Web2.0 Examples of Good Practice
Including Web 2.0 technology in education has many advantages.
An increased motivation of the students and teachers is noticeable, regarding participation and a higher effort in completing tasks, presenting result of own achievements, etc. This is related to the fact that many projects are set up in a transparent manner – participants can observe, act, and react to the presentations of their colleagues. This stimulates students to explore a wide range of topics. Moreover, they show high motivation to increase their own efforts and to accept constructive criticism and rewards. One example is a young boy in primary school who says that is happy to post his work because he knows that his father will see it and comment it. Thus, the inclusion of Web 2.0 tools in education has clearly stimulating effects on pupils and should be further enhanced.
Web 2.0 tools and technology also give the opportunity to set up a worldwide network of participants. This possibility is great, as it only can extend knowledge, curiosity and cultural sensitivity, and in some projects it is very well used. For example, foreign language teachers recognized the opportunities that Web 2.0 offers and connect their pupils with students from the country whose language is taught. Participation from all over the world is also very welcome when a topic is global and the problem is universal. One of the projects is dealing with racism and uses Web 2.0 to stimulate an international debate, given the fact that racism is a global problem and present almost everywhere. This practice enables students to see how their colleagues are dealing with the one and same problem on the other side of the world, which can help or inspire them to develop a new approach or a solution of the problem on their own.
Also collaboration is stimulated through the use of Web 2.0: between the students, between students and professors, between students from different countries, and — especially interesting — a global audience. One of the projects is using a blog to post film and book reviews that students were writing. These reviews are not posted to the professor but to a worldwide audience, giving the possibility to get feedback in the form of critique or praise.
Web 2.0 gives amazing possibilities for teachers and students (some of the projects were initiated by students) to move away from the monotony of traditional teaching methods. The possibilities seem to be endless, although they all share the same goal: to create and disseminate new knowledge, to advocate for a new approach to solve problems and tasks for students and teachers, to make the teaching process interesting, and to involve students not only when they are at school but also when they are at home. In that regard, web 2.0 tools in education also have a strong effect on the democratization of education, on the innovation of teaching methods, and thus on stimulating new and creative outcomes, when students achieve their learning goals. They can contribute to educate a vivid, critical, open-minded, and active new generation of students. As a consequence, the use of these tools should be encouraged and further developed; also by public initiatives (e.g., providing the necessary infrastructure).