What should the institution provide in a Web 2.0 world?

Clarence Fisher has an interesting experiential post about the difficulties that start to arise when using a lot of cool, new “Web 2.0” apps in a teaching/learning context. Free(ish) services he lists are blogs, wikis, podcasts/vlogs, superglu, flickr etc.

But it’s not all free.

But we do pay, having to access different accounts across the web. The kids need to remember URLs, passwords, and how to navigate through different interfaces. They need to remember how to run WordPress, make a photostream in Flickr, add blogs to their aggregator, and format a wiki.

His reason for not using an integrated system?

I have consciously not worked with a single piece of software such as Moodle because I wanted kids to see the power of collecting resources across the web into a single environment

He sees the need for an interface that would combine the pieces.

When I thought/dribbled about Web 2.0 course sites one initial negative thought was, “why keep the whole course structure idea?”. Isn’t this an example of the horseless carriage problem. That’s how we did it the old way, so we must do it that way in the new Web 2.0 world?

Sort of, yes. Most people, students and staff, aren’t going to make that leap straight away. They need the comfort of the familiar to ease the pain.

As the above post points out. Integrating these disparate applications together is going to require some glue to reduce the difficulty of using it. Otherwise it won’t work.

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