Universities and Web 2.0: Institutional challenges
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The irruption of the Web 2.0 internet in universities does not modify only learning models - organizative models are also challenged, creating important fears among the managers of the institutions. Teachers, researchers and students started some years ago to use social software tools, but in few cases these experiences have allowed any scaling from the individual to the institutional level.
The promises and potential of web 2.0 in universities need an adequate strategy for their development which has to confront the bottlenecks and fears common in these institutions, which could explain the lack of adaptation. Some of the bottlenecks highlighted in this paper are: a) the rejection by the users, personnel and students, b) the lack of an incentive system, c) the available pre-web 2.0 technology, and d) universities show in some cases a culture of aversion to innovation and entrepreneurship.
The adoption of a Web 2.0 approach to learning in universities is a complex process confronting important technological, managerial and human barriers. For these reasons, the design of a set of objectives and a strategy accepted and promoted by the managers, especially those in charge of knowledge management, is absolutely needed. This first step requires in many cases radical cultural changes for people used to work and make decisions in a different scenario.
The introduction for the web 2.0 approach to learning in universities must be done through an adaptive strategy, one that may be designed integrating previous experiences of educational, research and business organizations.