I found a great definition for the “social” web on the NetSquared conference blog site. With all the buzz about web 2.0 which I have never really understood, this make sense to me.
“the social web is ‘the adaptation of internet tools for human interaction, communication and activism.”I’ve recently started reading “The World Is Flat” by Thomas Friedman. Every once in awhile a book comes along that seems to polarize people and the opinions I have read range from thinking it is brilliant to thinking it is total garbage so I had to see for myself.
I’ve just begun it and it is already interesting. In some ways the playing field is being leveled. The ease of communication and collaboration between people over any distance because of the internet makes it possible for many projects to be outsourced to many different places at once. A guy in India can work on one aspect while someone in Britain another and so on. This is pretty cool but the flip side means that people with angry and evil intentions can also use the same venue.
The playing field needs to be leveled in ways that can never happen on the internet though. The student with poor reading skills can’t get anything more out of the web than he can a book. The child with little parental guidance in real life will not have the skills to discern between helpful sites and sites that are anything but. We can’t improve our personal relationships through technology and no matter how good our intentions are, the virtual world reflects the real world and while there are wonderful positive things on the web there are some terrible things as well.
How does this new landscape translate for the student sitting in your classroom that isn’t getting enough to eat or lives in a home where violence and drugs are a normal thing. I guess I’ll have to finish the book but I have a feeling that those questions won’t be answered.