The wide variety of unique Web 2.0 applications available today provide ample opportunity for students to meet The National Educational Technology Standards (NETS-S) through active and reflective learning. In this week’s coursework, we have explored multiple Web 2.0 applications that encourage students to virtually communicate, collaborate, and publish their work. While it’s exciting to browse through these tools with all their bells and whistles, it’s important to stay focused on why we are choosing to incorporate the tools. As educators, our goal is to prepare our students for their future. Therefore, the use of these tools must always tie back into the skills we are looking to encourage. I also believe that successful classroom implementation of these tools will depend largely on the learning strategies with which they are used. Instruction still should be differentiated to match students’ interests, readiness, and learning profiles.
Listed below are a few Web 2.0 tools I explored further this week. Included in the descriptions are potential NETS-S standards that can be addressed through the use of each tool.
I am intrigued by Edmodo as a means of extending my communication with students outside of the classroom. I like that there are features embedded, like file sharing, polls, and assignments; this way I can keep our work within one platform. I could see students posting digital photos and artwork and commenting on it, sharing art video and news links, and taking quick informal assessments with the polls feature.
#2 Communication and Collaboration
#5 Digital Citizenship
#6 Technology Operations and Concepts
* Note: I think ning would provide similar features, but would be more difficult to implement because of its marketing as a social networking tool. Even though Edmodo provides many of the same features, it’s clearly marketed towards education, making it easier for wary administrators to see the benefits.
I really didn’t think about the classroom potential of social bookmarking until we started to use this site for our group project. Previously, I just thought it was a good way to access your favorites from multiple computers. While that is definitely true, I’ve learned that Diigo is also useful in evaluating and annotating what makes a particular site useful or interesting. I read somewhere – and forgive me, I don’t remember where it was – that it’s useful to assign group roles when using this tool in the classroom. For instance, group members can each collect, evaluate, extend, and organize the content. I think that’s a great idea, especially when engaging in research projects. For my students, I would probably start a set of links and have them develop the list further, so they could visualize how the tool can be used. I think I will work on organizing my own favorites in Diigo over the summer, so I can become more fluent myself!
3. Research and Information Fluency
I have already blogged about the potential value of VoiceThread in the art room here and here. However, I have yet to try it out… more due to schedule than anything else. This week I took the time once again to browse the features and examples, and once again I’m really excited to test the waters. I’m including it in my list this week with the resolve to dive in and get started.
1. Creativity and Innovation
4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
ISTE (2007). NETS for Students 2007. Retrieved April 17, 2010, from http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForStudents/2007Standards/NETS_for_Students_2007.htm