Web 3.0! While it is certainly easy to find references to web 3.0, there is anything but a consensus on what it means. Web 3.0 may or may not be here yet, and the technologies required may or may not be developed yet. Consider these remarks as part of a definition of Web 3.0 by Technopedia:
Web 3.0 is slated to be the new paradigm in web interaction and will mark a fundamental change in how developers create websites, but more importantly, how people interact with those websites. Computer scientists and Internet experts believe that this new paradigm in web interaction will further make people’s online lives easier … There is no concrete definition for Web 3.0 yet and the technology that will bring us there has not even matured yet ...
There is certainly a speculative tone there. Emphasis on what researchers believe will happen. Changes that will come. As Daniel says, considering what Web 3.0 means for our classrooms is akin to asking: “What is the future of education?”
constructivist web 2.0 classroom
As we took part in a very engaging, collaborative learning experience this week, one thing that became apparent to me is that the future of education is still rooted in the past. We spent a fair bit of time talking about the more interactive and collaborative nature of Web 2.0. Oluwafisayo Enonbun succinctly outlines how web 2.0 tools reflect more modern, constructivist approaches to learning. These kinds of tools are designed with a more collaborative predisposition, providing students with avenues to be more active in their own learning.
In our presentation, we even had the opportunity to explore tools that bring the benefits of Web 2.0 to our classrooms! This was definitely an engaging exercise for me. Looking over that list, seeing that I knew about some of them and didn’t know of others, it made me think about how far I have yet to go (and many classrooms I see) in harnessing these tools to capitalize on where learning theory has been telling us about learning for a long time now.
A lot of our classrooms, to this day, over emphasize approaches to learning that rely on behaviourist assumptions of student learning. I can still find instances where computers are being booked out and used as a different way of presenting students with a pre-determined resource to absorb facts from, and later regurgitate onto some kind of worksheet. Or used to present their Pearson Math textbook on a screen (Pearson eText). Or maybe used for some rounds of Mathletics (play based mathematics drilling)
Honestly, as I think has always been the case, we are behind the times in education! Of course I start to wonder why we are behind. Why does practice seem to inevitably lag behind what we know? As we are starting to talk about a nebulous connected future of education defined by the connected and “omnipresent web” of web 3.0, why are we struggling to implement tools that we have at our disposal? As a Dutch Think tank, EPN, states in their attempt to define Web 3.0, most of us are familiar with the interactive tools that define web 2.0 (blogging, social networking)
They’re right. We are definitely familiar with these tools. Specifically, we are using them for our own ongoing professional leaning in this very course! But there are definitely factors that limit or delay our immersing these tools. Kelsey Clauson outlines these factors in her own blog on this subject, stating that students disadvantaged by a shift to web 2.0 includes:
…those living in remote communities with a poorer quality of internet service, those living in a low socio-economic status, those with physical, mental or cognitive disabilities, just to name a few.
These factors have been limiting for years, and I think will continue to be limiting going forward. Students who do not come from families that can support them coming to school and participating in a BYOD learning environment, for example, will continue to be disadvantaged by an emphasis on participating in a learning environment that considers the online world as one big classroom.
I also agree with Adam in his assertion that
He is right, although I’d honestly go further and say this has been true for several lifetimes. The audiovisual technological breakthroughs of a hundred years ago, presented just as daunting a challenge to educators of the day. Teacher’s knowing how to use audiovisual equipment (training), for example, was identified in 1948 by DeBernardis and Olsen as being critical to effectively implementing audiovisual technologies in schools.
I guess that in the end, my point is that there is a very cyclical feel to our original blog prompt: “What impact does the shift to Web 3.0 have on education? What types of students and teachers are privileged/disadvantaged by the shift to Web 3.0?” I do believe that a gradual (delayed reaction?) shift to Web 3.0 will certainly have a major impact on learning in schools. But I also believe that you can substitute the term “web 3.0” from that blog prompt and reflect the major educational questions and dilemmas of any given time.
“What impact does the shift to Web 3.0 have on education?
“What impact does the shift to Web 2.0 have on education?
“What impact does the shift to internet have on education?
“What impact does the shift to computers have on education?
“What impact does the shift to TV have on education?
“What impact does the shift to radio education have on education?
By the time we comes to terms with how to really bring these developments into our classrooms, there will be a version 4.0 to hypothesize about! 🙂
Thanks for reading!