Web 2.0 Class: Day One

computer-labThis semester my school, SUNY Geneseo, has FINALLY created a class that discusses web 2.0 and emerging web technologies.  Previously named the “e-commerce” class that taught the traditional systems of online business, Professor Horn is revamping the course to teach students about using different web 2.0 platforms for business purposes.  As a developing field, obviously there are no set guidelines or systems to teach social media.  This class will be highly experimental and will involve web 2.0 values such as collaboration and student feedback to develop the actual class material.

First Day Introduction

After giving a brief introduction of web 2.0, the rest of the class was used to see exactly how familiar the students were with emerging technologies and different web 2.0 terms.  A survey was taken to see how many students are familiar with different tech terms.  Outside of the big terms like facebook and youTube, as expected in a Fine Arts focused school, the level of familiarity with terms like “RSS“, “wiki” and even Twitter, in the class was very low.

Professor Horn provided this chart to show the class how each web technology has developed into web 2.0


Course Goals and Objectives:

  • Define and use different Web 2.0 technologies
  • Explain and demonstrate the business benefits of podcasts, wikis, blogs, virtual worlds, simulations, social networking software, etc.
  • Make recommendations regarding Web 2.0 business initiatives
  • Critique articles related to emerging technologies
  • Use online resources and portals to find useful materials


Professor Horn’s Ideas

  • All students will create an account on google to gain access to google apps. Students will learn how to use adwords, calendar, docs, and other relevent apps.
  • Students will use Secondlife to build on the land that the school has reserved.  Possibility of holding a class online through Secondlife (I love this idea)
  • Students will learn how to build and maintain a wiki.
  • Final project: Students will use everything they learned in class to revamp the Information Systems class (teaches students how to create and maintain databases) to incorporate web 2.0 technologies.
  • All students’ ideas and feedback will be applied to the course.  16% of the student’s grade will be based on team projects that have yet to be determined.

My Ideas

  • Have each student start a blog about something that they’re passionate about on a free platform like wordpress or blogger.  Have them update the blog weekly and provide feedback to other student’s blogs in their groups.
  • Students will sign up for google reader to allow them to read each other’s blogs and any other blogs they find interesting.
  • Have students sign up for twitter and follow each other.  Use twitter to collaborate on projects and share ideas.  Can also be used to complement blogs and drive traffic.

I am very excited about Geneseo embracing social media in such an open minded manner.  With something as new and unfamiliar as social media, the only way that it can be successfully taught is with an open mind and respect for innovation.  Prof. Horn is very open to everyone’s ideas and values collaboration in the classroom.  It will be very interesting to see how the class develops throughout the semester.

Do you know of any social media classes?  What kind of projects did they do?  What kind of projects would you be interested in if you were in the class?

This is the first post in a series of posts that can be found under the category “Web 2.0 Class” that will cover this class throughout the course of the semester.

8 thoughts on “Web 2.0 Class: Day One

  1. Sounds great! I think it would be awesome if your professor invited a guest speaker or two to talk about how their organization is using social media in their business/profession. I know lots of artists with blogs, on facebook, and starting to get on twitter as well, not to mention the IBM folks who are huge on these technologies. There’s some folks in/around Rochester that you might be able to convince.

  2. Dave,
    I’ve been anxiously awaiting this post! I’m curious to see what people’s impressions will be at the end, especially those not familiar with rss, wikis, etc. If I was involved in the class, I would be interested in using social bookmarking or twitter also. I love the idea of sharing resources with others through tags on delicious or groups on diigo, etc. Keep the posts coming! I’d love to hear your feedback on what you would change about the class.

  3. Hey, David. Good luck with this experiment. Sounds great. I’d like to recommend a book I’m reading: Groundswell by Charlene Li. In a fluid world where there’s a lot of confusing jibber-jabber, Li is cool and clear. It’s pricey, but so far, worth it. Check the library.

  4. @jstn

    Thank you very much!

    I have read Groundswell and definitely agree.

    I felt as though for tech people it’s a bit oversimplified and doesn’t really give you too much information of value. For people who are unfamiliar with web 2.0 concepts however, it is perfect…very clear and provides some great examples. I recommended it to the professor before he developed the course but he decided to use other books that he was already familiar with.

    Thank you for reading and for your feedback!


  5. Hey David. Your class sounds really neat – and judging from your blog, you’re already way ahead of the curve. If you haven’t already, you should check out Professor Karen Russell’s (@KarenRussell) http://teachingpr.org blog and learn about what some of her students are doing in PR Administration at Georgia. They all have Twitter accounts and some of them are really getting into it!

    It would be interesting to compare how social media is being taught in a Fine Arts setting at a smaller school like Geneseo with the approaches being taken at larger universities in their journalism colleges.

  6. Amy,

    Thanks for the link, looks awesome. I will definitely look into it and share it with the professor.

    May be a good idea for a blog post to compare the two approaches. I’ll have to look into it (=

    Thanks for participating!


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