Welcome to School Library Media Activities Monthly’s Library 2.0 blog. This blog is designed to take the technology topics in this year’s School Library Media Activities Monthly issues and use them as a springboard for comments and conversation. I’m Kristin Fontichiaro, a school library media specialist in the Birmingham (Michigan) Public Schools. I’m a frequent contributor to School Library Media Activities Monthly, where I’ll be doing a series of Library 2.0 articles in the “Notes From the Field” column in November 2007, as well as in January, March, and May of 2008. I’m also the author of Active Learning Through Drama, Podcasting, and Puppetry (Libraries Unlimited, 2007) and Podcasting at School (forthcoming). You can learn more about me here.
Each week, we’ll post a new Web 2.0 thought, trend, or question. Though I’m the lucky one who gets to write this blog, it’s everyone’s forum. Share your observations, challenges, and questions by clicking on the word “Comments” at the end of this blog posting.
Help us make this blog a collaborative professional development tool we can all benefit from. We’ve already gotten started with a few early posts that you can find below this one.
What is Web 2.0?
“Web 2.0” (“two-point-oh”) is an expression to represent the current generation of Internet sites and services. If you think back to the early days of the Internet, we could visit sites and read or view what was written, but we couldn’t interact. That phase was known as “Web 1.0,” and we were passive consumers of content. I often think of Amazon.com as a great example of how we transitioned from 1.0 to 2.0. When Amazon.com started integrating tools that let us customize our content, from wish lists to user-generated reviews, they helped us move from being passive consumers to being creators of content. We helped create what others could see online.
What are Examples of Web 2.0 Tools?
Now, Web 2.0 is upon us, also known as the “Read/Write Web” because we can choose to consume (read) or create (write), and as the “Social Web,” because the Web now helps us interact and connect with others. With podcasts, we can share audio files and ideas. Blogs let us record our personal, organizational, or commercial thoughts and let others respond to them, turning authorship into a two-way conversation. Wikis let us pool our knowledge with that of others, whether it be a collection of technology resources (see the BPS New Frontier wiki or the Podcasting at School wiki) or the Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia authored by thousands of contributors.
We can share our favorite Web resources by moving our bookmarks from our browser’s toolbar to the Web, with sites like Furl or Delicious. (Plus, we can now access them from any computer, meaning we can add bookmarks to our collection during in-services, from home, or from work.)
We can keep a digital record of the books in our home library with LibraryThing, blending traditional library subject headings with tags of our choosing, letting us design searches according to the criteria we value most.
Those of us seeking new frontiers can assume new identities and enter the new digital world of Second Life, where we can build homes, attend lectures, and even fly!
What is Library 2.0?
If Web 2.0 is the overarching term for these interactive, read/write, social tools, then Library 2.0 is the application of those technology tools in the library environment. “Library 2.0” is a term attributed to Michael Casey. It represents a marriage of library services and Web 2.0 technologies. As our users continue to embrace their computers’ Internet connections as their primary portal for information (“I’ll just Google it”), communication (think IM and chat), and social connectivity (whether it be an international conversation via Skype or a Myspace page), we can see the power that can be harnessed when we bring these technologies together with our school library media curricula, staff, and students.
How Can These Tools Help Students?
Web 2.0 tools let our students strengthen their writing voice, find a real-world audience, connect with others, and seek authentic methods for sharing information with the greater community. And best of all, these technologies are at our fingertips, with computers available in most K-12 classrooms and school libraries – and at little or no cost. I believe that technology should serve and motivate learning, and that is why I bring Web 2.0 into my school library media center. At the same time, as educators, have the duty to be judicious in our technology selections, focusing on safe tools that provide the strongest opportunities to motivate and challenge students to optimal learning. So I am pragmatic about what I choose to adopt and how I keep kids safe. All of these issues are ones we’ll explore in the coming year.
Join the Conversation
What are your favorite Web 2.0 tools?
Image Credit: Flickr