We’ve been waiing a long ime or compuers o dramaically change educaion, bu orhe mos par, ha promise remains unullled. Unlike in he business world, wherehe compuer quickly became a xure on every desk and ransormed boh day-o-day asks and he business landscape as a whole, compuers have no ransormed he goalso educaors, or even he mehods used o achieve hose goals.Tere are a lo o reasons ha his is so — legal, nancial, and culural — bu I believeha he botom line is ha here hasn’ been a compuer applicaion ha so universally changes hings ha we sop seeing compuers as an add-on, and sar seeing hem asinegral o he ull educaional process. Te spreadshee, he word processor, and emailserved his seminal role in he business world; i’s hard o imagine doing business wihouhem. Bu ake he compuer ou o mos schools and classrooms, and he insrucion wouldn’ change much. Admitedly, radiional soware ools on compuers can be very helpul in he educaional seting — i is easier o correc dras writen in a wordprocessor — bu hey aren’ a he core o he educaional process, ransorming heprocess o eaching and learning.Inuiively, hough, we have el ha he compuer would bring real change, and he acha i hasn’ has puzzled many o us. Te adven o he Inerne, however, and inparicular wha we are calling “Web 2.0,” has so signicanly changed our relaionship oinormaion and our own personal learning opporuniies ouside o ormal educaion,ha we’re beginning o see a se o soware ools emerge ha are prooundly alering boh learning processes and oucomes. Tese ools allow us o see he sar o a radicalevoluion in educaion ha will bring such dramaic changes ha we’ll soon be a a poin where we won’ be able o imagine educaion wihou hem. Wha makes his coming ransormaion boh so ascinaing and so compellingly logicalis he way in which he Web has changed our personal learning opporuniies. I canremember as a child riding my bike o he library or he booksore so I could read abou whaever opic was o ineres o me a he ime. And while i seemed ha here was alwaysmore o read han I had he ime or, ha inormaion landscape now seems amazingly limied in ligh o he Inerne’s abiliy o bring us so much inormaion, almos wihouregard or ime, place or even cos. By jus lowering he barriers o accessing inormaion,however, he Inerne did no dramaically change lie or mos o us. I was no unil we began o paricipae in creaing ha inormaion ha somehing amazing happened. A world began emerge in which “we” (or people like us) were creaors. We could sar a blog; we could upload and share phoos and videos; we could even build an encyclopedia.Te echnology ha ook his amazing change and muliplied i en-old, and how i’simpacing he world o educaion, is an underlying heme o his paper, which will rangeacross social neworking, Web 2.0, he emergence o educaional neworking, and whaI see as he rs real area o signican adopion or educaional neworking: proessionaldevelopmen or educaors. We’ll also ake a look a Elluminae’s LearnCenral oering,|an exciing new plaorm or proessional developmen in educaion.
“Tese tools allow us tosee the start o a radicalevolution in education that will bring such dramaticchanges that we’ll soon be at a point where we won’t be able to imagineeducation without them.”
Educational Networking: The important role Web 2.0 will play in education | 1