The Internet has undergone a revolution since the 1990s and early 21st century. Earlier, the World Wide Web was mainly used to surf and find information where the information streamed in only one direction. Websites were typically made by people who had mastered HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) coding and knew FTP (File Transfer Protocol) site management.
However, in 2004 the Internet began to change its appearance and gave birth to new web tools that allowed ordinary people to dynamically work on the web. This enabled people to add and delete the contents to already existing websites and hence websites became more dynamic and information flowed both the ways. People, who did not belong to the programming world were rapidly editing and adding public contents to the web in the form of their own periodicals, podcasts, videos, wikis, photographs, slideshows, auctions, and more.
The second generation of the web had taken birth, named Web 2.0 making websites more attractive and user friendly. As per Wikipedia, Web 2.0 is “commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web”. Examples of Web 2.0 include web-based communities, hosted services, web applications, social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, mashups, and folksonomies. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with other users or to change website content, in contrast to non-interactive websites where users are limited to passive viewing of information that is provided to them.” Web 2.0 technology is also known as the Read/Write or the interactive web, as the users are able to read the content and at the same time able to make changes to the content as per their requirements and hence this serves as a great platform for educational purposes.
Today, teachers are using the Web 2.0 tools to introduce lessons in their classroom. Students are collaborating with other students around the world, creating online content and displaying their work to a global world. Web 2.0 facilitates professional collaboration, networking, critical thinking, collaboration, innovation, creativity, global understanding and multicultural learning. Various tools for collaborative writing and editing, private communication, online conferencing, file sharing, and desktop sharing enable teachers to effectively collaborate with the students beyond school hours thus making optimum use of the technology available.
It has been truly said “Power comes from effectively combining information with technological capacity and the creative capacities of human beings.” Google Docs
Google Docs is a free service provided by Google to its users. It serves as an excellent application for collaboration where teachers and students can use it to share documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Professionals can too collaborate with their teams and clients in real-time
Skype is an application that allows making voice calls over the Internet (the technology is called Voice over Internet Protocol