Web 2.0 Technologies as Cognitive Tools of the New Media Age

Web 2.0 Technologies as Cognitive Tools of the New Media Age

Yu-Chang Hsu (The Pennsylvania State University, USA), Yu-Hui Ching (The Pennsylvania State University, USA) and Barbara Grabowski (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-120-9.ch023
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Web 2.0 affordances have changed the landscape of technology use for learning, knowledge construction, and collaboration important for K-12 learner literacy. This chapter introduces web 2.0 technologies, including folksonomy, collaborative writing tools such as wikis, and weblogging, as cognitive tools that can support learning of content, metacognitive activity, and self-regulation (SR) at the K-12 level. Recent conceptual and empirical research is reviewed to support the use of these technologies. Application scenarios are provided to elaborate on how the technologies can be incorporated into teaching. Design and implementation implications, and a discussion of issues and challenges are included throughout for teachers, practitioners, and researchers interested in adopting these new media in the school setting.
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Background: The Spirit And Characteristics Of Web 2.0

With the emergence of a new generation of Web technologies, a different model conceptualizing the Web materialized. The new model transforms the Web from a repository/depository space of information into a collaborative space enabling proactive and participatory use. The concept marks the transition of the Web from the “Web-as-information-source” to the “participatory Web,” encouraging user participation, creation, and sharing, beyond simple retrieval of information (Decrem, 2006; Wikipedia, 2007e). The new Web has, therefore, morphed from an individual’s toolbox to a societal sandbox. Dale Dougherty, Web pioneer and O’Reilly Vice President in 2004 (O’Reilly, 2005) coined the phrase Web 2.0 for this new Web. Common terms of the new generation of Web technologies include wikis, Weblogs, folksonomy (i.e., tagging), podcasts, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, etc. (O’ Reilly, 2005; Wikipedia, 2007e).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Participatory Web: The paradigm shift from the old Web as the passive information source to the new Web encouraging active participation and contribution.

Wiki: A Web-based application/platform for depositing and sharing information, allowing for convenient collaborative writing and document management.

Folksonomy: The taxonomy decided by common people, as the results of free tagging of information and objects for one’s retrieval.

Tagging: The act of assigning “tags” (i.e., keywords) to digital resources such as websites, photos, and articles.

Web 2.0: A term coined to cover the new generation of Web technologies that allow users to create and share information on the Web.

Blogging: The activity of keeping and publishing online blog/journal.

Cognitive Tools: Tools that scaffold cognitive activities, such as accessing and assessing information, organizing and integrating new information with prior knowledge, generating alternatives, and evaluating choices and drawing conclusions.

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