School syllabi and Web 2 technologies

School syllabi and Web 2.0 technologies.

Do your teachers know about programs such as Web 2.0 tools? Do they use them? How does it benefit or harm the learning process?

Yes, teachers globally are aware about programs such as Web 2.0, an online programming tool. Rather than just viewing web content, teachers now have a chance to recommend healthy ideas and thoughts to the already published content on the WWW to encourage collaborative thinking across educational institutions, corporate and the common people. Web 2.0 is hence also known as Read and Write web. It enhances the three C's- creativity, collaboration and communication.

The interactive nature of Web 2.0 along with the need of abilities to generate new content or edit work by other participants is however a two way sword. The article here attempts to enhance the pros and cons of education networking.

The pluses...

Technologically easy to implement. Web 2.0 is the fuel to drive a social networking car. It is the application which allows various technologies to function.

It increases creativity in students. Enhances motivation in students and students develop increased self-confidence and joy which is absent in common external motivators like an end of year recognition and awards. This is commonly called as intrinsic motivation.

It is collaborative. Technology requires students to collaborate rather than the traditional thinking to be just from the Teacher to the student or a self-paced project by the student. Thus technology requires higher student engagement by involving real time two way communications.

It promotes student centered learning. Users can be producers of knowledge and vice versa. A like-minded approach to problem solving fosters team work and fosters healthy competition.

It encourages round the clock learning. Learning is not and should not be confined to just the school boundaries.

Introvert students find a way to express themselves through social networking where the fear of being judged is minimal.

Educator's continuous improvement and learning is ensured by allowing them to attend online conferences and staying up to date with new developments in their domain knowledge or expertise.

Networking is key to liaison with other educators and students. Students remain up to date with school assignments or to simple research an upcoming paper which is yet to be published. Teachers get content sharing, substantiating ideas with the help of already done market research work, (figures and charts are available to back up the research done)

The minuses....

Ensuring a fine balance between freedom and control. Firewall sites which require parental control. Ensure that content is continuously monitored by cyber-security team to ensure that no abusive language is used by students on discussion boards. Currently termed as 'walled garden' is the most accepted form of restricted access to internet networks.

Understanding which online Web 2.0 tool is the best. Each web 2.0 tool like Glogster, Kidblog etc come with their features of creating blogs, generating audios, videos, etc. Too many tools create confusion and also increase the learning curve to actual implementation.

Dealing with security and copyright issues. Access to video files on YouTube can be an invitation to a malicious virus embedded in the video file. Also access to  copyright information which can be accessed through the existing use of AJAX technology, which will need migration to more reliant IP QoS mechanisms.

Cyber bullying and cyber-crime is likely to increase with social networking. Due to increased interaction of children with people, who they do not meet face to face, the possibility of exchange of personal information is likely. This can be particularly worsened in case of introvert or children facing family issues to find their comfort in a stranger.

Conclusion

The successful implementation of Web 2.0 will need a pilot pre-launch before it is opened for public use by universities and educational institutions.

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