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Web 2.0 in Education

Web 2. 0 is the integral element of the social educational movement in the Internet. Web 2. 0 has made the Internet more social by offering unlimited educational resources to users. Web 2. 0 is considered the software basis for connecting Internet users. Web 2. 0 is the basis for the development of online class systems and various educational websites. Web 2. 0 is run on the principles of socialization, collaboration, and participation. By using Web 2. 0 applications, students and teachers can easily satisfy their professional and personal needs in education.

In education, Web 2. 0 offers creating collaborative web pages, finding people and learning from them, running team educational projects. All these web functions change the image of education, making it more attractive to students and more comprehensible for teachers. Wikipedia Wikipedia is a form of a free online encyclopedia. It is a relatively new Internet project based on Web 2. 0 software solutions. Wikipedia allows exploring knowledge on the variety of educational topics. Wikipedia visitors can either acquire new knowledge, or share their knowledge with others.

Wikipedia has portals which divide content into different topic areas. 1,900 featured articles and 3,500 good articles are constantly read and improved by registered users. Wikipedia’s knowledge potential is unlimited. Web 2. 0 makes Wikipedia a unique example of the knowledge resource which is never complete: articles and topics can be managed and changed without any limits. Benefits of Wikipedia: – it is open to a large number of potential contributors; – anyone can edit Wikipedia articles; – Wikipedia is the social resource “written by open and transparent consensus”

Anyone can edit Wikipedia posts by choosing “edit” tab in Wikipedia convenient menu. The simple page layout helps the writer concentrate on editing or writing, without being distracted by bright page design (Wikipedia: About, 2008). Dictionary. com Dictionary. com is the dictionary search service, which has been created by Lexico Publishing Group. It is leading multi-lingual dictionary resource in the Internet. Online visitors simply need to type a word in a search box, and to choose the “search” tab. The system will search the word in all dictionaries available from the website.

Web 2. 0 has made it possible to unite all possible dictionaries into the complex translational system. Dictionary. com does not produce any dictionaries, but only makes them available, creating a kind of a free online bookstore. Dictionary. com benefits: – the website offers free access to large number of dictionaries; – the search of a word is fast, easy, and convenient. It is a convenient source of information for both professionals and amateurs (About Dictionary. com, 2008). MERLOT MERLOT is just one of thousands educational resources based on Web 2. 0. MERLOT is user centered.

It is the source of peer reviewed educational and learning materials. It is the social online network, which helps students all over the world share their knowledge and learning materials with others. MERLOT benefits: – it creates academic online communities; – it promotes online learning initiatives; – it organizes, reviews, and develops online applications for learning and teaching materials (MERLOT, 2008). Types of online classes WebCT WebCT is the form of online educational environment. It is used for the development and promotion of e-learning initiatives.

WebCT is a convenient e-learning tool used by campuses. WebCT-based learning environments are used in online publishing: the users are offered a variety of academic books and similar resources, which they can read after purchasing the password. WebCT pros: – easy registration and easy access to learning and educational resources; – convenient discussion database suitable for the creation of student-teacher forums (WebCT, 2008). WebCT cons: – time-consuming file exchange system, which will hopefully be improved in the nearest future.

Blackboard Blackboard software is used by more than 2200 educational institutions in 60 countries of the world. It is a form of educational software, which synchronizes and facilitates the process of e-learning. Blackboard pros: – building and managing the learning content; – managing small group performance; – evaluating student performance (Blackboard Learning System, 2008). Blackboard cons: – problematic logging – student ID’s and passwords are difficult to remember and can only be changed by admin users;

– Blackboard does not offer a search option within its learning environment. Chalksite Chalksite is the instrument for teaching online classes. Chalksite involves teachers, students, and their parents into educational process. Chalksite is a web package on the basis of Web 2. 0, which connects students with teachers, and provides access to messages, discussions, grading, and home assignments. Chalksite pros: – teachers can easily manage their students; – easy individual and group messaging; – easier grading;

– making assignments visible for students (Chalksite, 2008). Chalksite cons: – long complicated registration. Conclusion Web 2. 0 is the leader of online educational software. Web 2. 0 based solutions provide free access to unlimited educational resources. Web 2. 0 helps learn and share information. Web 2. 0 is an excellent e-learning tool available to any Internet user.

References

About Dictionary. com. (2008). Dictionary. com. Retrieved April 24, 2008 from http://dictionary. reference. com/help/about. html Blackboard Learning System. (2008).Blackboard. Retrieved April 24, 2008 from http://www. blackboard. com/products/Academic_Suite/Learning_System/enterprise. htm Chalksite. (2008). Parish Data System. Retrieved April 24, 2008 from http://www. parishdata. com/chalksite/ MERLOT. (2008). About Us. Retrieved April 24, 2008 from http://taste. merlot. org/ WebCT. (2008). Brandeis University. Retrieved April 24, 2008 from http://lts. brandeis. edu/teachlearn/webct/about-webct. html Wikipedia: About. (2008). Wikipedia. Retrieved April 24, 2008 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

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