Is Web 2.0 a Bad Thing

Web 2.0 has become the digital world that we as educators are preparing our 21st Century Learners to respect and use. Many apps, programs, wikis, etc. exist and we can turn these into exciting learning places and tools.

– The problem is that there are many of these items that collect personal information.

Our mandate is to educate children

Our responsibility is to create a safe and caring learning environment for children in our care.

Why are we concerned with FOIP as Educators?

45(8) A board shall ensure that each student enrolled in a school operated by the board is provided with a safe and caring environment that fosters and maintains respectful and responsible behaviours.

Source: School Act S-3 45(8)

When we introduce Web 2.0 programs and apps to students –as learning and teaching tools – many of these programs require some information from the user such as an email address and password prior to use which is NOT considered to be personal information.

However – some programs collect much more information. This crosses the line between providing a safe environment (School Act) and protection a student’s person information (FOIP).

What is a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)

Privacy impact assessments are not mandatory under the FOIP Act, but are recommended for major projects that involve the collection, use or disclosure of personal information.

The PIA process requires a thorough analysis of potential impacts on privacy and a consideration of measures to mitigate or eliminate any such impacts. The privacy impact assessment is a due diligence exercise, in which the organization identifies and addresses potential privacy risks that may occur in the course of its operations.

What is Web 2.0?

Web tools have transformed the way users interact with the digital world. Over the past ten years, we have moved from web 1.0 to Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 sites may allow users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to Web sites where people are limited to the passive viewing of content. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, folksonomies, video sharing sites, hosted services, Web applications, and mashups.

Whether Web 2.0 is substantively different from prior Web technologies has been challenged by World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who describes the term as jargon. His original vision of the Web was “a collaborative medium, a place where we [could] all meet and read and write”.

Source: Wikipedia

There is no definite, agreed-upon definition of Web 2.0, however, certain characteristics are associated with it. Briefly, Web 1.0 centers around users as passive consumers of information from websites that were largely run by corporations or governments who use their websites to disseminate information one-way. One of the most significant transformations in the emergence of Web 2.0 is the ability of the user to actively contribute and participate in online environments.

With Web 2.0, users have the ability and presence to:

  • create, share, and publish content using tools like blogs, websites, and media sharing sites (like YouTube)
  • re-use each other’s content (e.g. through Creative Commons licensing or mashup tools)
  • rate and comment on each other’s content
  • edit each other’s content (e.g. on websites and wikis)
  • interact socially and in online communities