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 : )