Web 2.0 tools for the development of professional skills

My University is organizing the II Conference on Law teaching and Information and Communication Technologies (II Jornada sobre Docencia del Derecho y Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación) where my colleague Agustí Cerrillo i Martínez and I are presenting the communication Herramientas 2.0 para el desarrollo de competencias profesionalizadoras (Web 2.0 tools for the development of professional skills).

What we are presenting is the educational methodology that we apply in the Master in e-Administration and which has been evolving (for good, we guess) along the five years of existence of these postgraduate studies.

The communication begins with a presentation of the master, its eminently professional-aimed approach, its multidisciplinary approach (partly due to the multidisciplinary origin of our students: hi-level public servants, lawyers and computer scientists) and its stress in digital competence.

We explain how we are using the following tools to get to our goals:

  • Blogs (actually a blog which acts as an RSS aggregator);
  • slides or presentations (made by the students, not the teachers);
  • wikis + online debates; and
  • nanoblogging.

My speech goes from 2:35 to 12:50

The full text of the communication is in Spanish but the slides can be both downloaded in English and Spanish:

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Peña-López, I. & Cerrillo Martínez, A. (2011)
Tools 2.0 for the development of professional skills”.

(Slides in English)

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Peña-López, I. & Cerrillo Martínez, A. (2011)
Herramientas 2.0 para el desarrollo
de competencias profesionalizadoras

(Paper + slides in Spanish)


Introduction to Web 2.0 for e-Participation

Within the framework of the workshop Participation and new technologies: challenges and opportunities organized by the Diputació de Barcelona, I have imparted the two first sessions (29 april and 5 may 2011):

  1. Introduction to the Web 2.0, a really elementary approach to what is the Web 2.0, including a small choice of tools that are more commonly used in e-Participation;
  2. The Web 2.0 in the public agora, which includes a categorization of Web 2.0 tools and applications and a long showcase of these tools and applications in practice.

The materials are in Catalan (though they are, I guess, easy to follow without much understanding of the language) and, as I said, they are really introductory to the topics. Here they are:

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Peña-López, I. (2011). “Introducció a la Web 2.0”.


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Peña-López, I. (2011). “La Web 2.0 a l’àgora pública”.


Workshop on youth participation in youth policies. Monograph on ICTs (II): Tools, applications and cases

Notes from the Workshop on Youth Participation, organized by the Diputació de Barcelona, and held in Barcelona (Spain), on June 11th, 2010. See here the first part of these notes.

The second session was led by Ivan Serrano and myself, and presenting some preliminary results of a small research project we are both taking part in, along with other members of the GADE research group.

The goal of the session was to make a brief introduction to some web 2.0 tools and applications, and see how they had been put into practice in some localities. Our approach was neither to remain in the theoretical level nor to focus on the tool, but, on the contrary, to see what tools fit better in what participation purposes and goals.

Tools and applications

So, the first distinction I made was to tell tools (a way to do things, e.g. a blog) from applications (the different incarnations of tools, e.g. WordPress, Blogger, Typepad…). This distinction is relevant because we might find better applications for a specific use/tool than the most popular ones. Thus why focussing on the concept, not the service.

As we already explained in A catalogue and a taxonomy of online participation tools, we classified tools according to the following characteristics:

  • Directionality, qualitative: unidirectional, bidirectional, hybrid
  • Directionality, quantitative: one-to-one, one-to-many, many to many.
  • Competences: basic, advanced, expert.
  • Platform: phone, Internet, both.

Though I believe the Platform will be deprecated because of the increasing pervasiveness of smartphones, that render it quite irrelevant.

Concerning applications, the main classification types are:

  • Kind of tool.
  • Cost: free, freemium, payment.
  • Hosting: installation, online service, both.
  • Mashable: open API or similar.

The latter a last-minute addition and that might well explain part of the success of the most popular tools, as mashability enables ubiquity of the tool, thus making possible to bridge all the tools one is using.

Slides 6 & 7 show a simplified matrix where the above mentioned categories are crossed:

If you cannot see the presentation, please visit <a href="http://ictlogy.net/?p=3398">http://ictlogy.net/?p=3398</a>


Ivan went on with the applied cases, among others the following:

He ended up with some preliminary conclusions that came after the analysis of the preceding (and many other) participation initiatives. They seemed to be gathered in two groups and with different aims and characteristics:

  • Initiatives aimed at community building, characterized by being open, relational, fostering engagement, using free tools and aiming at a networked participation.
  • Policy oriented initiatives, characterized by being more formal (or formalized), focussing at decision-taking and representation, using own platforms and more “traditional” participation means.

