorne, 2008, p. 71).
In addition to being a vast resource with a minimal cost, Web 2.0 technologies are great for the classroom, because they are resources that students find interesting and enjoy using. Wikis and blogs are tools that students are already using in their free time, so it makes sense to capitalize on an area where students are already self-motivated and integrate these resources into education. “With Web 2.0, students no longer access the web only for course information; instead the access and create collective knowledge through social interactions” (Haya and Hartshorne, 2008, p. 71).
Educators can use Web 2.0 technologies for many different purposes in the classroom. They tools can be used to teach information, facilitate group work, create an interactive class website where students can provide feedback and invest their time, provide a free source for student publication, and even as a way for parents to stay connected to their children’s classrooms.
Haya, A., and Hartshrone, R. (2008). Investigating faculty decisions to adopt Web 2.0 technologies: Theory and empirical tests. Internet and Higher Education, 11, p. 71-80.