The power of Web 2.0. I am always amazed at all of the web based programs and widgets I can find online. What amazes me even more is seeing these technologies being used by people and how quickly this connects all of us. This is especially apparent during tragedies or natural disasters. Last night I was on the way to Sacramento and I heard about the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. I have never been there, but crossing many bridges around the Bay Area made my heart connect to the people there and place them in my prayers.
However, when I got home, through the power of Web 2.0, I felt immediately even more connected. A quick search on Flickr (35W Bridge Collapse) produced the images you see above (click on My Presentation). Using those same keywords on Technorati produced a list of nearly 1300 blogs where people had posted information or descriptions about the collapse of the bridge. Many of these blogs were very personal stories…stories you would probably never hear on the news. Check out this one. You can even see that the 35W Bridge Wikipedia page has been updated. If you click on the History tab for this page and dig (I mean dig) through the history for this page you can see that the collapse was posted about 15 minutes after it happened.
We talk about current events in class, but by using Web 2.0 tools such as these (and there are many others) you can show current events…and many times from a very personal perspective. And isn’t that part of our job? Connecting all students to each other, wherever they might be.