Web 2.0 in school libraries


From the readings I have come to understood that using Web 2.0 technology can simplify online interaction. Web 2.0 tools facilitate participation, communication and collaboration between students, teachers and others in the school community. Sharing (ideas, learning and information), participation and connectivity are key aspects of web 2.0 and the tools provide opportunity for students to become engaged, adept and comfortable with emerging technologies.

Herring (2011, p. 49) describes web 2.0 as “a range of tools which can be used to improve information literacy, provide access to mediated resources, allow creative participation on the web and encourage collaboration.”

Web 2.0 tools provide opportunities for TL’s to:

  • Organise, share and communicate information by creating meaningful mediated content (content curation)
  • Encourage participation via feedback, discussion, collaboration
  • Engage our digital learners, enrich their learning.
  • Connect the learning and teaching community
  • Facilitate online education – digital literacy

I believe that Librarians who are committed to facilitating and supporting teaching and learning in schools today cannot ignore Web 2.0 tools.

Blogs are great for sharing thoughts and ideas, new resources, library news, links and other multimedia (YouTube clips, book trailers) and generating discussions with others in the school.
Wiki’s are useful, particularly when online group collaboration is required. Wiki’s can be set up for specific classroom projects where teachers (and/or librarians) can post links to resources, notes, homework etc., students can contribute to the content, communicate and share ideas.
Social bookmarking can be used in schools to share useful online resources between librarians and teachers or students. Diigo allows you to create private or public lists of online bookmarks that can be accessed from any device connected to the internet. Private lists can be shared with others by providing a URL link to the list. I’m not sure whether privacy is such an issue if you are careful managing your account however site closure would be problematic.

New term learned “collect the web” Some Web 2.0 tools are useful for content curation (Wikispaces, Weebly, Pinterest Scoop it, Live binders, Pod Out etc). Benefits of collecting the web, as described by Herring (2011, p. 55), “ having mediated resources available for students enables them to focus more on their topics and waste less time in fruitless searching”

Issues to consider: time to develop & manage such tools, training and professional development, firewalls, copyright

Herring, J. (2011). Improving students’ web use and information literacy: A guide for teachers and teacher librarians. London: Facet.

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