THE READ/WRITE WEB
Tim Berner Lee's “grand vision for the internet”:
“make it a collaborative meeting, a place where we [could] all meet and read and write…” (1)
He saw the global potential of the internet.
In the early days (the 90s), creation lagged behind consumption, given the necessity of tech expertise (coding) to create.
A NEW WORLD WIDE WEB
By 2003, “more than 53 million American adults or 44% of adult Internet users had used the Internet to publish their thoughts, respond to others, post pictures, share files, and otherwise contribute to the explosion of content available online” (2)
Blogs/journals among the mot popular forms.
Even now (at the time Richardson's writing, we're just tapping this potential:
“we can be collaborators in the creation of large storehouses of more information” (2)
While education has been slow to utilize new tech, the “Read/Write Web” has been transformative in other areas, for example:
Howard Dean's Blog for America as a major asset in his campaign
Journalism: the immediate availability of information (pictures, first-person accounts, etc.). Amateur journalists. “Traditional News Outlets” getting cell-phone footage of events.
(Today, this is likely even more true, with the ability for “news” to be disseminated immediately and widely via social media)
THE READ/WRITE WEB IN EDUCATION
Richardson asks: “What needs to change about our curriculum when our students have the ability to reach audiences far beyond our classroom walls? What changes must we make in our teaching as it becomes easier to bring primary sources to our students? How do we need to rethink our ideas of literacy when we must prepare our students to become not only reader and writers, but editors and collaborators as well? How do we best put to use the reams and reams of 'digital paper' that Weblogs provide?” (5).
Web tools are not antithetical even to with goals related to standardized test scores.