The question of this post has been o my mind for some years. Fortunately now, some answers have emerged because I have been taking a course on Web Science at the University of Southampton which aims at shedding some light to attendants where the web came from, where it is now and where it may go.
Needless to say that the World Wide Web has changed the ways we communicate, collaborate, and educate. We increasingly live in a Web-dependent society in a Web-dependent world. The Web is also the largest human information construct and it is growing faster than any other system we know about.
As educators, we need to understand the current, evolving, and potential Web so that we can get the most of it in our classes. If we just standstill, things change at the speed of light and our teaching practice may become out of date. It is our role have an awareness of current and emerging research questions for Web Science.
In brief words Web Science is the study of the social behaviours in the Web at the inter-person, inter-organizational and societal level, the technologies that enable and support this behaviour, and the interactions between these technologies and behaviours.
Take some some time and have a look at this dense but cutting edge topic. Feel free to share any comments with me or make any questions if you will.
To start I invite to watch the TED talk :