The nature of web 3.0
While web 1.0 refers to the original informational web, and web 2.0 refers to the social web, the term web 3.0 refers to the currently evolving version of the web. Although the term is associated with the inventor of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, there is as yet no fully agreed upon definition of web 3.0. It is, however, often referred to as the semantic web or the intelligent web. The underlying concept is that as artificial intelligence (AI) improves and our devices become smarter, they will increasingly be able to read, collate and integrate information, enabling them to give intelligent responses to our questions, and to customise information and notifications to our needs. These ideas are captured in this succinct definition of web 3.0:
It is the “executable” phrase of Word Wide Web with dynamic applications, interactive services, and “machine-to-machine” interaction. Web 3.0 is a semantic web which refers to the future. In Web 3.0, computers can interpret information like humans and intelligently generate and distribute useful content tailored to the needs of users.
Source: WittyCookie. (2012, Jun. 4). What are the major differences among web 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0? WittyCookie. https://goo.gl/URvzve
The notion of the semantic web often entails an increase in personalisation, based on accumulated data about individuals’ interests and preferences. We can see the beginnings of a shift in this direction in the personalised search results returned by Google, or in the personalised newsfeeds on Facebook and other social media platforms which filter posts based on users’ actions and interactions. Some useful recent discussions of web 3.0 may be found in the sources listed below. For additional sources that contrast web 1.0, web 2.0 and web 3.0, see the web 1.0 page.
While the emphasis is most frequently placed on the semantic element, mention is sometimes made of the concept of the geospatial web, involving 3D graphics like those seen in virtual worlds or gaming environments, most likely linked to virtual reality and augmented reality. There has been some discussion of the relationship of web 3.0 to the concept of the Metaverse, as promoted by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and others. Another, more recent usage of the term web 3.0 focuses on the emergence of a decentralised web underpinned by technologies like Blockchain, with those who support this notion of web 3.0 generally arguing that web 3.0 and the Metaverse are quite different, although potentially complementary. Some references worth checking out include:
Learning with web 3.0
While web 3.0 is still evolving, we can begin to speculate on the educational implications of the semantic web. These would seem to lie largely in the area of personalisation of learning. In the future we may well become accustomed to a certain amount of low-level personalised learning being handled by AI agents or virtual assistants, before notifications or requests for additional assistance are sent to teachers in the case of struggling or at-risk students. This is linked to the developing areas of big data and learning analytics.
As regards the geospatial web, virtual reality and augmented reality certainly have considerable implications for education: the former exposing students to immersive recordings or simulations of locations, events and phenomena, and the latter encouraging place-based learning in real-world contexts outside the classroom. This is a space to watch over coming years.
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