Over the last few years, “web 2.0” or “social computing” applications like blogs, wikis, photo- and video-sharing sites, as well as online social networking sites and virtual worlds, have seen unprece-dented take up. This has changed the way people access, manage and exchange knowledge, and the way they connect and interact. Social computing applications are extremely versatile and offer flexible and dynamic learning opportunities that are often more appealing and engaging than tradi-tional learning arrangements. They have therefore considerable potential for attracting and (re-)engaging learners who are at risk of exclusion from the knowledge society.
Due to the novelty of social computing, take up in education and training is still in an experimental phase. In Europe, there are only a few projects and initiatives, which try to exploit the potential of social computing for learning purposes, and even fewer addressing social inclusion. The current study investigates in depth eight Learning 2.0 initiatives targeted at learners at risk of exclusion from the knowledge-based society. The initiatives studied are different in focus and address a variety of audiences and learning objectives, illustrating the scope and variety of Learning 2.0 for inclusion. The case assessment critically examines impacts and outcomes, as well as obstacles and barriers, and factors for failure and success. All cases highlight the vast potential of social computing for opening up learning opportunities for those at risk of exclusion, while outlining existing obstacles and bottlenecks.