Sunday, November 12, 2006

A new web?

Buried on page 15 of our local Sunday paper, is an article about the creation of Web 3.0 that comes from the New York Times News Service. The article, also online, describes an effort to create the kind of web that provides us with a complete package of information as a result of our search rather than a laundry list of possible options. Quoted in the article is Nova Spivak, founder of Radar Networks, who says, "We are going from a Web of connected documents to a Web of connected data." Some of the possibilities cited in the article include vacation planning, financial planning, and college selection.

In education, what are the possibilities? First of all, it sounds like my search time would be shorter and more precise in terms of finding the exact data I'm looking for rather than just a lot of possibilities of related information.Let 's say that I want to connect with others who are doing work in the area of improving literacy skills. I could imagine that Web 3.0 gives me more precise and better probability of finding other teachers in similar types of schools who are working on the same thing, or lists of research articles, data from schools that have made improvements and how they've accomplished their goals.

What about a Social Studies unit on the Revolutionary War? Couldn't "a web of connected data" then more easily give me both sides of the story - the American viewpoint versus the British viewpoint? Could our searches more effectively weed out the junk from the really good stuff? Wouldn't that make our lives in the classroom so much easier?

A simple Google search will reveal a long list of other articles and blogs that might be worth holding onto as this idea develops.

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