Web 2.0: The Read Write Web
Angela V. Christopher
Illustration by Cindy Hasio
ago, I could not
Web 2.0. If
you had asked me how it
would impact teaching and
learning in the classroom,
I might have struggled to
give an intelligent answer.
My ignorance has
begun to fade with experiences associated with the
instructional design and
technology course I am
taking. As a result, I can
converse with some intelligence on the topics of
wikis, blogs, web-based
tools, office suites, social
bookmarking sites, and
widgets. Best of all, I feel
confident enough to blog about
Just a few years ago, individuals
uploaded information to the Web
and the public retrieved information
when it was needed—this is what we
call Web 1.0, or information retrieval.
In today’s Web 2.0 world, individuals
not only upload information to the
Web, but they also share information
freely. This is
called the Read
Write Web, or
Today, individuals interested in
collaborating on a
particular topic are creating wikis to
encourage others to contribute to and
edit the content of a site. People with
similar professional backgrounds or
interests are also forming groups in
social networks and in social bookmarking sites like Diigo (www.diigo.
com) or Del.icio.us ( delicious.com).
Professionals and students are using
web-based office suites like Google
Docs ( docs.google.com) or Zoho
( zoho.com) to “peer edit” papers and
share data. The examples of Web 2.0
technologies are growing daily, and I
have reviewed some of my favorites
I have developed a blog, AestheTECH
using a web-based developer called
In today’s Web 2.0 world, weebly.com).
individuals not only upload Aside from being
information to the Web, but completely free,
the simplicity of
they also share information the development
and collaborate freely. tool is its best
feature. The drag-
and-drop elements allow the user to
add text and titles, video, audio, RSS
feed, and other widgets—all without
having to know how any of it works.
Social bookmarking is also an awesome technology. Sites like Diigo
provide tools to highlight text, add
sticky notes, and share your
favorite pages with the general public, or with a particular group.
Social and professional
networks provide excellent
avenues for professionals
to collaborate, discuss, and
share information. This
spring, I joined Art Educa-
tion 2.0 ( arted20.ning.com),
a social network developed
by Craig Roland that aims to
bring together art educators,
particularly those who have
a passion for new technol-
ogy. The benefits of this type
of membership are amazing:
if I have a question, I just
ask and a community of
experts is available to guide
me. I can post new tools, sources of
information, or great lesson plans. For
a teacher who is usually the only one
in her content area (talk about feeling
isolated) Art Education 2.0 provides
an amazing amount of information
Finally, there are tools out there
that are free and fun to use for students as well as teachers. Anyone can
create slideshows in Zoho, Google
Docs, or Slideshare ( www.slideshare.
net) and embed the slideshow directly
into a webpage, e-mail, or document.
Two of my most recent favorite free-bees are Toondoo ( www.toondoo.
com) and Mr. Picasso Head (www.
It seems that developers and the
public have decided that the benefits
of sharing information far outweigh
the benefits of receiving 100% credit.
New ideas tend to surface when
debate and collaboration take place
and Web 2.0 makes it possible to collaborate with anyone, anywhere, any
time, about anything.
Angela V. Christopher teaches art at
Atoka Elementary School in Atoka, Tennessee. email@example.com