Yes, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 are both hype buzzwords to some extent. They do get over-used by some. But so do “brand new”, “limited time”, and other terms like that. We don’t discount the validity of the meanings of those terms just because they might be hype or buzz. The same should be true of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0. They are legitimate concepts with validity (and actual definitions, despite what some say).
So, as new Web 3.0 stuff comes out, I want to take a minute and take a look at them and how they might effect education. Google has created a new virtual world service called Lively. The good: it embeds in websites. Yes – in websites. You do have to download and install a program for it to work, but after that – it’s all web based. It’s simpler than Second Life. Fewer options and easier to learn controls. You can embed YouTube videos and Picassa photos in to 3-D objects. You get a free room (which can be private). There is already a FaceBook app. In fact, there is a lot of free stuff.
The bad: not much. If you are a control freak, there is not near as much customization possible as Second Life… but more is coming. It is still a little clunky when compared to Second Life. It only works on Windows XP and IE or Firefox (for now). Chatting is only text based. Most of these are good trades for education, where simplicity can actually be a plus in emerging technologies.
The immediate use for education is obvious – embed a private room in your LMS or blog for class chat. You can even embed photos or YouTube videos for discussion. You can also let other users of your room edit objects in your room – which could greatly help you share projects.
Here is a room I created (hint: download Lively first, then create an account, THEN enter the room):