Most Web 2.0 tools are discussed at length in terms of their application to the learning process. While there is much that can be learned from using these tools in instruction, there are also principles upon which that use rests that have long been the goals of instruction at various levels. In other words, while the tools may change, the goals of teaching and learning remain much the same.
There are always challenges in the actual use of technology in instruction, not only in practical terms with familiarity with the technology itself, but more importantly, in a pedagogical sense as the benefits to teaching and learning are examined more thoroughly. How can the instructional uses of a wiki be maximized to ensure this higher level of engagement with students?
The issue of mobile devices two pronged: that of administrators charged with overall school safety of our children and that of the educators who desire some degree of academic freedom to wisely select whatever it takes to prepare every student in their charge with 21st century skills within a safe environment. Which side do we take? Can we make both sides happy? What are potential challenges and opportunities for learning via mobile devices? It's time to explore.
- By Patricia Deubel
Learning to communicate clearly, work collaboratively, network efficiently, manage and organize information and tasks, think critically, and develop new knowledge is increasingly required across all working areas because expectations are changing and because budgets and organizational planning demand more efficiency in the workforce. So more exploration should be made as to how these kinds of skills, often referred to as "transferrable" skills, are developed, and technology can play a crucial role in this.
Good communication is central to good education, and teachers have long been aware of the importance of teaching students how and when to use various language forms and to what purpose. What is viewed as "regular" constantly changes, and, with the use of Web 2.0 tools, those changes are more rapid and pose continual challenges to K-12 teachers.
Much of the debate about the mainstreaming of Web 2.0 tools in K-12 education here is in the United States centers on the challenges the kind of delivery of instruction required would face. That is, while we remain fairly rigid in how instruction is delivered and the idea of teacher-driven models, the use of Web 2.0 tools will always be marginalized.
Those educators among us who are familiar with constructivist and constructionist models of learning understand the impact that social learning theory has had on the field. Likewise those of us who are familiar with the application of new technology in learning understand that customization (or "the user") is what drives every structure, every program, and every software function.
Caller ID spoofing causes the caller ID display on a phone to display something other than the real caller. It isn't a new technology; it's been around since caller ID became popular. While the original spoofing implementations were somewhat kludgy, with the advent of Voice Over IP (VoIP) they became much better. It's an easy hack that endangers institutional data through "social engineering." Are your faculty and staff aware of this potential threat?
In 1980, futurist Alvin Toffler stated that we are in a communications revolution and that the “link between communications and character is complex, but unbreakable. We cannot transform all our media of communications and expect to remain unchanged as a people.” How true those words are today, as we engage in communication and collaboration globally using Web 2.0 tools.
- By Patricia Deubel
In the first installment this two-part series, we looked at chat as an instructional tool in general terms. Now we take a look at some of the major concepts in using chat effectively in the process of moving the thinking process forward: building ideas, constructing media, and establishing which elements are critical to making the environment dynamic and relevant to the student.