The traditional information cycle looks like this:
Information is created through research and then disseminated through conferences, discussions with colleagues, etc. Validation of the value and accuracy (both loaded terms) of the information is achieved through expert peer review. If deemed to be of suitable quality, information is then published in journals, conference proceedings, and books. And, if the information/research has longevity, it is re-created in later publications and used as a basis for advancing a field of knowledge.
Interestingly, the elements of the information cycle has not been substantially changed due to technology. The process, however, has been greatly altered. Creation is now as simple as a podcast or blog post. Dissemination and peer review occur through “crowd sourcing” methods such as digg links, ratings on Amazon, comments on Diigo…and sharing resources occurs through online articles/open access journals/blogs/videos/podcasts/Second Life builds, etc. Re-creation – when resources are licensing to permit it – occurs through mashups and repurposing content in various media and languages.
Information is now mutable, participatory, democratic, and rapidly re-created. It is here that we should be building a new model of education. Not on the “web 2.0″ tools that are at best and instantiation of these trends (and at worst deceptive in ignoring core changes while pursuing “shiny new objects”).