Web 2.0 Reaches the Classroom, and Beyond
Yesterday, I sat in on an undergraduate sociology class here at UC Berkeley called "Virtual Communities/Social Media." It's being taught by Howard Rheingold, the author of Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. I've heard good things about this book, and though I have yet to read it, I am subscribed to his website's RSS feed, and it frequently has good tips and tidbits about Web 2.0 technology and community, as well as integrating Web 2.0 tools into the classroom.
Unfortunately, his class conflicts with my web design and coding classes (hurray!) this semester, so I'll only be able to audit a few sessions. But, in the true spirit of social media, Rheingold operates his class as a wiki, parts of which are public. Even the class notes, which he types during class directly into the wiki, are posted for anyone to see.
So many topics - like building online identities, designing and maintaining online communities, and using online networks for social change - had me itching to learn more, that I've gone ahead and ordered the assigned reader anyway to explore on my own time. But I wanted to share the link with you because most of the readings are available online for anyone to check out. He also includes tutorials on how to use wikis, blogs, social bookmarking and mash-ups.
A couple of other things Rheingold mentioned - the class wiki uses socialtext software, but like Maria, he recommends peanut butter wiki, as well as wetpaint. He also played an interesting video, A Vision of Students Today, about whether or not the current education structure connects with modern ways of learning.
I myself am excited to see academics like Rheingold reaching to embrace Web 2.0, teach it in their classrooms, and even make the learning public. I'd love to hear if anyone else found this material useful.