What Are Some Disadvantages of Web 2.0?

Keywords: security, professional development, staff training, privacy, filters, computer access, achievement gap, resources, funding.

Journal Articles

Barrett, J. Social Networking: A New Tech Tool and a New         Security Concern for Teens and Schools. MultiMedia &         Internet @ Schools v. 13 no. 3 (May/June 2006) p. 8-11

This article describes different ways in which students today are using social networking, and how it can negatively impact students and schools. This usually has very little to do with actual school work, but has more to do with what the students are posting while they are in school using the computers. The article discusses the legal ramifications and negative outcomes from posting objectionable content, and from posting too much information without consideration of who can see it, and how the school can control that information. (RB)

Shankle, R. Web 2.0 Often Off Limits to Schools. Arkansas Libraries v. 66 no. 1 (2009) p. 34-5

This article argues that filters which are in place in schools are negatively impacting student learning and creating frustration for staff and teachers who can not use many internet sites, including Web 2.0 sites and social networking sites for school use, even when done in an appropriate manner, or when being used as a learning example for something to avoid. Schools need to recognize the value that resources such as YouTube can offer, and figure out a way to make it accessible to staff to be used in an educational way.

Rosenfeld, E.
Blocking Web 2.0 Tools in Schools: Creating a New Digital Divide. Teacher Librarian          v. 35 no. 3 (February 2008) p. 6

This article voices the frustrations of teachers and librarians who attempt to integrate Web 2.0 technologies into their curriculum only to find that the resources are blocked by filters put in place by the school districts. The author argues that by encouraging schools and teachers to integrate Web 2.0 technologies into classrooms, but then making the resources inaccessible,, the districts are causing an impasse which is negatively affecting the education of our students.  (RB)

Web Resources
Stansbury, M. (2009, April 16). Survey shows barriers to web 2.0 in schools.

This article discusses the many reasons why a school might decide to adopt or not to adopt Web 2.0 technoligies into their curriculums, including bariers such as human factors (the need to monitor computer usage) and technology barriers (information privacy and safety), as well as the lack of teacher training and knowledge needed to implement Web 2.0 technologies into the school programs. (RB)

Hoyer, R. (2010, May 31). A look at the technology culture divide. Retrieved

This article focuses on the "technology cultural divide" between The Net Generation (digital natives) and Digital Immigrants, or people who have not grown up with technology and are learning it at a later age. In the case of education, this would be our students vs. our teachers and staff. Author Randall Hoyer discusses several ways in which this technology cultural divide is having a negative impact on the relationship between teachers and students, and how it is affecting education. He offers advice for teachers and administration on how to work to close that technological cultural gap to improve education and student learning.  (RB)

Willard, N. (2007, August 21). Cyber savvy: supporting safe and responsible
     internet use, a web 2.0 approach to internet safety . Retrieved from

This article recognizes that schools are using technology and Web 2.0 in new ways, and faster than ever. The old Web 1.0 ways of protecting ourselves and our children from safety threats on the internet aren't updated for the Web 2.0 world. Author Nancy Willard, former educator and attorney, has focused on youth online risk issues for more than a decade. She describes the downfalls of filters on computers in schools, and lists six key componants to be in a school's internet safety program. It also provides an extensive list of ways to check if your school is doing enough to protect the privacy of the staff and students, as well as creating a safe internet environment for the members of the school community.  (RB)

Stross, R. (2010, July 9). Computers at home: educational hope vs. teenage
     reality. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/

Although some might believe that students who have computer access at home must surely do better in school than students with no home computer access, this article brings studies to light that are finding the opposite effect. This article discusses a study which found that low-income students who were given personal computers for homework had a drop in test scores as compared with students who did not receive computers. Researchers found that the computers were mainly used to play games rather than do homework.  (RB)

Nussbaum, D. (1998, October 22). Computer haves and have-nots in the schools.
This article brings to light the gap in computer skills between students who have computers at home and students who do not, and how having background knowledge of computer skills can be a detriment to students who are taking required computer classes in school. On the other hand, students who are lacking in basic computer skills may struggle to complete web-based assignments (RB)

Lewin, T. (2001, January 22). Children's computer use grows, but gaps persist,
This article discusses how students at different socioeconomic levels might all have equal access to computers and internet, but those resources are being used in very different ways, resulting in an achievement gap between the levels. Author Tamar Lewin discusses how "schools serving poor children were more likely to emphasize word processing and other simple tasks while those serving more affluent students taught computer skills to promote problem-solving and a deeper understanding of an area of study." (RB)

Willingham, D. (2008, October 22). Why web 2.0 will not be an integral part of
        K-12 education: a reply to Steve Hargadon [Web log post]. Retrieved from
This article is a rebuttal to an article posted which praises the effects of Web 2.0 and project-based learning is really more beneficial to students than project-based learning before Web 2.0 existed. The author argues that "The costs in infrastructure, personnel, training, and ongoing access are difficult to pin down, but conservative estimates are in the billions each year" so is the cost really worth it if the benefits are not measurable? (RB)

All web links were checked and current July 16-19, 2010.