The 10th IASTED International Conference on
Web-based Education
WBE 2013

February 13 – 15, 2013
Innsbruck, Austria


Applying Web 2.0 Tools in Education and the Work Place

Prof. Thomas Connolly
University of the West of Scotland, United Kingdom


The focus of this tutorial will be to inform educators and trainers in academia and industry environments about the potential benefits of adopting the use of Web 2.0 tools and to illustrate how they can be used to support learning through, for example, collaboration and knowledge sharing. The content of the tutorial will be based on research being performed in a current EU funded project, Ed2.0Work. The principle aim of this project is to establish a European Network of Excellence to share issues of best practice about how to introduce Web 2.0 tools into educational and work-based environments.


- Provide a comprehensive synopsis of the concept of Web 2.0 to identify its salient characteristics indicating how it differs from the static Web commonly referred to as Web 1.0.
- Identify and provide an in-depth evaluation of the various types of Web 2.0 tools explaining what their features are, how to use them, in addition to explaining their benefits of use stating how they can be applied effectively in educational and workplace environments.
-Present and provide an interpretation of the results of a large-scale systematic literature review undertaken to identify empirical evidence on the learning effectiveness of Web 2.0 tools.
-Identify and establish core principles associated with ‘best practice’ in using Web 2.0 tools in education and industry.
-Address the barriers towards the implementation of Web 2.0 tools and establish a practical set of guidelines on how to overcome them.
-Presentation of a Web 2.0 implementation framework and a pedagogical framework to assist in identifying structured approaches for implementing Web 2.0 tools in education and the work place.


The tutorial will begin by providing an overview of the concept of Web 2.0 and review the main characteristics of Web 2.0. In the second part of the tutorial, different types of Web 2.0 tools will be explored to compare their similarities and differences in addition to identifying how they can be applied in education and the workplace. One of the main objectives of the Ed2.0Work project involves an extensive systematic literature review to identify the extent of empirical research associated with applying Web 2.0 tools in education and the workplace. The results of the literature search will be presented in the third part of this tutorial as will a set of case studies illustrating the use of Web 2.0 tools in both education and industry. The fourth part of the tutorial will concentrate on the issues of ‘best practice’ and how to apply them towards the use of Web 2.0 tools. The next part of the tutorial will identify potential barriers in their use with guidelines provided on how to overcome them.
In the final part of the tutorial, based on research undertaken on a previous EU Project, Web2.0ERC (European Resource Centre), a Web 2.0 implementation framework and a Web 2.0 pedagogical framework will be presented. One of the aims of the Web2.0ERC project was to help educators and practitioners who find ICT confusing to have a simple and secure environment to use ICT in their classes and in the workplace. To achieve this, a Web 2.0 platform was created that included an array of Web 2.0 tools for educators and trainers to use, with accompanying training material, videos and an established Community of Practice of educators and practitioners across Europe to share issues of best practice in using Web 2.0 tools in the classroom. These frameworks have been evaluated by almost 700 teachers and 1,000 students.

Background Knowledge Expected of the Participants

This tutorial will be designed for educators, trainers or individuals in industry (e.g. managers) who may not be familiar with the concept of Web 2.0 nor how to realise the potential of applying Web 2.0 tools within education or work-based environments. The tutorial will also cater for those who have had experience of using Web 2.0 tools and who want to share their experiences of having done so. In addition, the tutorial will also allow those who are familiar with using Web 2.0 tools to obtain an overview of how Web 2.0 tools are currently being applied in education and the workplace.

Qualifications of the Instructor(s)

Professor Thomas M. Connolly specializes in online learning and database systems. He has developed three fully online MSc programmes and developed and leads the undergraduate BSc Computer Games Technology programme. He is co-author of the highly successful textbooks Database Systems and Database Solutions. He is a reviewer for several international journals and has been on the committee for various international conferences.