While there has been some debate among industry leaders over naming the third generation Web, 3.0, today’s World Wide Web bears a striking contrast from its conception some 25 years ago. Not to be confused with the Internet, the web had a growth spurt from 2006 until now that profoundly changed not only how we teach, but how we learn.
Perhaps more appropriately, Web 3.0 can be referred to as the Semantic Web. Dr. Fehmida Hussain sums Web 3.0 as “the transformed version of Web 2.0 with technologies and functionalities such as intelligent collaborative filtering, cloud computing, big data, linked data, openness, interoperability and smart mobility.” The semantic web has adapted to human needs by utilizing data mining and artificial intelligence to provide a more intuitive experience. In other words, it provides a more personalized experience. We experience this daily to some extent. For example, when you log onto Pandora and type in the genre, the system mines data to find songs that fit your request. The playlist gets better in time when you give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to a particular song. In the earlier web versions, you would have needed to search through hundreds of individual artist names and song titles to filter your list. Web 3.0 filters for you.
That is only the beginning. Third generation web coupled with emerging technology holds promise for educators and teachers alike. A recent study by Jenny Wang found that students with Web 3.0 instruction tools were more satisfied with their learning experiences when compared with students receiving traditional instruction. “This finding is consistent with previous study and it is important to consider learning environments merging students’ social and academic lives to maximize their learning,” she writes.
Imagine a world where computers and rabbit bots can assist students with independent learning, collaborative research and attendance. See how in the video below.
So we are not quite there yet with rabbit bots taking over, but Semantic Web technology will continue to push the boundaries of traditional classrooms. The omnipresence of the Internet will support increased device connectivity and digital exchange. (Ergo-Canvas notifications to the mobile app.) What does it really mean for us? This table by developed by Dr. John Moravec, editor of Knowmad Society, illustrates the impact of web evolution on education.