INFORMATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL USE OF WEB 2.0 TECHNOLOGIES BY STUDENTS: A CASE STUDY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PESHAWAR
Background: Web 2.0 is generally known as the Social Media for online communities. It helps in interacting with others and to publish, edit, and create dynamic contents. There are numerous social media or Web 2.0 sites with various technological tools. These include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram IM, Wikis, RSS feeds, YouTube, My Space, LinkedIn and many more. Keeping in view the popularity and usage of web 2.0 technology by Pakistani students, this study has been conducted to know as to why and for what purpose these technologies are being used and what obstacles students face while using these technologies. An attempt has also been made to give recommendations related to the effective use of web 2.0 technologies in Pakistan in general and in the University of Peshawar in particular. Methodology: The study is based on a survey questionnaire. The total population for this study comprised of approximately 600 students. A total of 200 questionnaires (forty each to each of the five departments) containing four questions were distributed to the students of the faculty of Management and Information Science (FMIS) of the University of Peshawar. The students of Library and Information Science were engaged to administer and collect the questionnaires. A total of 122 questionnaires dully filled in were received back, out of which 120 were considered valid for analysis with a response rate of 61%. Results: The findings of the study indicated that the students have high familiarity with main web 2.0 tools such as Facebook, You Tube, blogs and Wikis. Facebook and You Tube are used the most followed by Blogs, Wikis, Twitter and LinkedIn. The less use of RSS Feed, Library Thing, Podcast, and My space is due to the fact that students were not much aware about them. Most of the students were found to be not advance users of Web 2.0 technologies. Students used Web 2.0 Technologies mainly for education, communication, entertainment and making social contacts. Power failure was the main problem in using web 2.0 technologies, followed by slow connection/speed, and unauthentic information. At the end of the study some recommendations have been provided for the effective use of this technology. Conclusion: There is no doubt that web 2.0 technologies have achieved greater acceptability among the masses. Web 2.0 technology, popularly known as the social media is one of the most important and popular communication tool among students of all ages, especially at the high level of educational endeavors. Within the social media platforms, Facebook, twitter Instagram and others are getting much patronage. These platforms are rich sources of education, learning, communication and information sharing and has the potential to influence decision making in a limited period of time.