Web 2.0 in Education International Points of View

In addition to the amazing speakers on the stage at the CoSN 7th Annual International Symposium, we had a fascinating discussion at my table. We had people from around the country and around the world, sharing our response to the speakers.

Presented with many examples of how Web 2.0 tools were changing teaching and learning around the globe, we kept hearing how the tools stopped short of widespread adoption. Most of the Web 2.0 tools such as facebook, myspace, blogs, wikis, games, open tools where people sign up and start sharing information, simply were not designed to be used in an educational institutional setting. They lack tools for managing security and safety in a way that is required by public institutions entrusted by diverse parents to provide a safe space for learning. There are also very real copyright concerns about how teachers and students use music, images, and published material for their own creative work.

We need tools that capture the creative and innovative energy of the Web 2.0 era, but also allow for some monitoring and boundaries to meet the requirements of a community institution. One of the most critical issues for online communities and tools is addressing the issue of trust. When we broaden our community beyond the people who we come into physical contact with on a regular basis, we have to create a foundation for trust and respect in some form. This is absolutely critical to engage a broader audience.

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