Web 2.0 is a buzz word that is thrown around a lot today when discussing the internet. But what is web 2.0? How does it compare to 1.0? After reading the article Key Differences between Web1.0 and Web2.0 by Cormode and Krishnamurthy I believe I am able to answer that question.
First off, let it be said that Web 2.0 is not a new form of internet. It is merely a way of grouping newer sites together based on their features and is still a relatively new term, having been coined in 2004.
Next, think of the websites you use on a daily basis. Do you check a Facebook or Myspace to see what friends and family are up to? Do you search Craigslist for bargains on items or services? Or maybe you’ve just watched an amazing movie and can’t remember the lead actor’s real name so you look him up on IMDB. All of these websites are either Web 1.0, Web 2.0, or a combination of both. Facebook and Myspace are Web 2.0 sites. Craigslist and IMDB are both Web 1.0. It is the features of the sites that determine whether or not these sites are Web 2.0 or Web 1.0.
The main difference between Web 2.0 and Web 1.0 is how the site involves the user. A Web 1.0 site is static and does not offer the user a chance to interact with it or others except through email and is about content. In contrast, a Web 2.0 site integrates the user through editable content, profiles, comments, the ability to upload media of multiple forms, and many other aspects that are considered social. A Web 2.0 site seeks to make the internet an interactive experience for each user that is different from person to person. Another difference is the way a site is structured. Web 1.0 sites usually consist of a front page with links to various sub-pages and some sort of search. A Web 2.0 site is much more dynamic, though it can often include this same layout. Web 2.0 pages can have different front pages and layouts for each user based on the information provided when the user logs in. Not only is the layout different for Web 2.0 and Web 1.0 but the rate at which these sites change is also different. Web 1.0 sites tend to be updated and changed less frequently and often by only one person at a time whereas Web 2.0 sites change every time a user posts a comment, note, or any other content on another user’s page. In this sense, a Web 2.0 site is much more ‘alive.’
Now that you (and I) know some of the differences between Web 2.0 and Web 1.0, what does the presence of Web 2.0 mean for myself or others as educators? In a fast paced world where students have grown up using the internet and have grown up accustomed to Web 2.0 sites, the internet has become an amazing tool for the teacher. From wiki pages which can be edited by multiple users, to classroom blogs with assignments a teacher can post, the ability of the teacher to use technology is endless. Not only can the teacher use sites that are Web 1.0 for content and information but he or she can dip into the world of Web 2.0 and begin to explore social contexts with her students through a class page or blog where students can interact and discuss lessons and assignments (with the teacher moderating and making sure that students aren’t taking advantage of the electronic freedom.) As a future teacher myself, I can definitely see myself using a blog or class site to communicate with students, enhance lessons, and enrich the learning experience. And as a future music teacher, I know Youtube and I are going to be best friends so the ability to use the media capabilities of Web 2.0 is just incredibly helpful.