While the technologies collectively known as Web 2.0 have penetrated the consumer sector rapidly over the last four years or so, the process has been much slower and more measured in education. There were some breakthroughs in 2007, with upward trends in the adoption--or at least availability--of Web 2.0 technologies in the areas of teacher professional development and supplemental instructional technologies, such as podcasting, streaming media, and blogging.
If I still taught in K-12, would I use a blog? It's one of those new technology tools that some of us digital immigrants might struggle to appreciate. Knowing what I do now, I probably would at least try one because blogs can support the collaborative element so important for peer to peer learning. While some blogs serve personal agendas, in education they can be used for student journals and portfolios, communication with parents and community members, faculty coaching, classroom management (e.g., posting assignments), and other knowledge management tools (Long, 2002) and enhancing classroom discussion.
- By Patricia Deubel
While there is quite a lot being written about Web 2.0 tools and how they can increase opportunities for students to engage with content, their peers, and teachers, more must be explored in terms of the skill benefits to students when these tools are used effectively.
We are at a crossroads in educating our youth. Advancements in technology, principally Web 2.0, social software, and digital tools, have challenged what it means to be educated and how we proceed to educate our youth in a culture where innovation and creativity, lifelong learning, personalization, and knowledge from and with the collective vie for a rightful place.
- By Patricia Deubel
Lisa Nielsen, the author of "Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning" and "The Innovative Educator" blog, believes it is time to shatter a few myths about students bringing their own devices (BYOD) to school.
Defining appropriate room characteristics can simplify classroom design and improve the chances of its success as a teaching and learning space.
- By Michael David Leiboff
There has been a lot of recent debate on the benefits of social networking tools and software in education. While there are good points on either side of the debate, there remains the essential difference in theoretical positioning. Most conventional educational environments are "Objectivist" in nature and highly structured in terms of students progress and choice. Social networking essentially requires a less controlled, user-generated environment which challenges conventional views of the effective "management" of teaching and learning. Therefore, can social networking both as an instructional concept and user skill be integrated into the conventional approaches to teaching and learning? Do the skills developed within a social networking environment have value in the more conventional environments of learning?
Podcasts are becoming popular for educational purposes. Increasingly students in K-12 and in higher education are creating podcasts to demonstrate what they are learning. The technology is becoming so important that online course management systems, such as Angel Learning, are now incorporating features enabling content providers to include podcasting. However, many of those I've heard appear to be created by individuals experimenting with the technology and suffer from poor quality in the audio, content, and speaker presentation.
- By Patricia Deubel
News flash! Young children like technology! Early childhood programs can reinforce safe and appropriate usage by being intentional with their policies and instructional practices.
- By Gail Lovely, Deb Moberly
Sometimes I wonder if we (educators) will ever really use technology for what it should be used for. Yes, I know there are great examples of schools and teachers doing wonderful things. But I contend that when we take a broad view of how technology is being used, we see a lot of PowerPoint and electronic textbooks. Ouch!