Monthly Archives: April 2008

Digital Divide 2.0

Everyone is talking about Web 2.0 and how everyone has a voice, even I have suggested that in blog posts, company training designs and school work (yes I am a graduate student wishing he were a Doctor already).

Something that has been bothering me though is the fact that “all this” technology does not seem to be available to everyone, really. I am not talking about a matter of having access to Facebook and choosing not to use it. What I am suggesting is the reality of “not everyone actually has access to these ‘amazing’ collaborative technologies” as they should.

This makes educational efforts that rely on Read/Write Web tools (even though there aren’t that many such initiatives) some sort of elitist efforts.

Some initiatives like the One Laptop Per Child project try to take technology to third world countries. The Brazilian government partnered with computer manufacturers to create a more accessible PC for the people called “Computador Popular” (or “People PC”) which gave my mother, 65, the opportunity to have her first computer which we use to stay in touch now. But it is still not enough. Not enough.

I pose this more as a question. How can we make collaborative Read/Write Web tools really accessible to more people(s) in the world, especially the under-privileged? Better yet, how can we make educational initiatives that use those technologies available to more people in the world? How can we make educators aware of the possibilities of such tools for Education (after granting them access to computers)?

Socrato – Crowdsourcing Test Preparation

Great initiative. Even though there are other websites of the kind, Socrato adds some extra features such as the uploading of PDF and Word files.

http://www.socrato.com

 

 

Immersive Education – Education Grid Initiative

An interview with Aaron Walsh, professor of virtual environments and games for learning at Boston University:

Web 2.0 in Focus

Specialists and Web buffs discuss their point of view of what Web 2.0 technologies have to offer. Some discussion of what Web 2.0 is or is not is also present in this 50-minute video. Issues such as the “decolonization” of the Web and “the truth according to Wikipedia” are also brought to light in the video.
 

The Wall Street Journal’s Article on Business 2.0 and MUVEs

This recent article discusses the urge to using Second Life for marketing is “morphing” into a vision of utilizing these environments for learning.

Physics in Second Life?

Havok4, the “physics” engine in Second Life still has some flaws. But is it possible to teach physics in Second Life? Interesting posts highlighted here.

MUVEs in Education

Edusim - as seen on their website, this application is great for interactive whiteboards (Smartboards and Promethean boards). Easy for anyone to use.

OpenSim – more advanced solution that allows users to create “Second Life-like” environments.


 

Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), Learning and Web 2.0

If you are not familiar with the concept of ARG, here is a great explanation given by Brooke at GiantMice.com. This other article by Wired reviews an excellent ARG implementation by 42 Entertainment for A Nine Inch Nail album campaign.

There is great potential for the use of such games for engaging learning experiences using Web 2.0 resources. The possibilities for clue planting and player interaction in the Web 2.0 era are innumerable through quick-to-edit websites (wikis, blogs, white label social networks, etc.), easy-access multimedia file sharing communities (Youtube, Flikr, etc.) and interactive objects resources like those seen in MUVEs and tweakable file types like object-embedding video functionality offered by services like Innovid and Videoclix.

Interaction and collective intelligence achieved through collaboration is what ARGs are all about. Everyone, multiple types of intelligences and skills working toward one goal.

The concept of an ARG has so much potential for learning and it recently became even easier (if the educators have storytelling and clue planting skills) to create those experiences by using free Web 2.0 resources.

 

More on ARGs:

http://www.artpractice.blogspot.com/2004/11/alternate-reality-game-wraps.html

www.argn.com (network around ARGs – good for some inspiring ideas for creating ARG)

http://www.wired.com/gaming/virtualworlds/magazine/15-06/st_arg2 (interview with Jane McGonigal)

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/alternate_reality_games_viral_marketing.php  (good article that scopes what ARGs should and shouldn’t have)

http://www.igda.org/arg/whitepaper.html (white paper by the ARG SIG)

http://www.helpmesolveamystery.com/ (ARG using Ning)

 

more articles about ARGS:

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0326/p01s01-usgn.html

http://www.igda.org/wiki/Alternate_Reality_Games_SIG/Educators_and_ARGs

http://andywibbels.com/post/1563

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/03/04/how-alternate-realit.html

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/games/archives/category/alternate_reality_games/

http://ilb.extrasonic.com/index.php/ARG

The Long Tail

This article by Anderson explains clearly how Web 2.0 is about reaching for people that couldn’t be reached as easily before APIs ad other Web 2.0 concepts and tools came about. This concept of empowering, giving voice to people (the user) therefore creating access to knowledge in areas and ways never before imagined.

The whole idea of the cult of the amateur that portrays user-generated content as a “bad” thing makes some sense, but in order to let real learning happen, we need to give people a chance to show others what they know (everyone is an expert in something, right?). This also opens doors for content aggregation in a way that would not be possible if the power of publishing was in he hands of just a few. Websites such as Footnote in which users can search for and upload historical files and documents, creating a comprehensive database for History buffs. Or even the good old Youtube that allows users to upload any type of videos (copyrights infringements apart – I do not agree with uploading copyrighted material) create dynamic and social possibilities for exchange of knowledge. Let’s take, for instance this video of my hometown in Brazil. How else would I have run into a video of this nature if not on Youtube? The long tail, niche, user-generated: all great concepts that allow for real learning/knowledge exchange.

 

Web 2.0 Statistics

Yael Elish did a good job selecting relevant Web 2.0 statistics all over the Web.

%d bloggers like this: