Often times when discussing the benefits of the Web 2.0 movement, people tend to focus on how great it is for the consumer and for companies. But there is a whole other aspect of how Web 2.0 will improve lives in a much more meaningful manner. Web 2.0 is and will continue to play an important role in educating our children. But it should do more. Schools and learning institutions are some of the best benefactors of Web 2.0.
One excellent contributor wrote an article for The Sydney Morning Herald this week that talks about why we need to have more Web 2.0 in our school curriculums.
In the article, author Nicholas Guen comments on how web applications are making learning fun. NASA has lots of interactive sites that encourage learning and exploration. He writes about Foldit, “a dangerously addictive computer game that … [has] already helped uncover the structure of an AIDS-causing monkey virus.” Web 2.0 is combining learning and curiosity in a fun and entertaining way, but Guen is still upset at how underutilized the technology is.
He talks about how curriculums in most schools are still the same as when he went through them. Guen believes that students should be learning things to prepare them for the future. He asks, “Wouldn’t stats and data science be more useful than, say, trigonometry?” It’s a good question and makes you think about the other subjects our kids study that are never used in a typical adult life. Our kids could be learning so much more, and even if their teachers can’t be resources, they can definitely learn using Web 2.0 applications.
Kids can now teach other kids on the internet how to utilize skills they have learned on their own. There is so much potential for Web 2.0 in redesigning education that it is at times simultaneously overwhelming and invigorating. All we need now is a dedication to try to shake up the regular education routine to include more beneficial subjects or approaches for our children. In the end, it can only benefit them. Knowledge is power, right?