Hi guys!

Can you think of and disadvantages os using Web 2.0?
Maybe you have some reservations?
Has it ever dissapointed you?

Will appreciate every comment :)

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I think that the main disadvantage of using Web 2.0 in a classroom comes not from the tool itself but the way it is used. We have to be careful of using Web 2.0 just for the sake of using it without first considering what we want students to gain or learn from using it. If we don't have an objective in mind, then we should reconsider our use of the tool. But that really goes with anything in teaching -- if we don't have a purpose or objective we're trying to gain, then what's the point of using whatever method we're using?

A secondary reservation I have to consider when presenting these ideas to my teachers is control. When we choose to have our students interacting in Web 2.0 space, we lose a little bit of the control and protection we have in a traditional classroom setting. If ideas are shared in the classroom, they are there, only in that space. But if they're shared online in some way, there's always a risk of someone else infringing on those ideas. I understand that there are privacy settings and administrator controls and so on with many tools; however, there's always someone looking for some way to invade supposedly secure space, which is something we have to consider when we choose to incorporate these tools into our classrooms.

And, finally, I think that we have to consider copyright issues when we use Web 2.0 tools, particularly tools that will incorporate music, video, or images. Copyright is an issue everywhere, but it gains strength in a public forum like the world of Web 2.0.

Don't get me wrong; I love Web 2.0, and I can see so many great opportunities in using it. But I think before we use these tools with a class, we need to know how to best protect our students' well-beings, privacy, and rights.
I think the biggest concern is privary and security when it comes to Web 2.0 adoption. Alot of school districts disallow specific websites or have filters in place but it costs money and manpower to maintain the system.

On the other hand there are so many great sources of information that the pros should outweight the cons tremendously. Web2.0 can also include video conferencing through the teacher's computer and a document camera (by using the doc cam as a video camera) with skype to communicate/collaborate with other student/teachers across the country.
The biggest issue I have is the dividing line it's creating between the "haves" and the "have nots." I live in a tech-rich area but my mom lives in a rural area which only has one T1 line for the entire town. They have a satellite uplink for cable television and that's about it. My father lives in an isolated area which only has dial-up computer access. Children growing up in these regions don't have the access that urban children do.

In my own district, I see the issue of access dividing students, too. The district, for example, may give away free computers to needy families but some of those families can't afford printer cartridges and/or internet access. In a few cases, they may not even be able to afford the electricity to run a computer.

I'm often told that the students need to use the library for computer access. We do have a good library but kids may not be able to get a ride to the library and the library does limit some access (our public library won't allow gaggle.net). Children who ride buses to and from school can't use the school library before and after school hours. We haven't any public transportation available for public library use.

Parents still "ground" students from the internet, computers, and cell phones which limits the accessibility of the tech. Believe it or not, not all kids have access to cell phones.

In the end, Web 2.0 is a tool which not all students can access.
what about utilizing the technology during class time? I've observed classes where the class goes to the library or the computer lab to work on projects. not a perfect answer, but definitely a way to work around many barriers.

I don't know if you are in an elementary setting, but many secondary schools have 'late bus' options for students who stay after school for sports/clubs/etc. most teachers in my district offer extra help after school as well as one study period during the day. the elementary school my daughter attends has a late bus only for 4th & 5th graders.

I've also observed teachers giving students 'library passes' to use during their study hall or lunch period to go to the library and work on something. Sometimes students can be paired up with another student to do a collaborative project and they can work at someone else's home. And I agree with the library...ours is pretty 'state of the art' but the filters can be frustrating. Perhaps you can have a conversation with the librarians and work together to find a common ground and find sites that you can both work with. I'm not familiar with gaggle.net but is there something similar you could use? Likewise, could you build a case with the library for allowing access? Knowledge is power! Have your facts and present a logical case for removing the block and you may be surprised. I've found our librarians (at the schools as well as our public library) very accomodating and willing to work with you.

