Web2.0 (or the social web) allows Internet users to create and edit content and to interact with others through easy to use browser-based tools, Facebook and MySpace being familiar examples. Whereas websites have previously provided a means for the end user to search for and retrieve information, Web2.0 focuses on giving control to the user to enable them to create content for a variety of purposes including communication, collaborative working and resource discovery and sharing.
Access to Web2.0 tools and services is usually via a web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox), an environment with which users are already familiar. This feature allows Web2.0 applications to overcome many of the difficulties in providing cross-institutional delivery such as varying delivery platforms (Moodle, Blackboard etc.) and firewall difficulties. Many tools can also be accessed from mobile devices.
There are a number of free to use tools available via the Internet which have the potential to help students who have to work collaboratively. These tools are particularly useful for learners who find it difficult to come together because of lack of time or because they live or work long distances from each other. The UsPaCe project has produced Web2.0 for Busy Tutors (PDF), an excellent short guide to Web2.0 and some of the tools which may be useful when collaborating with students and more generally working with people online. See also the Web2practice resources by JISC which give an overview of using social media, RSS, collaborative writing, podcasting and microblogging.
If you wish to know more about a whole range of ways Web2.0 tools might be useful in teaching and learning please email the Learning Technologies team at TEL@plymouth.ac.uk , call on x87600, or talk to your local faculty based Learning Technologist.
A variety of reports on Web2.0 commissioned by ‘Franklin Consulting’. A lot are relevant to the developing use of Web2.0 in Teaching and Learning : http://www.franklin-consulting.co.uk/Reports.html
This link is to a JISC report on virtual worlds entitled ‘Serious Virtual Worlds - A scoping study’. The report gives case study examples and a list of resources like virtual worlds. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/seriousvirtualworldsv1.pdf