WOW! Web 2.0 tools are amazing and easy to learn and use. Most tools have some form of pedagogical usability to enhance the learning of all students in different learning settings. Web 2.0 tools bring a level of differentiation to a classroom, I believe, in which teachers have not been able to meet effectively with multiple learning styles and leaning abilities of students. The strengths of Web 2.0 tools range from easy to use, easy to learn, a differentiation platform with certain tools being able to interface/connect with other Web 2.0 tools. These tools lend to dynamic, instead of static learning or should I say, they lend themselves to interactive, collaborative, and extended learning opportunities for users. Moreover, Web 2.0 tools create the ability for students to be continuous learners; extending learning beyond the classroom and provides students with a global perspective. For example, my daughter has never been one to watch news, but her Twitter feed is full of news feeds from CNN to Entertainment news. Therefore, Web 2.0 tools help to keep her relevant, learning in real time, and in control of her own learning.
The only pitfalls I see to using Web 2.0 tools is privacy and the risk of typing or placing something in the cyber world that will travel across the world. I also believe that continuous use to these tools will promote social skills deficits, because people are not having to have face-to-face communication.
My Digital Footprint has expanded by the following: Linkedin, Diigo, Protopage, Google+, an untitled Prezi, Facebook, Twitter, my Blogs, and a YouTube Channel. Now my picture even pops-up! Where as, I am grateful that I have learned new Web 2.0 tools; I feel my privacy has been somewhat invaded. This is funny, upon the completion of this post, I will go and make everything I can private. In conversations with others they enjoy searching their names to see what they find. I on the other hand want to use and learn Web 2.0 tools, but I want the privacy. Unfortunately, I must understand when using the internet period, privacy is something I will have to forego.
My implementation of Web 2.0 tools over the past 6 weeks has helped me to realize that I was a technology hermit and to remain an effective and relevant educator, I need to keep up-to-date and abreast of new technology. Students love say the word “relevant” – I hear it in always and in my on home by my teenager. So in order to remain relevant, I decided to take steps to enhance m own professional development.
My professional development goals will contain, not only, trainings or conferences that will keep me abreast of legal and educational practices, but technology and how it enhances the educational achievement for students and teachers. Technology has been the factor that has transformed how I use my phone (smart phone), how I get music (digital music), and now how we teach (my district is moving to a digital platform for instruction, next year). My district has developed webinars for the educational staff to learn or remain “relevant” as it relates to technology. From webinars to techno tips sent in the form of email blasts are provided to district personnel weekly, all in the name of keeping up with technology. Now, instead of bypassing those educational opportunities to learn new Web 2.0 tools, my focus will be to attend and participate in as many as I can.
This week, I demonstrated the use of Edmodo and Google Drive (no that I know a great deal) to 6 people. These were people who I thought had more technology know how than I did. It is not as though they had no knowledge, they just had different knowledge of other Web 2.0 tools. So in sharing of knowledge, attending tech trainings, using the tools I have learned, and understanding the use of technology does enhance the learning environment for all students, even those with disabilities. Lastly, I will write into my appraisal, a continuous improvement goal to increase my learning and implementation of technology to enhance the learning experience for students and teachers.
Who knew? Most certainly not me! Social Bookmarking is a term I had not heard of and even the term tagging had a different connotation for me. This week using Diigo Web Collector, I am learning the practice of bookmarking, tagging, annotating, and/or reading others’ collections of web documents. Normally, if I wanted to locate/search for something on the web, I would always begin with a simple Google search. Then, I would have to painstakingly reading or select which search item to read. If I found something interesting, I would take notes or copy the information into a word document to retrieve for later. Searching in this manner was time-consuming and I didn’t know how to save all of the documents read.
Utilizing Diigo, I am able to search for information based on tag or collected web documents that others have read or collected. Diigo allows its users to save, read later, share with a group, highlight, comment, and create a list of bookmarked web information. Diigo’s users are able to create a network or a group to share or read shared/collected information. Users are able to search topics by tags which streamlines searches to the specific topic. I am enjoying bookmarking information and reading bookmarked and tagged information by others.