Notes from a Laptop

April 2, 2008

Obstacles to adopting Web 2.0

Filed under: obstacles,Web 2.0 — Lindajay @ 2:27 pm

obstacle.jpgWeb 2.0 tool were big on the agenda of School Libraries Leading Learning, the conference of ASLA NSW, held at the King’s School last weekend. Several comments were made about the slow adoption of these wonderful tools, but unfortunately in many schools there are often obstacles. Here are just a few observations on possible hitches which come when adapting Web 2.0 tools to school situations, for which we need to find solutions (or at least be aware of):

  • access to sites blocked at server (departmental) level – e.g. schools unable to access webmail products like Gmail, or viewing of Youtube blocked for protection issues
  • inability to download plugins to school computers – sometimes only the administrators can allow this (try and find them and pin them down to do it!) – e.g. problem accessing tools such as del.icio.us toolbars
  • reading of, and access to, blogs may be blocked by school filters – e.g. filters using word blocking
  • different levels of online access may surprise teachers – e.g. teacher access to some sites that are blocked for students – YouTube – lesson prepared on teacher’s login but to run on students’ logins
  • peak periods of demand on school networks, leading to slow access e.g. slow and faultering display of videos which are being streamed (or in fact, low bandwidth of school networks)
  • time needed to learn new tools, and then decide which is the most valuable to adapt and use, so that it is integrated validly into classroom use – not just as a fancy add-on
  • cost – in time, training, and updating of hardware and networks to manage new demands

Still, in spite of all (or some of these) obstacles, we as teachers and teacher-librarians should endeavour to try at least some of these tools, (no need to be phased by the vast numbers, just pick a few) and share our successes with others – in training, guiding and encouraging through the difficulties and frustrations. Perhaps we need a place online to regularly share our successes and point others in a positive direction in adaptation of Web 2.0.? As Ross Todd said: “Just do it!” But I add: “Let’s share it!”

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