Web 2.0

February 18, 2009 at 5:28 am (Uncategorized) ()

To be fully honest with you, I had never heard of the term Web 2.0 before stepping into the Masters class.  I promise I have not been living under a rock for the past several years (although I’m sure it sounds like it) because I have heard of and created blogs and am part of social networking.  I just never realized that all of that was called Web 2.0.  Until recently, I never really thought of incorporating this type of technology into the classroom.  I do think the Web 2.0 has changed teaching and learning and that teachers need to be constantly adapting to the times.

I think that Web 2.0 has made it easier and more convenient to introduce technology in the classroom.  It has definitely reduced the number of paper/pencil tasks that learners have to do because we use the computer and internet for everything.  What’s the point of teaching cursive and handwriting when really we should probably just focus on typing skills? 

I think that teachers need to be aware of the type of homework assignments they give the students.  With the internet accessible and convenient to everyone, students may stop thinking for themselves and rely on answers found on the internet.  Plagiarism could increase drastically if we are not careful.

Web 2.0 can allow students to communicate easily with others around the world and if we don’t integrate this in the classroom students will be missing out on different experiences and  perspectives.

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3 Comments

  1. Nadine said,

    Joni

    Nice post! I agree with your point about plagiarism, and the ease with which it can be done. Hence the need to teach our students about the importance of critical thinking and proper evaluation of sources. Also, turnitin.com goes some way to sorting out this issue. To be honest, in my subject, where the main focus is on lab reports, students can’t generally plagiarise so easily. They have conducted an experiment and obtained their own data, that they have to somehow explain, and though they can certainly get help online, the data obtained is theirs, so needs some kind of individual interpretation. More of an issue is plagiarising each other, actually.

    Web 2.0 does indeed allow us to communicate more easily around the world, which has implications for me as a science teacher. Greater collaboration about lab results from similar experiments performed in schools globally is one benefit I can see. This is what science is supposed to be about anyway – above nationality, religion, cultural backgrounds – evidenced based, and repeatable by anyone, anywhere.

    Nadine

  2. Ståle said,

    Nadine, one sad aspect of that is that great teaching ideas may be spoiled by the students having the same access. My son recently had a project called “World without friction” or something like that, where he had to consider what a world without friction would be like. We had a chat at home, and it was really interesting. I was wondering whether there’d be erosion, and hence whether there’d be soil, and thus whether you could have plant life, etc. We looked online, and found the exact same project online in many places and had to tell Espen not to look at these as it would just spoil the whole project. Once you get “the answer” it stops all reflection.

    Joni, the web 2.0 term is not necessarily useful in itself, unless it helps to see commonalities between the tools and that helps to see new possibilities. As you say, you’ve used a lot of the tools without ever considering that they might be part of some particular trend that has a name.

    So how does web 2.0 relate to learning support? How could it be useful? What are some possible (or obvious?) drawbacks?

    I find the question of handwriting tricky. My handwriting is rather messy, and as a teacher who still has to write on a board at times, I wish it were better. Will this need ever go away? I kind of doubt it, but I might be wrong.

    My son struggled with his handwriting a lot and had to have sessions with an occupational therapist for a long time. Would it have been easier for him if he’d had access to a keyboard at all times? Possibly, but he’s lost probably fifteen lunchboxes, countless pairs of swimming goggles, towels and shorts, and lots of other things as well, so I’m not quite ready to entrust him with a laptop to bring to school.

    Also, writing on a keyboard is very linear. What if you need to brainstorm, draw lines and icons? Tablets can do this, but not as flexibly as pen and paper. On the other hand, once you’ve drawn something on a tablet (like on a SMART board), you can move the things you’ve drawn, reorganize your notes and resize things (enlarge the most important elements, for example). That’s not possible with pen and paper.

    One suggestion – you’re writing in bold. I guess it has to do with your theme and wanting to create a good contrast so it’s easy to read. Using bold everywhere is kind of like shouting, though – not quite like writing in ALL CAPS, but still… I noticed when I read your post in Netvibes, where the bold stood out a long way. (Not very important, just something to think about.)

    Ståle

  3. koppm said,

    Joni – Your post got me to thinking about how teachers choose to implement IT in the classroom and the curriculum they teach. I wrote a short post about those ideas over at my blog, which you could check out. But, in short, I mentioned that how we choose to use the available technology is even more important than simply trying to find a way to fit it in. Otherwise, we well-intentioned teachers can end up “killing” an otherwise really cool technology.

    Mike K

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