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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thing 4

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 affects my personal daily life. I communicate through emails (with family, friends, co-workers, parents, sometimes students). I have a facebook page that keeps me connected to friends and family. I'm always using Google to look up new information (Google maps and/or mapquest for directions). I use the Internet to check the weather, to read news online, and sometimes to shop. I rely on computers for many things. The only thing I don't like about having to rely on them is that I don't like the feeling of being stuck in front of a computer a lot.
We've moved on from the t.v. screen to the computer screen to stare at.

Professionally, I'm learning new ways of using Web 2.0 to improve instruction. It's something that's constantly changing. I feel lucky that I have already been exposed to wikis, blogs, etc.; it's a lot to take in at one time.

It seems like there are endless advantages to using Web 2.0 in the classroom. For example,
the first idea that comes to mind is how Web 2.0 opens up opportunities to teach across curriculum. I know that is something that has always been encouraged, but Web 2.0 would make this an easier task. I always thought I wanted to connect my Spanish students with those in Spain (where I studies abroad and have some connections) as pen pals. It looks like an idea like that would be obsolete. It would be much easier and much more cost effective to have them communicate through the computer.

I have previously created a website through Dream Weaver. I would like to learn how to do so now online. If every teacher at school had his or her own website, I could see several advantages to that. One would be that teachers would know when other teachers planned on giving tests. This could be beneficial to students because it might decrease their chances of having several tests on the same day allowing to focus their study on one subject. Another advantage is it would ignite professional dialogue among teachers, which would surely benefit the students. I feel that perhaps technology could bring back a curiosity for learning.

Still, if a student wants to get accepted into college, he or she will have to take a standardized test. Once that student is accepted, he will also be taking placement exams. Right now, students will still need to learn how to write well-organized, reflective essays and take standardized tests.

Teaching in the 21st century means that students will need to learn how to use the latest technologies and computer softwares and programs to be successful adults. I think we are at a challenging and yet exciting time in education. The hard part will be keeping up with it all. I hope that kids will still be kids. Play outside. Socialize. Interact face-to-face. I think we'll need the help of parents, too.

As a new teacher, it's hard for me to imagine schools 20-30 years from now. Whatever I might think could easily be turned upside down by a new technology in the next few years. It's important to make a commitment to flexibility and the willingness to learn. At the end of the day, our efforts are aimed at student growth and learning. Right now, thinking about it all makes my head spin to be honest. I hope I can keep up : )


  1. I found your blog very interesting. You sound like you are really into using technology with your students. You are an inspiration to me. I also wrote in my blog about wondering what teaching in the future would be like. As a veteran teacher, I have seen many changes throughout the years.
    I too use Web 2.0 everyday whether personally or professionally. I find the students find this new way of instruction exciting, and I plan to continue in this way of teaching.

  2. My head spins too with all that is new in technology! Like you say, a new technology could come along and change how we teach and learn at any time. I agree that the more flexible we can be and the more willing we can be to take risks, our students can only benefit. I am hoping that with all that technology and Web 2.0 has to offer, I can find teachers to share and bounce ideas/lessons/projects off of and keep up with everything myself!

  3. I heard an interesting presenter recently who compared the "mall" of her generation to Facebook and the other social networking sites that students are using today. They are "places" for students to hang out with their friends away from their parents. And just as we are concerned about predators and other negative influences online, those were very real concerns for our parents as we ventured out in the "real" world on our own.

    I agree with you about the head spinning... if I think of the endless possibilities and what would be a logical sequence to introduce these new tools to students and/or teachers... WOW! it all seems so complicated. But I put one proverbial foot in front of the other, and learn what I can. What's that old saying about a journey around the world beginning with a first step? That's what Web 2.0 is like for me.

  4. I agree that now we have moved from a television screen to a computer screen. This weekend I was learning about a new path psychologists are having to explore. They are beginning to see an increase of young adults who NEVER leave their house because of all the time they are spending on blogs or any form of technology. They are so obsessed, they are not even leaving to buy food. It will be interesting to see the impact of technology the the easily accessible information on our future generations.

  5. Thanks for the comments! I've responded on your blogs.

    Jim, our staff has been tackling the issue of bullying this year and one of the places it happens (that we can't control as teachers) is on Facebook or other social networking sites. Maybe we should try to further educate parents on how to monitor particular websites...

  6. I found in reading your post, we feel the same way about many issues. I email daily, use facebook, and feel technologically literate. It is all so very overwhelming though. I want to expose my second graders to some of the new web 2.0 advantages and I know they will catch on, but I do want them to be kids also, playing outside and having fun.

  7. Parental involvement is so important, just as it is for so many other educational issues. Parents have the ultimate control of how much time their children spend online, the websites they are accessing, and so on. I think today's students, once they've started a family of their own, will have a much better handle on what their children do online than today's parents do. Just like today's parents are suspicious of what their kids are up to when they're out with their friends-- they've been there and know the "tricks" because they tried them with THEIR parents 20 years ago.