the Web - Internet literacy and Web 2.0 tools
Using the internet is a fundamental requirement in contemporary study as well as research and demands a number of skills. Unfortunately the easily acquired browser skills are often the end of the skills development and too often limited to using Google. The developments in technology associated with what is often called Web 2.0 have extended potential use by enabling users to input rather than simply receive data, and to collaborate remotely – anytime, anywhere, using online applications.
A discerning student should be able to use a variety of different search tools, know when they are appropriate but also be aware of how to find out more than is immediately obvious e.g. who is behind the site, what’s is its purpose, likely bias, etc. Is there some measure of authority with which information from the site can be taken, is it up to date? What other sites link to it, or are cited within it. This wider capability in terms of using the internet, itself demanding critical thinking is known variously as internet or information literacy and may also include elements of safe use.
This resource does not specifically link with Web 2.0 but taking into account the topicality and some of the more recent ideas in teaching and learning, might gain from exploiting Web 2.0. A range of products enable collaboration and sharing online and include word processors, spreadsheets, presentation packages, internet research(bookmarking), image and general social networking tools with educational use, wikis, blogs and podcasting. Set against an essay, worksheet or even a PowerPoint presentation, many of these have more appeal and can have more value e.g. a college wiki on climate change, a blog on anthropogenic activity, or a group glossary.
Apart from the appeal and fashion aspect of their use, they mesh well with e.g. co-operative and collaborative learning, online learning, peer assessment and review and can support higher order thinking. With “internet literate students” they can develop their own “live” learning resources and add to an institution’s resource as well as illustrating student work. With the government pressure on learning platforms and individual student portfolios and repositories, they are the tools for e-learning.
literacy – Alan November
Intute: Virtual Training Suite - free Internet tutorials
The Spider's Apprentice – a guide to search engines
Information Search Strategies on the Internet: A Critical Component of New Literacies
Web 2.0 technologies
Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators