Web 2.0 Class: Part 2

Welcome to the second post in a the Web 2.0 Class Series.  Remember you can find all posts from this series by clicking the category “Web 2.0 Class” in the Topics section.

Photo cred: Aftab Uzzaman

What better way to kick off the second class meeting than to call for student feedback, a true representation of social media values?  Through the use of MyCourses, a platform (I am not particularly fond of) that has recently been adopted by  SUNY Geneseo and schools like Harvard, Brown and RIT, Professor Horn asked the students to respond to a few questions.

A few different web 2.0 technologies were used to gather student feedback…

1. Discussion Board (Forum): What are 3 things you would like to do/learn in this class?

I loved this idea.  I didn’t love that myCourses doesn’t allow students to view comments on a post so whoever didn’t start a new post could not be seen by their classmates. Regardless, in a brand new class with basically no set schedule or other examples to depend on, it is important that the professor is addressing things that the students want to learn, and not just what the professor wants to teach.

Student responses included:

  • How do websites make money without selling anything?
  • What is a podcast and how do you create one?
  • How to search / use the web effectively
  • Paypal (A little odd)
  • How to utilize blogs / blogging
  • How to build a website (the class won’t be doing much of this)

2. Blog Post: What are 3 things you DON’T want to do/learn in this class?

I also loved this and since only professors can post a blog entry, the students had to respond in comments that were viewable by anyone, avoiding the issue with the discussion board.

Student responses included:

  • Most popular: Learn less about the mechanics of these services and more about how they can be applied to business
  • Less lecture and more hands-on
  • Spend less time on programs that aren’t commonly used and more on programs that are popular / used frequently
    • (I disagree.  You never know how much relevance a program has until you use it. For example, Twitter isn’t popular on the Geneseo campus but has value in business applications)

3. Blog Post: Post your gmail address.

Pretty straightforward. The class will be using google apps to collaborate on projects.

4. Wiki: What is Web 2.0?

GREAT idea. A wiki was set up for students to write what they think web 2.0 means.  This isn’t meant to be answered immediately but rather something that will develop throughout the semester as students become more familiar with web 2.0 concepts. It will be very interesting to see how students’ answers will change over time.

Professor Horn told the students what he wants to cover in the class, taking into account students’ responses.  He also explained that he is open to letting students take on individual projects if they’re especially interested in a specific topic.

His topics to be covered included:

  • Websites: findability / usability
  • How websites make money on the internet
  • Mashups
  • Intellectual property rights / open source software
  • Wikis / collaboration tools
  • Instant messaging in the office / workspace

In the last class, a few different technology trends / topics were discussed.

  • Moore’s Law
  • The growth of Craigslist and its effects on newspaper revenues
  • The development of 3d movies to slow down movie piracy (Interesting…never thought about that before)
  • The decrease of marijuana use among teens as a result of web 2.0 / social media.  New technologies making it easier to communicate with friends online.  Teens can’t smoke if they’re on their computer at home with their parents. (Also very interesting.)
  • Finally, the long debate that I was happy to see many students had very strong opinions about;  MIT is making all their professors podcast their classes and make their notes available online.  How is this going to effect other schools / professors?  Will online courses completely replace the physical college campus?  You can expect a blog post on this topic soon.

Click here to see all “Web 2.0 Class” posts.

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.