Colloque Web 2.0

The first International Conference | Information Access in the Web 2.0 era

The university of Oran, Algeria,  Faculty of Human Sciences and Islamic Civilization, through its  Department of Library and documentary Science is organizing the first  international conference: " Information access in the Web 2.0 era: New Approaches, New Paradigms ", in partnership with the Ministry of Posts and Information Technology. Oran (25-26 April 2012).

General Framework

The information society reflects the state of society as it generates and processes mass information with easy bulk access to it. To this effect, the Web 2.0 which is easily identified through its blogging platforms, wikis, facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, youtube... and perceived as an innovation to the interactivity between users, is increasingly becoming a key outlet for the  production, distribution and access to this information, revolutionizing our professional, community and individual practices.

 

The Web 2.0 contributes to the shrinking of the planet we live on and leads people from diversified cultural backgrounds to, more often than not, communicate and work together through networks. Social networking sites are no longer used only by Generation Y (the generation that grew up in a globalized environment where the personal computer and the Internet have become increasingly accessible), they now affect everyone, consumers and businesses alike (Rutledge, 2008[1], Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010[2]).

The Web 2.0 and social networks are also to be found at the heart of a revolution in the field of teaching and learning. More than ever, students are having access to collaborative environments that promote the sharing and co-building of knowledge (Elgg, Ning, Wikis, etc.). As they happen to allow for increased flexibility, Web 2.0 technology tools provide learners with improved control and will encourage the development of personal learning spaces. Such sites as Wikipedia, Del.icio.us, YouTube and iTunes U now harbour more and more content and provide a fair number of approaches, which makes things convenient when it comes to enriching the learning experience.

The Web 2.0 is supported by technology; yet it happens to be, by its very nature, better suited for a number of educational approaches. Among the plethora of alleged web 2.0 applications at hand, some tools have proved themselves to be obvious assets as they can be used straightforwardly for educational purposes and will fit conveniently in an e-Learning environment: see, for instance, this heuristic mind map. Just as is the case for CTBT, what really matters is the educational aspect. The time has perhaps come to resort to the Web 2.0 to implement tuition techniques which are learner-centred. Active learning requires students to become involved in situations which turn them into actors of their own learning experience. New technologies can increase the effectiveness of this approach. Unfortunately, they will also, more often than not, isolate learners in front of their PC screens. The participatory aspect of active learning will be overshadowed by technological contingencies. Still, many solutions are available to help overcome these problems and actively involve students in collaborative learning.

If Man appears as a practical core immersed in all these mutations to which he will respond and adapt to better master events, institutions, too, are going through change thanks to the Web 2.0. Indeed, content creation, network organization and greater visibility on the Web 2.0 remain a major challenge when it comes to building bridges in cooperation and international trade and implementing joint projects with the aim to improve knowledge, skills and know-how for personal, civic, social and / or employment purposes.

 

Furthermore, the digital and cognitive divide between North and South, which has been extensively discussed at the world summits on the Information Society (WSIS) held in Geneva (2003) and Tunis (2005) is still relevant. It is even possible to perceive it not only between different geographical zones (North / South), but among the southern countries themselves, if not within a single country. Guarded optimism leads us to suggest that a more efficient use of the Web 2.0 can help narrow the gap thanks to new modes of organization, interaction, coordination, co-production, and new values ​​to exchange and share.

 

The various impacts, issues and challenges of the Web 2.0 in its different uses and practices are a matter for big concern. Which incentives can make Man, as an actor of his own destiny, better master information literacy and properly use the best features and services of the Web 2.0 to improve his educational, social and / or economic levels and play an active role in today’s Information Society and integrate to it? This is indeed an aspect which raises many questions.

Eventually, the Web 2.0 has transformed the role and profession of librarians. Web surfers are turning into "actor-consumers": they will produce, publish, distribute, index, share, criticize content on the Web" (Fayon, 2008: 30). The positioning of information and documentation professionals in this new shifting area, the Web 2.0, is in this case to be reconfigured.

This leads us to consider proposals for papers that will fit both in a theoretical and a practical framework, focusing on the unifying theme of the Web 2.0 by adopting a line of work focusing on one of the themes which are the object of the conference.

 

[1] Rutledge, Patrice-Anne (2008). Profiting from social networking, Upper Saddle River, FT Press, 207 p.

[2] Kaplan, A. et M. Haenlein (2010). "Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media", Business Horizons, vol. 53-68, n° 1, p. 59.