Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Web 2.0 and School 2.0 Connection

I gave the keynote address to the CVCUE meeting in Fresno this past Saturday, and prepared a presentation on why Web 2.0 is going to be so important to education. When I was driving home I made a connection that I hadn't fully made before: that the transition between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is very similar, if not almost identical to, the change between School 1.0 and School 2.0.

Now, in retrospect, it seems obvious that the technology that is most significantly reshaping our culture and business (Web 2.0) would also have the potential to dramatically change how we view education, but I hadn't really defined the parallels in my own mind. These two simple graphics describe what I'm seeing.

Web 1.0 came out of our existing mindsets of how information is transferred, and very much reflected the 100+ year history of industrialism, with experts/businesses dispensing identical knowledge/products to mass consumers.

Web 2.0 has really been the flowering of new relationships between individuals and businesses, and reflects new ways of thinking that the technology has facilitated or created. It's about engaged conversations that take place directly, and don't rely on top-down management, but peer feedback and mentoring. It's an incredibly effective restructuring of how learning takes place, and somehow we have to figure out how to bring this experience into our learning institutions--or they will become obsolete.