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After hearing the Education Technology Services (ETS) Talk, number 35 in which issues were raised about the limits of Facebook and other aspects of Web 2.0 social networking that were feeling a bit cumbersome, I have been thinking about what Web 3.0 will be like and what we might anticipate for its impact on pedagogy.

My sense is that the sort of control over content that the next version of Moveable Type will offer to the Blogs @ PSU program points in the direction of Web 3.0. I imagine that Web 3.0 will bring an increased capacity for us to have complete control over our own on-line identity and digital expression regardless of whether we belong to a proprietary social network like Facebook or or Flickr. Rather, I will be able to develop and customize a digital space accessible to anyone willing to subscribe to the feeds — Twitters, Pictures, Blog Posts, etc. — that I am publishing about myself, my work, my life. My students, family, friends will have access to my information on a variety of platforms, again, regardless of whether or not they belong to a common social network. They will engage with my content both passively and actively using cell phones, laptops, desktops and new devices like the Kindle throughout the course of their day, not limited by wires or walls. It seems to me that a number of interesting pedagogical possibilities would open up in such a world.

I imagine too that I am vastly underestimating the new creative possibilities that the technologies on the horizon will bring to us. I probably have described something that belongs more to Web 2.1 than Web 3.0. But, it would be very interesting to hear any speculation you might have about what Web 3.0 will look like. In three years, say, what new pedagogical possibilities will be open to me as a faculty member committed to weaving technology into my courses in order to teach students how to articulate themselves and critically engage the world in and through the digital medium?


  • Brad says:

    It’s cyclical. Someone implements something new using their own centralized service – It becomes popular – a decentralized version takes over – someone implements something new using their own centralized service –
    Although I have grown skeptical of the possibility of new communication methods to become generalized and decentralized. IMO, it hasn’t happened with Instant messaging. Those that think we might start using some sort of portable decentralized social graph instead of a social networking service like facebook may be just dreaming.
    Another part of this is that perhaps the companies we trust to run our applications and store our data (google docs, flickr) will get a reputation and there will be sufficient regulation that we will feel as comfortable trusting them with our data as we feel comfortable trusting a bank with our money.
    I do think the near term changes in communication are going to be around constant ambient information flow. Those who use twitter with some kind of instant update method are already getting a sneak peak.

  • Thanks for this Brad. My concern is not so much trusting companies like Google with my information, but more with centralizing the method by which I communicate. Why do I need twenty different accounts, each with its own profile, when I can publish all my information out to the web from one place?

  • Cole says:

    Chris … I think one of the things that will happen in the not too distant future will be a renewed focus on identity. To me, as I tried to point out in the podcast is that all these small pieces add up to my identity. Sure I can “fake” it in FB and portray myself in a certain way, but if you really want to know who I am you have to bounce around to a half a dozen or so spaces … I am leaning towards a way to unify my identity, but I do bump up against the idea that Flickr really is best for photos, FB is really the best at enabling connections with specific audiences, and so on.
    I am not convinced that OpenID or other unifying userid services can achieve what I want … at the end of the day I want to have long-term access to my digital identity … and that might mean rethinking the blog as a true personal repository designed to manage it all.

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