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1. What is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 is the term used to describe a second generation of the World Wide Web that is focused on the capacity for people to collaborate and share information and resources online. A defining characteristic of Web 2.0 is user created content. You might take a look at the web page on Web 2.0 provided by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the UK for a brief and informed overview of Web 2.0. You may also want to take a look at the JISC page on the definition of Social Software. Finally, the two references provided below both have very clear explanations of the concept of Web 2.0 You can also watch this video which explains the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.

2. Web 2.0 Applications and Services

Web 2.0 applications services are ubiquitous. The Web 2.0 Directory provides a visual representation of hundreds of many of these Web 2.0 tools . The site categorizes the tools according to type e.g. photo tools, video tools, e-learning tools which makes finding the right tool a little easier. You might want to watch the video below that explains the features and functions of the Web 2.0 Directory website.

paper_content_pencil_48.png3. Research Articles

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image_add_48.pngAnderson, P. (2007). What is Web 2.0? Ideas, Technologies and Implications for Education. 1-64.
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Within 15 years the Web has grown from a group work tool for scientists at CERN into a global information space with more than a billion users. Currently, it is both returning to its roots as a read/write tool and also entering a new, more social and participatory phase. These trends have led to a feeling that the Web is entering a ‘second phase’—a new, ‘improved’ Web version 2.0. But how justified is this perception? This TechWatch report was commissioned to investigate the substance behind the hyperbole surrounding ‘Web 2.0’ and to report on the implications this may have for the UK Higher and Further Education sector, with a special focus on collection and preservation activities within libraries. It provides a very useful introduction to the concept of Web 2.0 and explains each of the "major" Web 2.0 tools in a comprehensible manner. The size of the report (64 along with some of the subject matter (technology standards) can be a little daunting but the sections on the main ideas associated with Web 2.0 and the potential uses of Web 2.0 in education provide invaluable information.

Nicols, M. (2009). E Primer Series No 5: Extending Possibilities. Auckland, New Zealand: Ako Aotearoa.
Retrieved from

Mark Nicols provides a very good introduction to the concept of Web 2.0 in his elearning primer. His explanation of the concept is succinct and clear. Additionally, the primer has a lot of valuable information relating to the use of Web 2.0 in education so it's worth downloading this free resource.

image_warning_48.pngSchuck, S., Aubusson, P., & Kearney, M. (2010). Web 2.0 in the classroom? Dilemmas and opportunities inherent in adolescent Web 2.0 engagement. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 10(2), 234-246. Retrieved from

This paper provides a very clear explanation of Web 2.0 along with research data on the extensive use of Web 2.0 tools by adolescents. The paper makes the case that educators need to understand the implications of emerging digital cultures for school education, particularly in terms of what may be a growing gap between an adolescent culture of social sharing and informal learning and an educational culture defined by educational practices and policies that alienate students. The authors suggest that we need to leverage the potential of social learning and that we need to take a new approach to teaching and learning.