Saturday, April 5, 2014

Implications of Web 3.0

Technology has changed the way people learn and communicate; however, the influence of technology in schools continues to be limited.  The internet has gone through many transformations from Web 1.0 creating the information age, to Web 2.0 creating an age of social networking and collaboration, to Web 3.0 creating an age where the internet has entered the real world.  Students are operating in a technology rich environment at home, yet they are not having the same experience in the classroom.

There is no question that Web 1.0 changed education through providing a global library, where everyone could find anything or even author anything.  In the classroom, teacher preparation programs considered Web Quests as cutting-edge examples of the effective use of technology. However, information literacy (IL) is lacking in most teacher education programs teacher education programs (Smith, 2013).  Information literacy is an essential component education.  Not only do consumers of information need find information, but they also need to evaluate the information that they find.  The idea that western academic scholars control knowledge is no longer relevant to our world.  Yet, college professors have noted the lack of information literacy in freshman entering their institution (Backe, 2009).  

 Web 2.0 further changed the way that learning occurs.  Collaboration has started to be implement in classrooms.  Asynchronous learning through forums, wikis, Google applications, calendars, citation tools, and social bookmarking are among the tools implemented on a limited basis (Chen & Bryer, 2012).  Some programs capitalize on the social learning aspect of online learning to enhance the depth and quality of student learning.  Epals provides a collaborative learning network that facilitates collaborative learning between students and teachers in different countries.  Additionally, Moodle, an open-source learning environment, provides several applications including wikis, forums, and workshops to increase student learning.  However, the use of social media applications for learning remains largely untapped despite its popularity with students (Chen & Bryer, 2012). 

Bandwidth has increased allowing for streaming videos and online synchronous learning.  The use of streaming videos in the classroom to enrich learning is popular.  Flipped-classrooms, where the student view lectures at home and participates in project-based learning in the classroom is another way in which learning can be enhanced.  Khan academy and other online schools provide free lessons to enhance instruction. 
Web 3.0 is already upon us and the potential for enhancing learning and teaching has expanded.  Wearable technology, semantics, 3D visualizations, virtual reality, augmented reality, distributed computing, big data, linked data, cloud computing, and global repositories are all tools available to enhance learning (Dominic, Francis, & Pilomenraj, 2014).  Wearable technology has enabled learning to occur anywhere, students can easily access the internet from their phones, through distributive computing applications create their assignments, and save them to their cloud where they turn them into their teacher to be graded.  Imagine a student in New Delhi, India, and another student in Denver, Colorado, conducting a study on the environmental impact of air pollution while another student wearing Google Glasses, in a rainforest in Brazil, collects data.  Of course, they would be working with a scientist to gather and analyze information for the United Nations Environmental program.  This is not something of the future; it is only an example of what can be happening today.

By Rob Koch

Chen, B., & Bryer, T. (2012). Investigating instructional strategies for using social media in formal and informal learning. International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning, 13(1), 87-104.
Badke, W. (2009). How we failed the net generation. Online, 33(4), 47-49.
Dominic, M., Francis, S., & Pilomenraj, A. (2014). E-learning in web 3.0. International Journal of Modern Education & Computer Science, 6(2), 8.
Smith, J. K. (2013). Secondary teachers and information literacy (IL): Teacher understanding and perceptions of IL in the classroom. Library & Information Science Research (07408188), 35(3), 216-222. doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2013.03.003