I taught my first Web 2.0 class a few days ago, and I think it went well! There were 9 attendees, and millions of questions… And the questions/comments were great – they were, for the most part, things I hadn’t thought of. Here are some of them:
- Are Web 2.0 tools authoritative? Especially in regards to blogs and Wikipedia. So we discussed concepts like currency of web information, accuracy (mentioning the Wikipedia vs Britannica study), and how a “regular joe” blog writer could actually post accurate, authoritative information.
- Copyright! Is all this content under copyright, how does a library use this type of copyrighted material, etc. So we discussed that, and the concept of Creative Commons licenses.
- Accuracy again – Wikipedia came up more than once. Librarians weren’t comfortable with the concept of Wikipedia – allowing anyone to change articles. I didn’t think of this until class was over, but will use it next time – if something is inaccurate on Wikipedia for 1 year… is that bad… compared with an inaccuracy in a printed version of Britannica – that inaccuracy exists forever (until the library gets rid of their copy). I’d say Wikipedia wins out.
- Tagging – this concept threw pretty much the whole class for a loop. First – why would someone want to tag an item on the web? Second – how in the world can a non-authoritative, non-controlled vocabulary tag be useful in a search?We probably talked for 20 minutes about tagging! Again, something I thought of after the fact – I think next class, I’ll hold up an apple, and have the class “tag” it for me. That should provide a good example of real world tagging in action.
- Flickr – why would anyone in their right minds WANT to put images on the web?
- Privacy in general – we had a good discussion about how the younger generation isn’t as interested in privacy issues, and is more interested in sharing and networking.
- Time – some thought these new tools were great, but wondered about the time involved to create content using them. So we discussed how to meet library goals in the digital age, that some goals might need to change, and that if these types of tools, that in essense extend a library’s reach, seem important… then library job descriptions and functions might need to be revised to meet those new goals. Honestly – you can’t keep up a blog if you don’t have time to post, don’t have anything to post, and don’t really care to post in the first place.
I’ll be doing another big class (the first one went for 3 hours) in May, and I’ll be doing an extremely shortened version (1 hour tops) next Friday at my library’s staff day. I’ll let everyone know how they both go.