Phase III - Web 2.0 Technologies
JISC commissioned a second extension to the Work-with-IT project and a third phase to investigate the effect that Web 2.0 technologies is having on the evolution of working practices and staff attitudes, and the resulting impact on staff roles and responsibilities across FE and HE. This phase includes an activity review and further case studies and ran until the end December 2009.
Please select from the links on the right to view Web 2.0 activity reviews that show examples of the application of Web 2.0 in different areas of practice.
The final report for phases I to III is available here (pdf document).
As JISC’s 2007 TechWatch review of the ideas, technologies and implications for education of Web 2.0 (Anderson 2007) highlighted, the emergence of Web 2.0 provides significant challenges for the academic sector. The 6 big ideas of Web 2.0 – individual production and user-generated content, harnessing the power of the crowd, data on an epic scale, architecture of participation network effects and openness (Anderson 2007) – offer new ways to interact with people and information, suggesting that their adoption within HE and FE may result in a radical change to working practices and relationships. The ease with which individuals can adopt and adapt Web 2.0 technologies , cross-linking to differing resources and people, without any central control makes them emergent in nature. This results in an inherent unpredictability, where their use evolves over time, making it difficult to identify the full range of their potential and the resulting implications for staff and institutions.
At the time of commissioning of the first phase of the Work-with-IT project in early 2008, the use of Web 2.0 technologies within HE and FE was still very much in its infancy with some early adopters focussed mainly within particular subject areas or research domains (JISC 2007). Further, as the JISC TechWatch report noted, there was still significant debate regarding the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating Web 2.0 technologies into academia (Anderson 2007). This meant that there was insufficient evidence base within the sector to identify general trends regarding working practices or the implications for staff attitudes, roles responsibilities and relationships. By October 2009 however, it was felt that there was sufficient experience of the practical use of Web 2.0 within a range of activities across the sector to warrant a Web 2.0 specific review to be undertaken to examine the evolution of working practices and staff attitudes, and the resulting impact on staff roles, responsibilities and relationships across the sector. This section presents the results of the review.
The review consisted of desk research and a series of activity interviews with key stakeholders – projects, institutions and relevant experts – to explore: the impact that Web 2.0 technologies are having on working practices and staff roles and responsibilities; the skills required; and drivers for uptake Further, due to the emergent nature of the technologies and related factors the review also included reflection on the potential uses and future impact of Web 2.0 technologies on HE and FE in the short to medium term. Given the constantly evolving nature of what is termed Web 2.0, the project did not use a particular definition of Web 2.0 or specify particular technologies; rather the approach adopted was to allow the stakeholders to provide meaning within their own specific context. Key stakeholders were identified through utilising appropriate mailing lists, contacting professional bodies and capitalising on the project team’s existing network of contacts. The activity review was split into four – learning and teaching, research, administration and professional services and library.
Anderson, P. (2007). What is Web 2.0: ideas, technologies and implications for education, JISC Technology & Standards Watch: 1-64.
JISC (2007). What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education Briefing Paper, JISC.
O'Reilly, T. (2005) "What Is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software."