The emerging role of student as contributor

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One of the key benefits from the use of the web in schools is its ability to turn artificial, “pretend” learning activities into authentic, relevant experiences. For example, writing for a real, potentially world-wide audience is more engaging than writing in a jotter for an audience of one or two people.

This video, from Alan November, takes this idea further than I’ve seen before. He starts from the gradual erosion of the contribution historically made by young people to their community, and then shows how this property of the web can be exploited to enable learners in classrooms to now become contributors by taking on jobs such as global communicator, global researcher, tool builder and internal collaborator. These, of course, are exactly the sorts of skills now being identified world-wide as important to 21st century societies, such as the “four capacities” of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence.

Via Frank Crawford

The Top 100 Web2.0 Apps

Webware Top 100 Web2.0 Apps

Via John Naughton,  the Webware Top 100 ( . Webware provide a navigator to help with browsing them.

Organisations will soon be scrabbling to get people who can choose the right tools from the Web2.0 toolbox, and use them effectively. Schools that continue to churn out students who’ve been “protected” from them are going to have a lot of explaining to do…

How will schools educate for Science2.0?

Looks like Web2.0 is now impacting science in radical ways. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about recording those experiments on-line, and not just in private jotters? Via Slashdot:

Scientific American is running a major article on Science 2.0, or the use of Web 2.0 applications and techniques by scientists to collaborate and publish in new ways. “Under [the] radically transparent ‘open notebook’ approach, everything goes online: experimental protocols, successful outcomes, failed attempts, even discussions of papers being prepared for publication… The time stamps on every entry not only establish priority but allow anyone to track the contributions of every person, even in a large collaboration.” One project profiled is MIT’s OpenWetWare, launched in 2005. The wiki-based project now encompasses more than 6,100 Web pages edited by 3,000 registered users. Last year the NSF awarded OpenWetWare a 5-year grant to “transform the platform into a self-sustaining community independent of its current base at MIT… the grant will also support creation of a generic version of OpenWetWare that other research communities can use.” The article also gives air time to Science 2.0 skeptics. “It’s so antithetical to the way scientists are trained,” one Duke University geneticist said, though he eventually became a convert.