When Web 2.0 Goes Down

I’ve taken a real interest in Web 2.0 applications over the past year.  If there is any doubt, check out my Delicious collection of resources tagged with Web 2.0.  There are 378 of them and growing.

They are fascinating and I applaud the developers for their originality and creativity in bringing such resources to the web and the pricing is usually quite right.

Or, is it?

Yesterday, I’m in a meeting giving 100% attention to the proceedings of course, and during the break scroll through the accumulated Twitter postings in Twhirl.  It’s open all day and just collects the posts from my friends and others in my network.

In the middle, there was a panic Tweet.

“Can anyone get into ########?”  where ######## is a Web 2.0 resource.  And, it’s not just a fly by night one.  It was one of the big names, lots of people made reference to it at the NECC Conference.

I give it a shot and sure enough, the resource isn’t there.

I’m now thinking about this poor person.  It may well be a classroom teacher prepping for a class, might be in the middle of a class, might be taking a summer school upgrading course, might be just someone following a link…  But, it’s not there.

What happens now?

What happens if this was going to be the lesson of the year?  What happens if this was a teacher testing the Web 2.0 waters for the first time?  What happens if this was a final assessment for an education course? What happens if this was a final evaluation from a superintendent before you get a contract and you’re pulling out all the stops?


Let’s consider another scenario.

Your school district subscribes to a web filtering service designed to keep business people on task.  Today, you find a dynamite simulation or animation resource that you wish to use in your classroom.  Works great, you test it, and you dream of the possibilities for student learning and engagement in class tomorrow.  However, overnight, the filtering service sends out an update and the site is now blocked.  And, unfortunately, the keeper of the white list is ill and not checking email.

What do you do?

Of course, as educators, we always have a whack of “Plan B”s.

How many times can you get burned, though, before you throw up your hands and revert to tried and true ways?

What would you do?

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