I, like many others, take the world wide web for granted. I don’t often think about how it works or where it came from. I love the internet and all that it provides. I spend hours reading email, reading news articles, checking out Facebook, and more, but to be honest, I’m not that interested in having an in depth knowledge of how it works as long as it keeps on working. 20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web provides a little history and a good bit of information about the origins of the web. It’s formatted as an online book, making it more readable. I think this is a good resource to use with older kids to provide some background information to students who are interested in the origins of the web or how it functions.
One of the greatest benefits of the web is the opportunity for collaboration. Crowdsourcing and mass collaboration are an incredible opportunity born from the connection of the internet. When I really think about Wikipedia and the amount of reliable information that can be found there, I am in awe. You used to hear all the time about how Wikipedia isn’t a valid source of information, but it has become an incredibly powerful tool fueled by it’s users.
In class, we brainstormed a list of the benefits of mass collaboration. When asked how our students can benefit from collaboration, these same ideas come to mind. I think the biggest benefit of collaboration to our students is the bouncing of ideas off each other and the opportunity to grow an idea together as students share information and resources. The power of students working together is far greater than one student working alone.