My blog has become an online archive of my learning experience. I have gone from being a person who was completely helpless on a computer, to having a great deal more confidence and understanding about technology. I intend to continue adding to it as I explore further. With summer soon approaching, I anticipate having some time to learn more about Web 2.0, and even look at sites (such as Animoto, Furl, and co.mments) that I only had the chance to quickly browse through this semester. Additionally, I hope to integrate blogging, wikis, and podcasting into my teaching in the fall, and I want to be prepared for that. I intend to learn more about the features offered by Edublogs for teacher and students accounts, managing privacy, etc.
Integrating Technologies into my Classroom
My plans for integrating blogging may depend upon my school division’s policy relating to their accessibility from school computers (presently, they are piloting a blogging integration activity with a few classrooms). However, if there are restrictions in place, I hope to lobby for that being changed. Nevertheless, I anticipate structuring the organization of my courses differently and utilizing blogs as a portal so that students can access course materials. I eventually would like to set up individual blogging accounts for each student to use as e-portfolios of their work. It will also provide a more interactive way of providing feedback on assignments.
I also know that wikis will be integrated into my teaching practices. Based on my experiences with them this semester, I know that they are powerful tools for collaboration.
The integration of these new technologies will also require rethinking assessment. I am now aware of resources I can consult to see how teachers are assessing learning outcomes of students. I soon hope to start collecting a variety of examples to guide my own rubric creations.
Inspired to Create
Although I am still very new to Web 2.0 technologies, I have been inspired by the wonderful web sites I have found which are organized specifically for teaching other educators about Web 2.0. I would like to create my own comprehensive wiki web site (similar to that of Valenza, Vesper and Peacock’s wikis). I would aim to include things such as: tutorials, definitions and handouts, links and feeds, pages organized according to tasks or subject areas, etc. I realize that I still have much more research to do, but this is a future goal.
Another lofty goal I have set for myself is connected to the research I did for virtual school libraries. I hope to learn more about web page creation, and use the elements of design and content I learned about in order to create, or recreate a school library web site. I will likely try to work in collaboration with a computer teacher on such a project in the future.
Lastly, I have to admit that this experience has generated a great deal of interest in exploring Web 2.0 topics further, perhaps in my Capping Paper experience. I am taking the summer to give it some serious thought.
The blog I have established this semester will continue to grow, even though I will no longer be responding to assigned exploration tasks, I will be creating my own!
This learning journey has left plenty of food for thought. My definition of what it means to be literate has evolved to include the Internet and ICT. As Richardson (2006) explains in his chapter “What it all Means,” the Read/Write Web is prompting us to re-examine the way we think about content and curriculum.
Richardson’s explanations about the “big shifts” in how best to teach students are ideas I am starting to understand, mainly because of my own experiences this semester. Many of these shifts are very challenging to the traditional conventions of teaching.
I feel that I my job description has changed, or rather, evolved. It has always been multifaceted, but I am seeing firsthand, the impact that web technologies will have on education. This will definitely change the role of teachers.
At this point, I don’t have all the answers. However, I have heard the message loud and clear. I know I will never be able to teach the same way again. And that’s a good thing.
I’m inspired, I’m motivated, and I’m ready to get to work.
"Start to model, in your job as a teacher, the practice of being a master learner" (David Warlick, from Path to Becoming a Literate Educator).
Richardson, W. (2006). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Corwin Press: Thousand Oakes, CA.
Last but not least…
This video made me laugh…but only view it if you have a good sense of humour!
The Librarian Song by Joe Uveges