Thursday, February 8, 2007

Literacy and Web 2.0

Seeing this video on YouTube yesterday started me thinking, as I am sure it has for many people (400,000 hits in 9 days). It sums up in 5 minutes how Web 2.0 is changing our culture, no less.

My thoughts are about literacy and the requirements for it. It is rapidly becoming essential to read the web and to write to the web, to remain included in society; the video shows just how. As ICT becomes increasingly seen as a Skill for Life, we need to make sure that our learners can access the web both ways. They must be able to read web pages and to recognize and understand hyperlinks. They must be able to write to web packages like blogs, wikis, Moodle, web forums and all the others, using the sort of post editor that I am using here, using the icons and conventions that they would use in a word processor

So along with using Web 2.0 technologies as learning tools, we must ensure that our learners, particularly those returning to learning, have the skills to access them. Of course our teachers also have to have those skills.

I had a look at the Level 1 Adult ICT Skills standards from the QCA, published 2005. The internet is still passive, for reading and downloading. I dare say someone learning Web 2.0 skills could be accredited using these standards, but it shows how fast we are moving.


pete said...

Key Skills IT - have these moved on to Web 2.0 skills? I would go as far as suggesting that Web 2.0 skills are more important than MS Office skills.

Chris Jackson said...

Key Skills is a bit more general than the ICT as a basic skill. The specs are for 2004 and the examples are not Web 2.0. But I don't think it would be difficult to do a portfolio with Web 2.0 things in it. The end test is very Web 1.0.
The specs are here: (no hyperlinks in comments!)

Mark said...

Hello Chris,

Thanks for your post and link to the video. For a special education course, I've been researching how Web 2.0 technology might be useful in helping high school students with dyslexia. I was wondering if you had any thoughts about particular aspects that might be helped or particular Web 2.0 applications that could be utilized.


Chris Jackson said...

Hi Mark

My experience in a post 16 college is that most software for dyslexic learners is via assistive technology attached to specific computers mainly as software. Some of this enabling could be done via Web-based tools (eg Read the Words for text to speech), but it is generally less sophisticated with these internet applications. Anyway these apps aren't really web 2.0 unless there is sharing going on.

I think dyslexics will get most out of Web 2.0 tools which they can share with their supporting tutor (Mindmapping - Mindmeister etc, or drafting - Google Apps, etc) or for communicating with peers via blogs or Ning etc. Online technologies rather than Web 2.0 can help by putting classnotes or transcriptions or mp3s online. Organisation tools like online calendars would be useful, but I haven't explored this.