Web 2.0 represents a new way of accessing, sharing and using digital information
In K12 education, the web has primarily been used as a read only resource - other technology uses like creating video, animation, desktop publishing and digital photography have been used and developed separately in classrooms without an easy direct link to the internet.

Should teachers be aware of Web 2.0? Does this new wave of web applications and practices have any relevance to K12 classrooms?

Students today are using technology out of school to communicate, collaborate, create - so many have an online or connected component to their life. Using the web and mobile technologies, the students we teach are connected digitally to each other and to the wider world. MySpace, MSN and World of Warcraft are just some examples of virtual spaces where our "digital natives" congregate and make connections.
Many teachers believe that mastering e-mail and operating a mobile phone puts them at the edge of technological mastery. Even those who work in roles related to information literacy and computing studies often are only aware of Web 2.0 in passing but not necessarily in potential. But now small pockets of educators globally connected via blogs, wikis and podcasts are leveraging these new and emerging technologies to make learning engaging and relevant to their students, equipping their students with the skills to navigate and publish to the web ethically and safely. But they often work unrecognised on their local level, regarded with suspicion or cynicism by their immediate peers who don't really understand what the fuss is all about. They gather strength, encouragement and purpose from their own online network who are also working to utilise Web 2.0 technologies to open up new forms of educational purpose.

Web 2.0 tools represent educational opportunities that were difficult or not possible to implement in the past. These include:-
- online communities
- real audience
- online ethics and safety
- create knowledge not just consume
- online curriculum
- web bookmarking
- Personal Learning Environments

Why do teachers need to get involved?

Teachers bring with themselves a working knowledge of how information has been traditionally distributed, how information has been ratified and verified, and how expertise in specific fields has been developed. Web 2.0 changes that paradigm in that it allows users to personalise information, to treat all sources as worthy of attention and to access many, many sources at one time. Are our students are in danger of being stranded in a me-centred world? Teachers have the skills and responsibility to teach students how to critically navigate the information overflow but only if they have working knowledge of the new information landscape.