I agree there can be many barriers, but a forum like this might be a great resource for finding ways around those barriers and removing some filters!
One of the great things about Web 2.0 is that ideally it should be available at all times. I first got involved with Web 2.0, for example, when a quarter of my class was sick with the flu last spring. Students with the ability to access the computer at home kept up with class.

However, that's also when I discovered that not all students have computer access at home. Utilizing technology only at school keeps the "have nots" from having the same access as the "haves." The "haves" have more options!

All of which means that there is an inequality in education which is being reinforced by the teachers and educational system.
We live in a moderately affluent community, but there are still many 'have-nots' as well. There are many students who not only do not have computer or internet access at home, but who are, for all intents and purposes, homeless and move from place to place and in and out of the district. And others who have every latest piece of technology and equipment before most adults I know.

I don't believe the inequality is in education when it comes to web20 (unless i misunderstood your point). in my observation the inequality lies in fundamental social inequalities that may require more creativity to overcome. there is ALWAYS going to be someone who 'has' more than the next person. its what they do with what they 'have' that matters. i think one of the greatest gifts you can give is teaching a child to maximize their potential with the tools they have at their disposal.

And web20 tools are just that...tools. maybe some of the students won't be able to create a podcast on their brand new macbook, but that doesn't mean they can't be successful. keep the objective in mind.

One issue I've observed with some kids doing a lot of the work 'at home' is that its difficult to guarantee the authenticity of their work. some kids have siblings/parents who do the work for them (because its 'too hard', 'too much', or 'he had sports practice'...whatever the reason may be). for this reason i think most assignments are done during class time, except for those highly motivated students.

as far as access during illness...i think again, its a great tool to have, but if you have a high percentage of students that can't access it, you have to be a little more pragmatic. in my day a sibling or neighbor brought home assignments, i think if absence exceeded 5 school days you were provided a tutor. as the technology become more and more mainstream, maybe we can do away with this, but as you point out, we can't at this time.

I think parents need to be educated as well; as little as 5 years ago, i had many friends who were also educators who didn't think a computer was necessary for their own kids until they were in middle school. we've come a long way. does that mean that people with few financial resources will be able to afford it suddenly? probably not, although some may re-prioritize a few things. but if they understand how important it is for their child's education, and their child's education is a priority (it isn't for everyone, as hard as that is to believe *choke*!) they will find a way...through the library, a neighbor, donated equipment, whatever it takes. i have seen some parents who have so little the kids wear the same clothes to school and practically their only meals are at school. but those kids ALWAYS have their homework done and its drilled into them very early on that education is their ticket OUT! The parents often do without so the kids can have what they need. And part of that education is finding ways past obstacles thrown in front of them.

Don't focus on the obstacle or it seems bigger than it really is. Focus on the path. Don't be surprised if they discover their own solutions. And isn't that the reason for education in the first place? To discover solutions?

Good luck!!!!
I've starting using Web 2.0 tools with my 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders and they love it. They can easily create projects with a few clicks. They go home and work overtime to make slideshows on Photopeach and write into their blogs and comment on their classmates blogs on Classblogmeister. My biggest concern is giving out their email addresses on the web 2.0 tools. Even though their email goes thru our educational Google-Apps accounts, I'm nervous. So far, nothing has gone wrong. In Classblogmeister, for example, all comments go through the teacher. If someone posts a comment right on their Photopeach slideshow which is on their classblogmeister blog, it doesn't go through the teacher. We have no control over that...so I'm biting my nails hoping nothing bad happens. I'm afraid to try Voicethread for that reason. No control over outside posts.

Those that are concerned about safety - try SEEDebate.org. Free, closed, moderated, no student email required. You can use it however you want. Less bells and whistes than Ning - so far...we're working on adding more social features. Send me a message if you have questions!

Thanks a lot for so many replies :) Hoping to see more in the future!

I've gathered your suggestions and posted them on my blog. Feel free to take a look and leave a comment if you wish.





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