Institutional skills bank: Something to consider

All the talk about adopting new and emergent technologies in education often overlooks one important factor! You need people with underlying skills to implement them and, not insignificantly, people with the proper skills to use them. (All that in addition to a proper institutional innovation and development culture.) This article in PC World hints at what those might be, but...

PC World - Web 2.0: The Skills Behind the Buzzword

It's important to know that Web 2.0 isn't made up of a specific set of technologies, languages or tools, but rather a set of traits that make a Web site feel and behave more like a desktop application. It's about a rich, dynamic user experience that includes an open-source model at its core -- that is, users contribute to the experience.

There are no hard and fast programming languages or protocols that define Web 2.0, but many Web sites that fit the category make use of the Microsoft .Net Framework, AJAX, XHTML and HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and support for user-generated content such as wikis or forums. Many firms are embracing Web 2.0 to create and improve their Web-based applications and Web sites. Companies are increasingly using AJAX, for example, to enable visitors to access new data on a site without having to refresh the entire page.

The hype surrounding Web 2.0 may fade, but the real changes it represents won't go away anytime soon. As a result, taking the time to acquire or improve your Web 2.0 skills can be beneficial to your career.

... shows that there are shortcomings even in the tech arena. I doubt many (if any) Web2.0 services run on the proprietary .NET framework. PHP, Perl, Ruby on Rails or frameworks like Plone, Django or Drupal are much more pertinent to the new web. Also where are the community-building skills?

Basically PC World make a good point but completely misses the technological underpinnings of Web2.0. They are right that Web2.0 is language agnostic (although certain leanings are definitely there) and lots of the new technologies are really just a new dialect of the old (AJAX, AHAH, CSS positioning) but there is an underlying philosophy to the new developments and the expressive power of the new dialects is a huge part of the new successes. That's something on which we need to focus in developing institutional plans for innovation.