Discussion #3 Chapter 15: The Web 2.0

Description/summary of main ideas in the chapters.

The authors began chapter 15 with a brief history of the Web 2.0 phenomenon. They addressed this relatively new trend in technology from a direction of social change and the impact that web 2.0 has had on cultures around the world. They divided the chapter into 3 main parts. 1) Podcasting’s place in the web 2.0 world and the change that it has had on the word. 2) Podcasting’s place within education. 3) Best practices and uses for podcasting based upon the findings of research.

The authors spent a great deal of time dealing with the usage of web 2.0 technologies, mobile technologies, and the role podcasting plays in all of those. The authors were particularly keen on the fact that web 2.0 technologies and the freedom that mobility has given to users has cause a type of “social” change which educators and intuitions must embrace or get left behind.  People’s behaviors and expectations are changing and ever evolving due partially to these technologies and innovations.  They also discussed some of the potential cons to these technologies concerning “real-time” interaction and anti social behavior.

Their best practices heavily stressed that podcasting is not effective for all content and proper evaluation should be done to ensure that it is the most valuable tool for the course.  They also stated that the instructions should be very clear, as should the presentation of the podcast.

Discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the chapters.

I was pleasantly surprised and excited to hear the authors addressing the role that these technologies are playing in social change. I was very interested to hear their arguments and how they believe things (then) were turning out. Many of their predictions have been spot on and I wonder if they could have guessed that things would change this much this quickly.

I think that they were mistaken though when they were talking about the user’s ability to multi-task. This is a little off topic of podcasting and may be missing the point of their argument, but humans cannot multitask. Many studies have shown that the human brain can focus on one thing at a time and “multitasking” as we know it is simply switching from one thing to another very quickly and usually at the expense of all things. The example that they gave about the student writing a paper, watching tv, posting to myspace, etc. really just equated in a student who was very distracted and probably much less efficient than the student who did one thing at a time. The authors’ argument was that people could cram more things in to the hours than previously able, but I fear that those things crammed in there are just not being done as well.

How could teachers/educators use the material/information addressed in the chapters to help improve their instruction or professional development?

This chapter would be especially useful for teachers in professional development sessions dealing especially with podcasting and/or other web 2.0 tools. The authors did a great job discussing the history of web 2.0 and social change. They did a great job transitioning from all 2.0 tools to just podcasting. I think this chapter could spur some great conversation about social change and web 2.0 now (i.e. twitter, youtube, etc.)

What future trends do you see coming from the topics dealt with in the chapters? In other words, do you think the material/information discussed in the chapters have any relevancy to the future or is it just a passing fad?

I see podcasting as one of those things that has stuck around and will continue to stick around for a while. Its not as flashy as some of the “newest and greatest” technologies out there, but it has proven to be essential. This is very similar to forums, newsgroups, messageboards, etc. They have been around for a long time and have proven themselves over and over again. People are reinventing ways for these “old” technologies to be used and I think podcasting will be the same way. People will discover it, get excited about it, and use it just like it was invented yesterday because it is such a useful tool.

What you learned from reading these chapters? If the articles did not reveal any new information, explain what you already know about the topic and how you gained that knowledge (e.g., experience, word-of-mouth, research).

I learned a little more about the extent that podcasting and other mobile technologies can help and just how many people actually use these technologies. This chapter helped cement the idea in my mind that podcasting is not dying, but rather it is strengthen its foundation and foothold as one of those essential technologies.

Did you feel the chapters helped in your understanding of the use of technology in education? Explain why or why not. Did anything confuse you? Did the chapters leave more questions for you?

This chapter was great because I was really able to “subscribe” to what the authors were saying. I enjoyed the discussion about social changes and the best practices. The research was interesting and did a great job tying the whole thing together.  This chapter left me with questions about how I can use podcasting more and how the heck we can get university communications to let go of iTunes U so we can use it 🙂

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About Michael T.

I'm a student in the Instructional Technology and Design Ph.D. program at Southern Miss. I'm also working as a multimedia developer at the Learning Enhancement Center on campus at Southern Miss. I'm married and have a 3 year old daughter. I enjoy all kinds of technology, but especially graphic design, interactive web (flash), and high quality multimedia (audio and video) technologies.

One thought on “Discussion #3 Chapter 15: The Web 2.0

  1. I completely agree that podcasting isn’t the newest or flashiest technology, but it is relevant. As a journalism instructor, it is especially true for my student who will face digital newsrooms. Podcasting is so simple, but really does offer some unique benefits to teaching and learning.

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