2020 Typology of Free Web-based Learning Technologies

In order to support educators and researchers worldwide to use the most up-to-date technologies and best understand the web-based technologies terrain, my colleague Jodie Torrington and I have just released the 2020 Typology of Free Web-based Learning Technologies. The 2020 Typology includes 236 freely available web-based learning tools, and constitutes a thorough update of the 2015 Typology of Web 2.0 Learning Technologies that I released on on the Educause website. The 2020 Typology of Free Web-based Learning Technologies includes 76 new tools, removes 62 tools that were no longer valid, and adds three new clusters of technologies. The change in name from “Web 2.0” to “Free Web-based” reflects the diffusion and general acceptance of online tools within the educational technology ecosystem. A schematic diagram of the 2020 Typology of Free Web-based Learning Technologies is provided below (see Figure 1).

Typology of Free Web-based Learning Technologies 2020 image

Figure 1. The 2020 Typology of Free Web-based Learning Technologies

The main article (see below) provides brief descriptions, example tools and pedagogical uses for each category, in order to support ease of conceptualization and application. Comparing the 2020 Typology to its predecessor makes it possible to gauge trends in online learning technologies over the last five years, for instance the unsustainability of many smaller tools, the marketisation of many others, the trend towards more integrated platforms of tools, and greater dominance by larger providers. The paper concludes by inferring future trends in the online learning technology landscape. The 2020 Typology of Free Web-based Learning Technologies can be downloaded below.

Download: Typology of Free Web-based Learning Technologies 2020 (PDF, 354KB)

About matthewbower

Associate Professor at Macquarie University.
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