Though all what we presented in this session is still in a draft stage, we believe that some interesting insights come from the e-participation experiences on the purposes-tools relationship. All in all, hi-engagement approaches demand more participatory and horizontal tools, and more top-down or traditional ones also demand traditional 1.0 tools. The error being, of course, first choosing the coolest 2.0 tool and then forcing the institution or the process to (against nature) adapt to the tool.


Workshop on youth participation in youth policies. Monograph on ICTs (I): Challenges and opportunities

Notes from the Workshop on Youth Participation, organized by the Diputació de Barcelona, and held in Barcelona (Spain), on June 11th, 2010. See here the second part of these notes.

I had the luck to attend the fourth and last session of the Workshop on youth participation in youth policies — participated by local administration officers to explore new ways to engage the youth in public affairs —, this one focused on the role of ICTs in youth participation.

The session had three parts: a first one consisting in a brainstorm of challenges and opportunities, a second one on tools an case analysis, and a third one on proposals, unreported because it looked very much like the first part, but rephrased.

The first part, excellently facilitated by Manel Ruiz i Victor Garcia from INDIC, was based on Edward de Bono‘s Six Thinking Hats, where you perform a brainstorm of ideas under a specific approach (“wearing a hat”) and repeat it for all different approaches (we actually only did it for four “hats”). These approaches or colour hats are:

  • White: objective data, raw information. No feelings, no interpretation.
  • Yellow: optimism, positive thinking.
  • Black: what can go wrong. Caution, critical assessment.
  • Red: emotions, feelings, intuitions.
  • Green: possibilities, possible alternatives, creativeness.
  • Blue: analysis, procedures, control.

[click here to enlarged map on its source]


These are the ideas, almost raw, unsorted, that came out of this session:

White: objective data.
  • How many people have access to ICTs.
  • How many public access points and usage level.
  • How many people have a computer at home.
  • How many hours connected.
  • Cost of access to ICT.
  • Have a mobile phone? What age do people begin to have a mobile phone?
  • Can connect to the Internet through mobile phone?
  • Main tools used and by age, gender, origin, income, education, etc.
  • Main uses: get information, to communicate amongst themselves…
  • Where people connect to the Internet and whether they do it alone or accompanied by others.
  • At what time: what hour, what day(s).
  • What is the legal framework in the use of these technologies, privacy, security, etc.
  • Possibilities (features) of a specific tool.
  • Digital competences: what is the level of digital competences of the user, and the level required by each tool.
  • Value given to each tool by the user.
  • Number and variety of tools, providers, costs of acquisition and/or customization, etc.
  • Entry barriers: ease to set up an account, time cost of access, etc.
  • ICT usage at schools.
  • Political framework: prone to foster ICTs and online participation or not.
Yellow: positive aspects.
  • Engage more people.
  • Higher outreach.
  • Positive regional spillovers, work in different geographic ranges.
  • Immediacy on response.
  • Break the institutional barrier.
  • Continuous participation.
  • Anytime participation and bottom-up initiated.
  • Get more information about the citizen though data mining from participation tools.
  • Plural participation: more people from more strata.
  • Tools that highly motivate the youth, approach youth channels and ways, “speak in their language”.
  • Information through participation.
  • Generate a multicultural platform, a virtual community of youngsters.
  • Alternative channels, complementary to other channels.
  • Stable channel of communication.
  • Returns of scale.
  • Easy to update information, cost-effective error correction
  • Generate a culture of participation, of engagement, which can lead to a culture of accountability and transparency.
  • Enables networking.
Black: what can go wrong.
  • Lack of knowledge of how tools work, or even that they exist.
  • Difficult to catch-up with changes.
  • Information overload, participation proposals overload.
  • Time consuming.
  • Crowding out effect.
  • Loss of non-verbal language.
  • Who owns personal data? Who is monitoring the conversations?
  • Security and privacy hazards. Lack of awareness on a wrong use of ICTs.
  • Banal participation.
  • Participation rich in debate but leads to no conclusion or decision.
  • Poor netiquette, impunity, cyberbulling.
  • Digital divide: only those who have access and can use the tools can participate. And as access and usage depends on socio-economic status, participation is biased.
  • Serendipitous participation: face-to-face participation makes it easier to know other initiatives or people by chance (e.g. when visiting the civic centre).
  • Adjust expectations of the tool to what can actually be achieved with it.
  • Mediated communication, not direct.
  • That people that “should not participate” actually participate (non-identified people, not relevant to your proposal, etc).
Red: feelings.
  • Overwhelmed.
  • Many possibilities.
  • Lack of self-confidence.
  • Risk of hypes.
  • Have to be there.
  • Fosters egocentrism.
  • Lack of commitment.
  • Challenge.
  • Enables experimentation.
  • Difficult to trust.
  • Uncertainty.
  • Push own limits.