Web 2.0 applications will not make sense to people until they touch them personally. Earlier this year I was working my way through a World of Warcraft instance with several edutechs and teachers in New York, one in Portland, one in Florida, and a guy from Great Britain. We were connected on a SKYPE conference call so we could discuss what was happening, teach and learn from eachother, joke, and converse like we were all in the same room (and in a way, we were). My wife came into the room where I was and asked what I was doing so I explained it to her. She said, “neat…could you move your feet so I can vacuum…”. It was no big deal to her that I could be working my way through an instance while conversing with people 1000′s of miles away.
The significance of the impact of Skype and similar applications did not become apparent to Joanie until she was out of town one day for work and she was able to utilize Skype from her laptop in her hotel room and our computer at home in our kitchen to enjoy her regular morning routine of visiting with our two children while they ate breakfast and prepared to go to school that day, even though she was 115 miles away in Havre, MT. It was that same day that Joan called me with the news that Skype was the most fantastic invention of all time, as I reminded her she could have Skyped me for free.
In most cases, adults won’t “get” web 2.0 tools until they touch them in a PERSONAL way. They are a lot like students.
On a personal note, the basketball team I coach, the Great Falls Crashers, recently ended their season by winning the Spring Fling Hoop Thing basketball tournament in Missoula, MT. They are a fine group of 6th grader boys who always work their hardest and were playing their best basketball at the end of the season. They made coaching this year FUN…so…thank you Conner, Reid, Zach, Cody, Lukas, Bostian, Kam, and Edin (and Adam – the manager)…You guys ROCK!!!