Web 2.0

The Invisible Browser


I think it was Donald Norman in “The Invisible Computer” who pointed out that as technologies get more and more common, and perhaps accepted, they recede into the background of our lives and become invisible. Witness the electric motor in the 19th century and the microprocessor in the 20th. (How many microprocessors do you have in your life today?)

Are we witnessing a similar “technology blindness” to the web browser? Is Internet connectivity and usage so ubiquitous that average users take it for granted? A recent survey by Google, reported at TheNextWeb.com, suggests that the average American (almost 92%) do not know what a web browser is and cannot contrast it to a search engine (like Yahoo, Bing, Cuil). Whether this has ramifications on Web 2.0 and education remains to be seen.

Edmodo – A Twitter for Educators

Edmodo is a free private Twitter-like messaging system that focuses on educational uses. Now in version 2, Edmodo offers a host of interesting features for educators who need to venture into messaging as part of their instructional technique:

  • Microblog
  • Public Timeline (RSS)
  • Assignments & Grades
  • Store & Share Files
  • Notifications (SMS)
  • Share Links & Embeds
  • Privacy Controls
  • Class Calendar
  • Subscribe to Feeds

A podcast on EdTechPodcast.com features founder Jeff O’Hara discussing Edmodo and its applications.

‘Collaboratory’ Technology and the New Humanities

Commenting on the popular rise of collaborative technologies in higher education, Richard Miller of Rutgers University illustrates the effects that group communications media are playing on the development of creative writing and written expression. He goes on to speak about the role of “collaborative composition” in creative writing and its place in the proposed Center for the New Humanities at Rutgers University. From the presentation:

The most significant change in human expression in human history.

We are no longer grounded in the printing press.

We now live in this Read/Write world.

We have imagined a space where students can work on multimedia composition.

You have to excel in the use and manipulation of images.

This is all building towards a larger vision that involves re-imagining the Humanities for the 21st Century.

The URL for the presentation is here.

IT & 21st Century Learning

Educational Origami is a wiki site dedicated to bringing the classroom into the 21st Century. It’s a bit “busy” but well worth the effort combing through its many winding links and pages. One of the main features of the site is the update of Bloom’s Taxonomy for the modern electronic learner.

Diagram of Bloom's Taxonomy
Diagram of Bloom's Taxonomy

Other notable topics include: the 21st Century Teacher, the 21 Century Learner, ITC and Learning Style, and Web 2.0 Tools and Resources.