Special Lecture

Web 2.0: A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Bryan Alexander

Many people — including, or perhaps especially, supporters — critique the “Web 2.0” moniker for definitional reasons. Few can agree on even the general outlines of Web 2.0. It is about no single new development. Moreover, the term is often applied to a heterogeneous mix of relatively familiar and also very emergent technologies. The former may appear as very much “Web 1.0,” and the latter may be seen as too evanescent to be relied on for serious informatics work. Indeed, one leading exponent of this movement deems continuous improvement to be a hallmark of such projects, which makes pinning down their identities even more difficult. Yet we can survey the ground traversed by Web 2.0 projects and discussions in order to reveal a diverse set of digital strategies with powerful implications for higher education. Ultimately, the label “Web 2.0” is far less important than the concepts, projects, and practices included in its scope.

For more information, this lecture is based on Alexander’s paper of the same title, which can be viewed here.

Bryan Alexander is Director for Research at the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) where he researches and develops programs on the advanced uses of information technology in liberal arts contexts. His primary research interests concern mobile and wireless computing, digital gaming, and social software. Other interests include digital writing, copyright and intellectual property, information literacy, project management, information design, and interdisciplinary collaboration. He maintains and contributes to a series of weblogs, including Liberal Education Today, a merging of the MANE IT Network blog and NITLE 1.0's Tech News, and Smartmobs. Committed to exploring computer-mediated pedagogy, he researches and writes on the critical uses of computers and teaching in terms of the interdisciplinary liberal arts and the contemporary development of cyberculture. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and taught English and information technology studies as faculty at Centenary College of Louisiana.

Last updated:

March 26, 2015