Changing Discourse… Web 3.0 and Beyond

What is Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0?

The process of learning is changing, and changing rapidly, due in part to the internet. It can be hard to keep up on all the new and emerging technologies out there. After learning more about Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 through researching and presenting with my group (shout out to Kat, Arkin and Chris who were fantastic), I am certainly more critical of the evolving technologies and of the web. And thank you to everyone in class for the meaningful discussion in the Discord chat during our presentation. I have many takeaways and have come away with many questions. What implications are in store for education? How do educators approach this changing discourse? Does access to information, resources and tools, naturally result in knowledge or understanding? How do we ensure that meaningful learning is occurring online? It is a daunting task for educators to keep up to all the “newness” flying at us. 

Before I get into these questions, this table is brief overview of Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 as outlined in the “Comparative Study of Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0” by Naik & Shivalingaiah (2009).  

Web 1.0Web 2.0 Web 3.0
– Read only ecology

– Information retrieval

– Interlinked documents

-Content is consumed 
– Referred to as read-write

– Content is consumed, created and shared

-Users can connect, interact and collaborate
– Read-write-execute 

– Immersion of users with content

– Content is personalized, artificial intelligence and data tagging

-Users network, create and share

Static web pages

Social software
File sharing

Learning communities
Virtual reality
Artificial intelligence
Data sharing
Naik & Shivalingaiah (2009)

Here comes the Internet!

Since its inception in 1990, the internet has grown to be a vital hub in various industries like healthcare, education, business, and government. The internet allows us to browse websites, become educated, connect with family and friends and even shop for groceries. This throwback video from The Canadian Encyclopedia article “Internet in Canada” (2021) highlights one Quebec woman’s sentiments towards online grocery shopping almost twenty five years ago. 

As the internet grew in popularity in the mid 1990’s, retailers created online stores and universities created online courses. Interestingly, as mentioned in the above video, at this time, only 4% of Quebecers were connected to the internet. According to Statistics Canada, in 2018, 94% of Canadians had home internet access. Many of us today would cringe at the thought of losing our internet access. My family experiences internet outages on average a couple times per year, usually due to high winds that down lines in our community. When this happens, we can be without the internet for anywhere from a couple of days up to a week. This disruption in our lives is minute compared to the experiences of those living without internet access, or even those without access to basic human needs like food, water, and shelter. I certainly recognize the privilege I hold in this space. The evolution of the internet has not benefited all Canadians the same.

The Web and Education

“The web influences people’s way of thinking, doing and being, and people influence the development and content of the web.  The evolution of the web from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and now to Web 3.0 can be used as a metaphor of how education should also be evolving, as a movement from Education 1.0 toward that of Education 3.0.  The Web, Internet, Social Media, and the evolving, emerging technologies have created a perfect storm or convergence of resources, tools, open and free information access.” (Jackie Gerstein)

Gerstein equates the evolution of Web 1.0 to Web 3.0 to the evolution and changes in education, deemed Education 1.0 toward 3.0. This change has resulted in a shift in how we learn, what we learn, where we learn and why we learn. Further, Gerstein takes this shift one step further and states that moving from Education 1.0 through to Education 2.0 is similar to the shift from pedagogical/instructivist/behaviourist learning (Education 1.0) through to constructivist learning (Education 2.0) and now into connectivist/heutagogical learning (Education 3.0). In the image below used in our group presentation, I outlined this shift and connected both the Web iterations and the learning theories. 

Created using Genially

What impact does shifting to Web 3.0 and beyond have on education?

The shift to Web 3.0 and Education 3.0 will allow learners to connect, create and construct knowledge with the help of the educator as a guide. The students become the authors, drivers and assessors of their own learning. The shift also highlights a different type of classroom, where students use a wide variety of learning resources, tools, apps, experts and other learners to create a personalized learning experience. The educator then becomes a coach, cheerleader and uses their life experiences and knowledge about teaching and learning to create a safe and supportive learning environment. Learners themselves also become teachers, mentors and models for one another sharing their learning styles and experiences with one another.

This model of learning is evident in this very course, as I am learning while reading others blog posts and presentations. I have takeaways from each part of the course. One of the most influential facets to my learning is reading my peers’ blogs. I have gleaned insight, reflected upon and critiqued my practice. The picture below is a great visual of some focus areas. I recognize things that I am doing already (whole person learning, learner voice and choice) and other areas I need to work on (use of learners community, self-determined learning).

What types of students and teachers are privileged/ disadvantaged by the shift to Web 3.0?

Students and teachers with access to devices are privileged. Those with access to good internet connection. Financially secure individuals.
Independent and creative students will thrive as there is a shift from students consuming teacher provided content to student creation of content.

And likewise, creative or experienced teachers will be able to develop engaging assignments and will thrive.

Technology and the internet tends to value gendered, Western and white perspectives. There is no filter when you search the internet that will prioritize the information of other cultures.
Digital and technology resource equity is not new. Those who have a lack of access to devices, internet connection are disadvantaged. Think of inner city, rural, remote and northern communities.

Learners facing socioeconomic and sociocultural inequities are also disadvantaged. Vulnerable groups of learners include students of color, low income, age, family dynamics, exceptionalities, employment status, EAL, LGBTQ2S+ who may be discriminated against through terminology and language used that may not be accurate and respectful on the internet. The intersectionality of identities is also a factor that can put someone at a greater risk for oppression and discrimination.

Cultures and religions who oppose technology are disadvantaged.

Indigenous educators may be disadvantaged because ceremony becomes difficult online, as well as oral tradition, storytelling, land-based learning and talking circles.

Those with privacy and data usage/storage concerns including parents, teachers and students are disadvantaged. A large amount of personal data is collected without fully knowing the implications.

Changing discourse

gerstein 8 pic

As I look to the future, my goal is to continue to move towards Education 3.0 with a growth mindset. In teaching, things don’t always go as you plan or you are thrown for a loop as we were during the pandemic, but you keep moving forward. This graphic highlights some key takeaways for me. I am willing to take risks and try new learning activities using technology. I will connect with other educators, now through Twitter, and through graduate classes to enrich my learning and build my PLN. I can bring my passions and my students passions into learning. And most of all, I value the relationships I have with my kiddos and strive to make a difference in their lives.

2 thoughts on “Changing Discourse… Web 3.0 and Beyond

  1. Rae, I really appreciated your table and infographic about Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, what it means for education, and examples of each. This was really helpful to fully wrap my head about what each of them was, and what it potentially can look like in education. I like at the end of your post how you talk about taking risks to better your teaching, and learning, and this is something that we often forget. I agree, there are parts of me that are ready to move to more of a Web 3.0 education model, however, I know that I cannot truly move entirely in that direction when there is a huge gap in accessibility and other technological issues at play. I do appreciate how much you are willing to learn and change things up in your classroom! It’s definitely a good reminder to keep evolving and moving forward.

  2. Hi Kelly,

    I agree, it is difficult to move forward knowing that there is a digital divide affecting so many learners. The issue is large and systemic and will only be corrected if our governments put funding and resources towards these issues. I am hopeful that as educators, we can model and teach empathy so our students are part of the change in the future.

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