Michail N. Giannakos and Vasileios Lapatas
Department of Informatics, Ionian University, Plateia Tsirigoti 7, Corfu, Greece
Keywords: Asynchronous Learning, Auto-generated Content, Collaborative Learning, Corporate Sector Training,
Lifelong Learning, e-Learning Concept, Education Sector Training, Enhanced Learning, Semantic Services,
Social Learning, Synchronous Learning, Tutoring, Web 3.0 Technologies.
Abstract: The goal of this paper is to define a concept based on Web 3.0 technologies to improve the learning
experience and attempt to create a lifelong learning environment in people’s daily routine. To achieve that,
there was a need to analyze the current curves of the World Wide Web (WWW) in this field. The last few
years a lot of interesting on-line services have been introduced to the public. On-line video conferencing,
synchronous/asynchronous conversations, wikis and social networking are just a few of those technologies
which changed the way people see and use the Internet. By using some of these services and combining
them with most resent (and interesting) techniques like background customized search and live
manipulation of content, it is possible to create a Web 3.0 application with smart, content-aware interface
for educational purposes. An application like that will be able to be used both in the corporate and education
Nowadays, one of the hottest topics in education is
the opportunities that Web 3.0 offers by handling the
WWW as the largest information database humans
have ever invented. People can access large amounts
of information (e.g. news, research etc.) with just a
few clicks of the mouse by using automated-
personally configured search engines without even
knowing it.
To get to this point the WWW had to be evolved
from text-based static pages. More specifically the
“first version” of the Web (Web 1.0) introduced
great opportunities in open and distance learning.
Basically it was the first time in human’s history
where the tutor could transfer educational content to
the learner by using easy-to-access, visualized
Later, with the transformation of Web 1.0 to
Web 2.0 the WWW gained a vast of new features
and soon enough web-sites/applications like wikis,
blogs and social networks became a part of most
people’s lives.
In education, the actual contribution of Web 2.0
lies in the learner’s ability to be able to interact with
web content. As a result it enables the learner to add
comments, reply or even change information created
by his tutor, instead of passively reading it.
One step further from those technologies comes
Web 3.0. This new “version” of the web has great
potentials. One of its most important features is the
ability to combine and integrate Web content and
services to improve the end-user experience.
Inspired by the technologies that are being used
in the Web 3.0, an educational concept was
conceived and designed in order to use those
techniques to achieve daily learning. The suggested
web application will be using tutoring and
collaborative techniques in a Web 3.0 environment
which will have the features of synchronous,
asynchronous and social learning.
The rest of this paper is structured as follows. In
the second chapter, Web 1.0 and Web 2.0
technologies are being analyzed, as well as their
contribution in education. In the third chapter the
abilities of Web 3.0 and what they can contribute in
the learning field is being presented. In chapter
number four, this paper’s concept is being described.
Furthermore, possible ways of implementation, both
in corporative and educational environments, are
being discussed. In chapter five, as future work,
technical details of ways that this concept can be
Giannakos M. and Lapatas V. (2010).
In Proceedings of the Multi-Conference on Innovative Developments in ICT, pages 147-151
developed are being mentioned. To conclude, in the
final chapter, the possible impact that an application
like the presented one can have in education is being
Web 1.0 is the term used to refer to web in the form
existing from 1990 to 2000 (O’Reilly, 2005). It
allowed data sharing over the internet. The Web 1.0
was divided into working directories; practically
everyone had their own space (Cormode and
Krishnarthy, 2008). For educational purposes Web
1.0 provides the technology platforms which publish
knowledge content. But the l
imitations on content creation limited the potential.
The techno-centric nature of Web 1.0 could not
satisfy educational needs. For that reason Web 1.0
educational usage was limited to publish content
(Figure 1).
Figure 1: Web 1.0 capabilities in education.
“Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the
computer industry caused by the move to the
internet as platform, and an attempt to understand
the rules for success on that new platform. Chief
among those rules is this: Build applications that
harness network effects to get better the more people
use them” (Musser and O’Reilly, 2006). The
read/write Web 2.0 consists of a set of new
technologies that make the web more like a
platform. With the evolution of Web 1.0 to Web 2.0,
there was a transformation of the applications
(Figure 2).
Transformation also affects the area of
education. Applications like E-learning 2.0,
Classroom 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 appear (McAfee,
2006). These applications pay attention in the user’s
ability to interact and manipulate the educational
content (Figure 3).
Figure 2: The evolution of the websites.
Figure 3: Web 2.0 capabilities in education.
Web 3.0 is the third stage of the web evolution
(Figure 4), that is beginning now. In the common
question of what Web 3.0 is? Tim Berners-Lee,
inventor of the web gave the following comment: “I
think maybe when you have got an overlay of
scalable vector graphics - everything rippling and
folding and looking misty-on Web 2.0 and access to
a semantic web integrated across a huge space of
data, you will have access to an unbelievable data
resource” (Berners-Lee et. al, 2006).
In recent years, education concepts based on
Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS) (Canales, 2007)
and Web 3.0 technologies have been mentioned (Pan
Tie-Jun et. al, 2009; Pahl, 2009). The rapid
evolution of learning software, artificial intelligence
and web technologies make ITS and Web 3.0 a
viable option. Moreover, Web 3.0 offers more
intelligent services and in addition to reading and
writing content, user’s actions can initiate web
processes (Figure 6), that can be possible with
technologies like smart interfaces and intelligent
Our concept consists of a suggestion interface to
Web 1.0
Britannica Online
Content Management
Directories (taxonomy)
Personal Websites
Web 2.0
Tagging (folksonomy)
INNOV 2010 - International Multi-Conference on Innovative Developments in ICT
Figure 4: Web 3.0 capabilities in education.
improve the e-learning experience using Web 3.0
technologies. An interface like that can enhance
collaborative learning with smart interfaces and
auto-updated content depending on the topics of
discussion. Its most important features can be:
Synchronous/asynchronous and social content
Wiki-enabled interface
Customized background search
4.1 Synchronous/Asynchronous and
Social Content
The web-site will contain on-line chat (both text and
video) to enable communication between tutors and
learners, as well as between learners. This way
everyone can cooperate or answer questions between
This content can be live (synchronous), meaning
that when a person interacts with the interface to add
content, everyone is able to see the changes in real-
time and there is no need to refresh the page in the
browser. Also, the content can be asynchronous,
meaning that if someone wasn’t able to be on-line
when a change took place, he will be able to review
the changes any time he logs on the site.
To make this more understandable a usage
example is presented (Figure 5). The tutor creates a
new subject in the site and then he logs off. Then,
some learners enter the site and see the new subject.
One of the learners has a question to ask and submits
it. The learners initiate a discussion, live, in attempt
to solve the problem.
Then after a few hours the tutor logs in and sees
the learners’ conversation. He notices that the
subject is too abstract and decides to change it so
that it will be less confusing.
Then he notices that some learners are on-line at
Figure 5: Example of a low fidelity prototype using
synchronous/asynchronous and social content.
the time and they start a video conference to solve
their questions. After the video conference comes to
an end, another learner logs in and sees the changed
subject title and that he missed the video conference.
This is not a problem because he can stream the
video conference to his computer and see what he
had missed.
4.2 Wiki-enabled Interface
Since the most common reference library in the
world is, it would be more than
necessary to embed an interface which links an e-
learning site with wikis (Figure 7). To do so, there
are two possible ways.
The first way, and the most obvious one, is to let
the tutors define which words of the text will be
linked to wikis. This is practical but it makes the
work of the tutors much more complicated.
The second way is to do this automatically. The
text in the conversations can be processed and let the
on-line application decide which words can be wiki-
In this part of the project instead of traditional
wikis it might be useful to add visual wikis (Hirsch,
2009) to enrich the page’s content. This feature will
offer a more attractive interface for the end user.
4.3 Customized Background Search
The most important feature of this web application is
the customized background search.
