Richardson (2010) states, teacher must experience networked learning spaces prior to incorporating these learning environments into our classrooms with our students. I do not totally agree with this statement. It maybe a scary world for many teachers who are not of the technology age. Cable television and home video games systems came out when I was in high school. I owned my own personal computer at the age of 25 in 1990. My first cell phone was a bag phone I got in 1992. Even though I started working for a travel technology company in 1997, I was not brought up in the world of technology in which my students are. I may feel comfortable using and trying the latest and greatest, many teachers still considered smart boards, “dumb boards”. It is a mind shift all educators and educational systems need to make and not be scared if we are tasked to ensure our students are college and career read.
Teachers as they plan their instruction must be prepared for every step in the process and also be prepared for the unexpected. Every clearly defined lesson in rare cases does not flow without a hitch the first time. When teachers further incorporate technology into their classrooms this is even more the case. In 2005, the National Technology Plan says, “students of any age are far more computer literate than their teachers.”(Richardson, 2010, p. 11) This further provides validation teachers must be prepared and be competent in the technology in which they implement in their classrooms.
As I work with teachers at my school to integrate technology into their classrooms, I tell them to start small and find one application or software they are comfortable with to use in their instruction. Find something they have a passion for and tap into their current knowledge and what they are comfortable with. Educators must understand the safety risk with their students using technology and ensure students know proper digital citizenship. I do agree with the text teachers must understand the ways technologies can facilitate global connections for their students and the impact this connections can have on the learning environments. (Richardson, 2010, p. 9)
While teachers are learners as well in the age of technology and must understand the pedagogical implications of incorporating technology for the classroom.(Richardson, 2010, p. 9) Who but our students are innovators in technology and can provide ideas of what could work and could be incorporate into our classrooms. You never know what tool a student may know and can share their knowledge with their teachers during the learning experience. As educators we must understand networking and technology tools we implement in our classrooms, but at the same time use the teachers in the classrooms our students to guide us as well since they are the technology generation.
In reviewing the tool box in the text book, I have not ventured much in to Really Simple Syndication (RSS). I can see the tool as a way to aggregator research and current events on topics I want my students to use through the year in social studies. I can incorporate these feeds in to my Edmodo site or on a Weebly research site.
I found the article A Day in the Life of Web 2.0 by David Warlick very interesting. I would have never thought of blogging this extreme. I believe the majority of teachers who do blog, look at it in a way to just deliver what is happening in their classrooms. Our school has struggled to find the way to get information out to parents. We thought having everything on our web site would be best. Parents and students could just go out there and find what the needed. Not the case, they are not looking at the web site and many still want to receive emails with news and updates sent to them. Whereas I am the opposite, I wish I didn’t receive emails all the time. Warlick’s article mentions Really Simple Syndication (RSS); I can see this as a viable tool to meet the needs of all. The information is on the web site for all to see and those who want to see updates can subscribe. Teachers and administration do not have to send out emails all the time. It also allows what is happening in the school to be shared with everyone including within classrooms and teachers. I can see using wiki’s and blogs as a way to share information for additional support and research with students, with the thought process of students creating their own study guides pages on these blogs is a great way to further engage the 21st century learner. With the teacher having the study guide wiki’s as a contest this also pulls the new “gaming” aspect of teaching.
I can see blogs and wiki’s as great tools for student engagement, flipped and extended classrooms and students and professional collaboration. However, many teachers are going to feel more overwhelmed with one more thing to incorporate and do every day, especially “old school” teachers. Presently at my school for students to be engaged in technology it all has to be done while in the classroom and in many cases it can be done there. The majority of my students do not have computers or internet at home and most of our classrooms only have two computers. Until there are better resources available to all students unfortunately many technology tools cannot be fully implemented to the level mention in the article. The can be great collaboration tools among teachers.
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin .
Warlick, D. (2006). A Day In the Life Web 2.0. Technology and Learning Magazine.
Christa Evans Heath