This blog has been created as a resource for teachers interested in extending the walls of their classrooms and building their own, as well as their student’s, personal learning networks. As what Mark Prensky dubs a digital immigrant, I began my exploration a few years ago when I was still a virtual tourist of the many new and exciting web based programs. What appealed to me was their accessibilty, their potential to engage our students and make them the directors of their own inquiry, and their cost – many wonderful tools are free! Initally, I was reluctant and concerned that technology for the sake of technology was not going to address the learning outcomes I had in mind for my students. I was also concerned with their ability to critically evaluate the information they could access so easily and at times frustrated by their inclination to turn to the “university of google” everytime they had a question. However, the realty is our students are the first generation of digital natives and digital media frames their expereriences. If we do not embrace it and develop their skills to navigate and make sense of the media they literally hold in the palm of their hand, then we as educators are not only going to be left behind, I would argue, we are failing to practice responsible pedagagoy. As we work to develop their critical and creative skills, nurturing the skills that will empower them to be life-long learners, we must provide them with the tools to navigate, filter, process, interpret, and responsibly consume and create digital information. Utilizing Web 2.0 tools in our instruction can help students to do this.
Web 2.0 is a phrase commonly attributed to Tim O’Reilly who founded the open source movement and began the O’Reilly Media Conference Web 2.0 on the early 2000′s. The phrase was meant to depict the way our internet use has changed. Previously, the web was a storage centre of information that was accessed and consumed, but very few users contributed to its content by creating, producing and storing work on the web. However, the second generation of Web applications (2.0) encourages users to collaborate and share information on line.
Check out the argument presented by Dave Chamberlain in the video “Web 2.0 for the Classroom:
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