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Collaboration 2.0 :: January 16, 2008

Web 2.0 Focus

Web 2.0 in Education: Trends for 2008

The promise of convergence, the threat of security holes

While the technologies collectively known as Web 2.0 have penetrated the consumer sector rapidly over the last four years or so, the process has been much slower and more measured in education. There were some breakthroughs in 2007, with upward trends in the adoption--or at least availability--of Web 2.0 technologies in the areas of teacher professional development and supplemental instructional technologies, such as podcasting, streaming media, and blogging.

For 2008, the watchwords are convenience, collaboration, and convergence, as more and more fundamental applications find a home on the Web--away from the desktop--spawning the next generation of mobile devices and potential new approaches to the use of more traditional computing tools.

However, the path ahead for Web 2.0 in education (and even business) isn't all sunshine and roses. Concerns over security flaws in Web 2.0 technologies may overshadow convenience and collaborative capabilities, further slowing institutional adoption....

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Know How

Tips for Using Chat as an Instructional Tool

Chat software (text or media-based) provides an excellent tool in supporting academic dialog (exchange), critical thinking, and knowledge building. The immediacy of the technology provides students with a direct connection with the instructor as well as other students. While chat software is usually used for "chatting," and, therefore, it has a relaxed and colloquial protocol, with a little thought and planning, it can also be used well to support instruction....

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News

Xignite Unveils Web Service Mashup Platform

Xignite is offering subscribers an on demand service that lets users create custom business applications via a Web services mashup platform. The platform, called Xignite Splice, enables composite Web services applications to be built using a visual development environment....

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UK Agency Funds New Approach to Use of Digital Media

A UK government and corporate consortium has announced a project to develop the next generation of digital learning software for schools. The £1.9 million R&D initiative, titled Project SILVER, will research the visualization of knowledge in the collaborative e-learning environment and develop a toolkit for educational use. The software platform will be independent of any specific subject domain and will allow teachers to add their own content....

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Web 2.0 Technologies Vulnerable to Crimeware

Just when you thought life couldn't get any riskier for Web app developers, a new species of malicious code is poised to begin oozing onto our networks. Dubbed "Trojans 2.0" by Web security vendor Finjan, this new Web-borne threat leverages Web 2.0 technology--RSS feeds, social networks, blogs and mashups--to provide crackers with easy and scalable command-and-control schemes....

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Newsgator Declares RSS Readers Free

Newsgator, one of the earliest entrants into the RSS and aggregated content reader business, has decided to offer its latest generation of client tools for free. That includes NetNewsWire 3.1, a Mac reader; FeedDemon 2.6, a PC reader; and NewsGator Go! for Windows Mobile 2.0, a mobile reader. The company is also offering a free version of NewsGator Inbox, which delivers RSS feeds to Microsoft Outlook folders....

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New Free Platform Aims To Ease Sharing of Digital Collections

A new Web platform for publishing collections and exhibitions online got a nod of fame last week when it was referenced in The Washington Times profile of George Mason University's Center for History and New Media, which the paper called "at the forefront of the new wave of collecting history." The free, open-source platform is named Omeka, a Swahili word meaning "to display or lay out goods or wares; to speak out; to spread out; to unpack."...

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Tech Spotlight

Podcasting from the Seashore in Cape Cod

Every year fifth graders in the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional School District in South Yarmouth, MA spend five days at the seashore. For some, according to Lory Stewart, director of instructional technology, it's their first trip to the beach, in spite of the fact that they live on Cape Cod. Likewise, many have never been away from home, let alone for four nights....

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Online Resources

T.H.E. Journal Opportunities

Share Your Best Practices

T.H.E. Journal is currently looking for the following types of articles for future issues and for our eNewsletter, T.H.E. SmartClassroom:

  • School Perspectives - discuss a specific topic, trend, or concern about education technology.
  • Case Studies - have you implemented technology and learned a lot from the experience? If so, share your efforts about what worked -- and what didn't.

If you have a potential article, or questions about the above topics, please e-mail editorial@thejournal.com

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