This could be a Google search Application
Programming Interface (API) which performs
searches to some default educational sites and the
Figure 6: The evolution of content and technologies on the web.
Figure 7: A hypothetical wiki-enabled interface.
tutor can also add more websites if he likes to.
The interface of this search engine will be
invisible and the arguments that are going to be used
will be the content of the conversations as well as
the subject titles.
The top hits of the search results will be
displayed in a reserved area in the web interface.
Those results will vary depending on the content of
the conversation. So for example if some people
have a live discussion about a subject, automatically
some web-sites will be suggested to them in real
time as they communicate with each other.
Another way of implementing such a service is
to use ontology mining techniques (Tao, 2007; Jang,
2005) in specific web sites. In the actual
implementation of this concept both techniques will
be tested and finally, the one returning the most
appropriate results will be used.
This could be really useful for people who can’t
use search engines effectively and some results
could be also helpful for easy access to related web-
For future work regarding this concept, there are
going to be attempts of implementing it.
At the beginning, there will be a need of a low
fidelity implementation of the proposed system.
This will be an assessment of the resulting
enhancement in the educational process and lifelong
characteristics (Sampson, 2009) induced by the
usage of the proposed system.
One important factor, following a possibly low
fidelity implementation of the proposed system, will
be an assessment of the resulting enhancement in the
Figure 8: A low fidelity prototype of how the whole web-
site could be. The search results are being displayed on the
educational process and lifelong characteristics
(Sampson, 2009) induced by the usage of the
proposed system. At first a desktop application will
be developed for testing purposes. This technique
will be used because the development is much easier
by using the system’s API’s and frameworks to
execute otherwise complicated actions. This concept
will be evaluated in contrast with other effective
learning environments in between-group
experiments. If the evaluation results are negative,
the application will be redesigned and redeveloped
until positive feedback is received. In that case, a
highest fidelity application will be developed in
order to be ready in its web form.
Even thought, today’s web technologies enable
personalization (Kabassi & Virvou, 2003), an
attempt to increase it through interactivity will take
place. This can be accomplished by using cameras
and microphones in conjunction with gesture, facial
and sound recognition algorithms (Vlamos, 2010).
Those will extend the system capabilities by
enabling emotional recognition in order to offer
Web 1.0
Static Pages
Web 2.0
Dynamic Content
(Blogs, Social Networking,
Wikis, etc.)
Web 3.0
Ubiquitous Content
and Services
Intelligent Agents
Smart Interfaces
INNOV 2010 - International Multi-Conference on Innovative Developments in ICT
more personalized feedback. In addition, profiling
techniques based on the user’s data (Lapatas and
Stefanidakis, 2010) can be used to achieve more
accurate personalization.
The web development can be achieved by using
AJAX (Asynchronous JAvascript and XML) which
provides all the necessary tools needed for the
synchronous/asynchronous conversations and video
conferences. As far as it concerns the wikis and the
customized search, it is possible to be done using
PHP’s HTML DOM (Document Object Model); so
we can manipulate the content of this site, use it as
input for a wiki site or a customized Google search,
return the results and finally process them to create
some output.
This is just a first assumption of how this project
can be implemented using today’s technologies.
When the actual development starts, the mentioned
techniques will be subjected to change.
The goal of this concept is to introduce the user to
lifelong learning. The daily usage of the application
comes from its social characteristics and the adapted
content which raises the interest. Using the
combination of the features mentioned above, the
system will be able to achieve a personalized
interactivity with each user. The presented concept
is an attempt to introduce an educational system
which combines Web 3.0 technologies in order to
achieve better personalization and usability.
Furthermore, the social networking characteristics
will contribute in gaining wide acceptance and
Moreover, technologies such as, Artificial
Intelligence and the WWW have rapidly evolved
over the last few years. Despite of this situation,
educational concepts have not been developed. As a
result there are a lot of potentials to take advantage
of this growth. Summarizing, the proposed system
could be a useful medium for rapid and accurate
knowledge spread in academic and corporate
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