In the connected day and age of Web 2.0, organisations that do not embrace technology are setting themselves apart from the rest of the ‘ecosystem’- and at a disadvantage. The ecosystem that technology currently exists in is a very connected world. Digital in 2017: Global overview (Kemp, 2017) shows that of the global population 3.8 billion are active internet users, and of those 2.8 billion engage actively in social media. Organisations which connect with individuals through engagement with Web 2.0 are publicising their intention to be received as forerunners in the technological ecosystem, who are up to date with modern modes of communication and engagement, and who are prepared to meet the demands of their 21st century patrons (Kelly, 2009).
Specifically regarding libraries, and education, as an organisational context (as is the career path I am following), technology is seen as the avenue to a culture of innovation, and thus deeper learning (Freeman et al., 2017). Helping children to be active ‘produsers’ (Bruns, 2008, as cited in Van Dijck, 2014) of Web 2.0 is vital for the longevity of technology in educational ecosystems. The New Media Consortium Horizon Report (Freeman et al., 2017) echoes this sentiment, noting that a deeper understanding of digital environments will allow students to intuitively adapt to new digital contexts as they arise, and to actively participate in their creation. Students are expecting to be able to learn anywhere, at any time, with access to materials and each other as a given (Freeman et al., 2017). The availability, reliability, and accessibility of technology is paramount in these situations, as without stable access to Web 2.0 teaching and learning becomes less dynamic and authentic. While Web 2.0 is still a reasonably new educational resource, it has been seamlessly integrated into schools to the degree where it is now hard to imagine education without it. The current generation of students have grown up alongside technology, and it is a vital part of their learning ecosystem. Digital fluency, however, remains an aspect that teachers need to be wary of, as technology has enormous potential for good, or to become ineffective or dangerous when not integrated meaningfully in the learning process (Freeman et al., 2017).
Freeman, A., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Davis, A., and Hall Giesinger, C. (2017). NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2017 K–12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
Kelly, K. (2009, March 10). Ethnic Technology [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://kk.org/thetechnium/ethnic-technolo/
Kemp, S. (2017, January 24). Digital in 2017: global overview. Retrieved from https://wearesocial.com/special-reports/digital-in-2017-global-overview
Van Dijck, J. (2014). Engineering sociality in a culture of connectivity. In J. Van Dijck (Ed.), The culture of connectivity : A critical history of social media. Retrieved from Ebook Central