The Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship

Web 1.0 versus Web 2.0

Language instructors are well aware of the benefits of using target culture and language sites in their instruction. Our students can shop online, find weather forecasts, read the news, and plan their next trip to Leipzig or Leon using authentic web sites. These types of informational sites are normally maintained by one or two editors and do not normally allow the general public to modify their content. They are examples of sites in the category of Web 1.0.

Many of us language teaching professionals are now working to catch up to our students in understanding how Web 2.0 sites can connect us. Web 2.0 sites invite contributions from the communities of people who use them. Examples of Web 2.0 sites are social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, wikis ( being the most famous example), blogging sites such as Chinswing, and Flicker photo sharing. Instructors interested in helping students learn to interact with others and gain communicative competence, as well as helping them to find ways to connect their interests with their language learning to become lifelong learners can design student activities that use Web 2.0 sites.

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