One of the good things with a project like this is that it makes you try new web tools. I’m fortunate in that I like doing so anyway, but it’s always good to be forced into new territory.
I believe that one of the reasons this program works is that the emphasis is on discovery and basic familiarity, rather than mastery. It encourages play, so that people can find out which tools could be useful for them.
The latter is important. With so many tools out there, none of them will suit all people. And for some the preference might simply be branding. I use google reader and google docs because I use google mail, so it’s easier to keep stuff together. On the other hand, I prefer wordpress for this blog rather than blogger, and Flickr to Picasa.
In a work context, so much good information comes from these sources. While our patrons don’t always scrutinise the value of something online, those same people will not I think apply any greater level of scrutiny to the printed word. There have always been words printed that are not worth the paper that they’re written on. Works put out by reputable academic presses can be error-ridden. I do not believe that we can, or should, exhalt the printed word an an inherently better source of information than the digital.
We can point teaching staff to blogs, wikis and twitter streams for good, professional information. We can help students with concerns over privacy, and how to decide what to share and what not to share. There has been much food for thought, and some good tips (note: err on the keep-it-short-sunshine when you write…). The main one, I think is to keep exploring. You may find something you’ll use for life.