Thursday, February 11, 2010

Week 5

In researching available Web 2.0 tools and new hardware for librarians and students, I believe our class has determined there is some really valuable stuff out there. These tools all seemingly boil down to performing many of the same functions students and educators have historically done in a low-tech fashion.

While there is increased efficiency in implementing these tools, I have noticed quite a few discussion and blog posts lamenting that using these new technologies, be they hardware or software based, creates a new set of problems. Many of the problems are related to "when technology fails." Of course, slms should have a low-tech back-up plan in every instance, as I have noted on our discussion board. However, the fear of a computer crash or connectivity issues, etc., should not deter us from using these technologies and relying on antiquated educational methods. Moreover, the more practice and familiarity we have with these technologies, the less likely they are to fail us, or at least we know how to fix them.

For those apprehensive about using and learning how to incorporate the latest technology, be aware that not only do students want to be using these tools, administrators and parents want them to as well. Speaking from experience, I do not know how well I would be able to master Web 2.0 tools had I not been using their predecessors for years. The longer one holds out, the steeper the learning curve will be. By at least attempting to use and practice using the latest technology, you will be better prepared for Web 3.0 tools - which are already arriving, and you will understand them better by witnessing the evolution of technology.

As the adage goes,"there's no sense in reinventing the wheel," but isn't a wheel much better with an all-weather run-flat tire on it?


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