Thursday, November 17, 2005

Web 2.0

Tim O'Reilly, President and CEO of O'Reilly Media, recently wrote an article entitled "What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software." This article discusses the evolution of the Web into its next generation of providing applications and interfaces that are significantly different than the ones we are used to via the Web. This is a business article, and rather technical at times, but it will give you a taste of the direction it seems the Internet is headed.

One of the basic tenets of Web 2.0 is that the Web is a place for remixing of content, whether by the user or by the content providers. This article, Web 2.0: Bootstrapping the Social Web, written by Richard McManus and Joshua Porter, gives a Web content designer's overview of what Web 2.0 means.

I am particularly interested in Web 2.0's concept of providing Web services and "moving away from place." I think, for our students and schools, this idea of your applications and data living on the Web, available where you are and on all types of devices, is powerful. In our schools, there are students who do not have a computer at home but use their friend's, the school library's, or the public library's computers. Applications distributed over the Web allow them access to the same software and storage of their data at any computer, no matter how locked down it is locally.

Some of the online applications and services we have students using include:

ThinkFree Office Online, an online application which provides a word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation component, an online word processing and, more importantly for our students, collaboration tool

YouSendIt, a short-term online data storage site which allows students to move a file up to it, and retrieve the file in another location

Have you found any online applications that are useful for you, your teachers, or your students? Please share!

Kathy Schrock

PS...Doug Johnson has some interesting ideas on a collaborative set of ISTE/AASL standards to help us all move towards Web 2.0 together!