My initial thoughts about Web 2.0 were of amazement. I didn’t know what the term means, let alone guess at the collaboration and interaction that are made possible by these technologies. Michael Wesch’s Web 2.0: The Machine is Us/ing Us enlightened me quickly. The first thing to change was my perception that Web 2.0 tools effectively isolate people. I’m becoming aware now of how web-based technologies connect people and ideas. I’m particularly intrigued by how these tools enable people to achieve, as Wesch suggests, community, relationships, and authenticity. While I understand that many people strive for authenticity when using this new medium, I think that there are many others who exploit the possiblity of anonymity and duplicity. Even so, everything I’ve been learning lately about this technology makes me feel wonderfully hopeful for humanity.
I’m particularly pleased with my acceptance of the fact that my students really are digital learners and that it’s necessary that I be able to use technology’s power to assist them in transforming knowledge and skills into products, solutions and new information. I’ve taken careful note of Steve Hargadon’s ten trends with implications for education and learning. I agree with his assertion that they are paradigm-shattering. Certainly, in the weeks since beginning this course, I’ve experienced tremendous changes in my understanding of the Read/Write Web and in how I can utilize it as a teacher and a learner. I’ve especially taken to heart Hargadon’s insistence that we enter our students’ world of texting and connecting online lest they continue to swim in uncharted waters without the benefit of adult guidance.