The Big6 in a Web2.0 World
Author: Ru Story-Huffman
A few years ago, the message began to circulate in Internet-friendly circles about a new form of the web, a form that was interactive and collaborative. The new web would provide users with the opportunity to relate to web pages through the process of user centric design and value. Dubbed “Web2.0” by Tim O’Reilly during a conference brainstorming session with MediaLive International (O’Reilly, 2005), Web2.0 became the buzzword of the Internet and the Web2.0 concept has changed the way we interact with information.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project (2009) provided an excellent definition of Web2.0 based on their research:
“Web 2.0” is an umbrella term that is used to refer to a new era of Web-enabled applications that are built around user-generatedor user-manipulated content, such as wikis, blogs, podcasts, and social networking sites.”
The italicized words in the definition are most often associated with the concept of Web2.0,– web-enabled, user-generated, user-manipulated, wikis, blogs, podcasts, social networking. Each of these words, and other similar terms, has an impact on student learning outcomes, especially the concepts associated with information literacy.
One enduring issue in academic circles is the concept of technology and its impact on education, knowledge, and student learning outcomes. Technology can enhance the learning experience, and Web2.0 may even take that learning opportunity one step further. Relating Web2.0 to the Big6 provides occasion for a greater impact on learning and the development of rich content for learning.
Web2.0: Pros and Cons for Teaching
Recently, Charles Huffman, a Psychology Professor, and I presented “Web2.0: Pros and Cons for Teaching” a symposium at the Georgia Conference on College and University Teaching. We provided definitions of Web2.0, and outlined Web2.0 uses in the classroom and for research. Many of the symposium participants were aware of a variety of Web2.0 applications, but we did provide exposure to some new resources to utilize in the higher education classroom.
We tailored our session so participants could interject questions or comments throughout the entire session. One of the reoccurring points was that of information and its use, and how it relates to Web2.0. As a librarian, I was thrilled with this question and took an opportunity to interject some Big6 theory into the discussion. The PowerPoint presentation of our session, which features additional applications than discussed in this article, is located in Slideshare, another good Web2.0 application. Slideshare provides users opportunity to upload and share PowerPoint presentations available for viewing or download.
http://www.slideshare.net/rustoryhuf/web2-0-symposium (link to Huffman PPT)
The Big6 is a natural component to Web2.0, because it is collaborative in nature, flexible, and provides prospect for lifelong learning. The six steps of the Big6; Task Definition, Information Seeking Strategies, Location and Access, Use of Information, Synthesis, and Evaluation all lend themselves to integration with a variety of Web2.0 applications.
Big6 Skills by Web2.0 Tools Matrix
For example, when synthesizing information, a student will take all information located on a topic and use it for a research paper or presentation. In my Information Literacy class, I teach use of information and synthesis as it also relates taking notes and organizing the information into a usable product. An excellent tool for Location and Access would be one of the many free, online bookmarking and tagging programs such as Delicious.
Delicious (http://delicious.com) is a website where users can store, tag, and make notes on web pages discovered during the Location and Access phase of the Big6. Much like the “Bookmark” option of a web browser, Delicious allows users to access their personal account, and retrieve their saved bookmarks, from any computer. This is a great way to save information for retrieval at a later date.
Tagging, another Web2.0 application, also has great implications for information literacy and the Big6. When Tagging a webpage, the user applies tags or descriptive phrases to the website to correspond to an informational need. For example, if I locate a web page during the Location and Access portion of my research, I save it using Delicious, and designate subject specific tags for my topic or research project. Tagging is one way in which Web2.0 provides the user with opportunity to interact with a webpage, and categorize information relevant to information need.
Big6 Task Definition can be explored through Web2.0. There are numerous brainstorming, concept mapping sites, and keyword development applications available free of charge. When a student is in the process of identifying their task, part of the process is identifying related ideas through essential questioning, or perhaps refinement of the original idea, and keyword identification. When a student works to identify their task, using any of the concept mapping websites may lead to less frustration and will help clarify the task.
There are many Web2.0 applications available, and I have provided a few that would integrate easily into the Big6. This is not an endorsement of a specific product or application, rather just as Chuck and I did at our conference, it is a sharing of ideas and is meant to stimulate exploration and creative knowledge. Web2.0 is here to stay, Web3.0 is on the horizon, and the Big6 will be walking right along the same path, each step of the way.
O’Reilly. T. (2005). What is Web2.0? Retrieved from http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html
Pew Internet and American Life Project. (2009). Web2.0. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/topics/Web-20.aspx
Annotated Web2.0 Resources for the Big6 and Education
Google Docs (http://www.google.com/google-d-s/intl/en/tour1.html)
Create, share, edit, upload documents, presentations, or other files. Related to the Big6 through Synthesis and Use of Information.
Google Groups (http://groups.google.com/)
Members of groups can upload, share, and edit documents or presentations. A great way to collaborate on projects across the classroom or country.
The ultimate organizational tool, iGoogle allows users to tailor content using a variety of gadgets and applications. As related to the Big6, students could locate a gadget to help identify a task, use a calendar to keep track and synthesize research goals and deadlines, or use RSS (Really Simple Syndication) to bring specialized content to one location.
Developed by James Madison University, and only available for Firefox web browser, Zotero is the ultimate research tool. A free download used to capture web pages, PDF documents or other content, apply tags, make notes, and store in folders. Zotero addresses Location and Access, Use of Information, Synthesis, and Evaluation.
Google Reader (http://google.com/reader)
Known as RSS (Really Simple Syndication), RSS provides the ability to select news feeds or web pages that are culled and brought to a central location using a “reader.” The RSS is almost like a personal research/information seeking assistant that does the web search for you. Students can identify a topic of particular interest, locate a web page, blog, or other web content, sign up for a free RSS reader, and begin the search for RSS feeds.
I include YouTube as a Web2.0 application because of the user-generated content. Founded in 2005, YouTube offers everything from homegrown videos to movies. Of educational value, YouTube offers numerous videos on information literacy, and even a channel from our own Big6 (http://www.youtube.com/user/Big6Skills).
Sign up for a free account, and develop online whiteboards, using Scriblink. When my colleague and I presented our workshop about using Web2.0 in education, we included time for brainstorming different applications and their use in the classroom. Prior to the session, I saved a template for the session, which included a grid where I could record, in real time, all ideas expressed during the brainstorming session. The finished whiteboard can be saved for future use.
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