As we know the internet and technology is something that is continuously progressing at rates that many of us cannot imagine being able to keep up with. I haven’t ever sat back to think about the timeline of the internet and how it has progressed from web 1.0 to web 2.0 and now starting the progression into web 3.0. This weeks presentation by Jana, Katie, Kyla, and Brooke allowed me to really understand the differences between each era of the internet and has encouraged me to consider how these changes have impacted teachers and education.
I can remember the days of web 1.0. I was in high school when I was first introduced to the internet and looking back I cannot recall really ever using the internet for learning in high school. I do however remember using the card catalog and the encyclopedias in the library for research but I do not recall using the computers for research what so ever. What I do have memories of is typing class and remember how our ‘computer classes’ were primarily focused on learning to type. Reflecting on high school I do not have any memories of any teacher taking time teaching us how to use the internet. In Scott’s blog post this week he describes web 1.0 perfectly. He shares how the internet 1.o was just used for ‘read-only’ ways and there was no way for students to contribute to and add to their learning online. When considering what web 1.0 was used for it is easy to see that there was not much difference between using an encyclopedia or using the internet for research as it was all fairly relative at that point.
Moving into my undergrad I remember the shift to web 2.0. I remember this shift based on the internet then became a social space we were able to be much more connected online. Although I remember my social life becoming much more connected online I do not remember my learning becoming more connected online. Reflecting back on my undergrad degree I still remember going to the library and taking out all of the textbooks that I would need in order to do research on a topic for a class. I feel that the lack of knowledge of how to use the internet for research based on having no education of that in high school really hindered my use of the internet during my undergrad. It was not until I began my Masters degree that I really was able to understand how all academic articles and academic journals could be accessed online and that we do not require the library like we once did for research.
Looking at web 1.0 and web 2.0 from a teachers perspective and how it was used for my own education it seems that teaching and learning seem to constantly be a step behind the development of the internet. Many teachers currently today are still learning the basic skills of navigating the internet. They are still learning the basic skills themselves so incorporating technology into the classroom is something that teachers are struggling with. If teachers are not using technology in the classroom today then they are not meeting the needs of their current students and teaching and modeling the skills they require to be successful in navigating the internet independently outside of school.
Many teachers are still using the internet as a ‘read-only’ tool in their classrooms. They are now using it to allow students to research and look up information but they are not teaching them how to connect with others and how to be an active participant online. This becomes problematic as there become gaps in understanding with students and what possibilities the internet offers us for learning and how it should be properly used. Many teachers do not want to bring the ‘social’ aspect of web 2.0 into their classrooms. This may be due to their comfort level with the tools or they do not see the value in teaching using these tools. Due to these gaps students then miss out on learning about Digital Citizenship.
As teachers, we have a responsibility to understand the development of technology and how it impacts what students need to be learning and how we will meet those educational needs. Considering a large portion of web 2.0 is social media it is important for teachers to explore how their teaching needs to help students understand Digital Citizenship and help them understand how their digital footprint is a permanent footprint. We have a responsibility to be role models online and use these tools within our classrooms to model what appropriate online behavior looks like. There needs to be more professional development for teachers in these areas to help teachers understand how they can push themselves outside of their comfort zones and incorporate this into their teaching.
With the shift moving towards web 3.0 it is clear that education will once again be behind. Many teachers are just now becoming comfortable with or beginning to understand how Web 2.0 influences our teaching so this again will be a shift that we will need to make up ground on. I think it is important that teachers begin to have the conversations of what Web 3.0 is and how that will impact and change our teaching once again. School boards need to begin to consider what types of professional development will be needed to help teachers with this new transition. As a teacher, it can sometimes be frustrating how quickly technology is changing. We need to find ways to embrace it so we can help our students navigate the online world responsibly and to the best of their ability.
Education as a profession needs to commit to keeping up with the fast past changes with technology to ensure that we are preparing our students to successfully navigate the online world today, tomorrow and in the future. We need to be very mindful of the role we play in ensuring that they are educated in how to safely and successfully use technology.