- The Hsu et al. chapter identifies different categories of Web 2.0 tools and how they accommodate student learning (specifically table 1). What is your perspective on the classification and application of tools based on your own knowledge and work with various Web 2.0 tools?
“The concept marks the transition of the Web from the “Webas-information-source” to the “participatory Web,” encouraging user participation, creation, and sharing, beyond simple retrieval of information (Decrem, 2006; Wikipedia, 2007e).”
Although I am fairly familiar with Web 2.0 tools and use them in the classroom and at home on a regular basis, I hadn’t ever thought of their categorization. Table 1 in the chapter gives a good basis for someone looking to create these categories for their web 2.0 tools.
The chapter places the first emphasis on folkonomy and the art of “tagging” information. I understand how this can be a collaborative process as it helps with the search of information and the formation of a summary for the text. However, considering this a form of cognitive tool where learning is being created is a bit of a stretch. Many of my students, because they are required too, tag information; my colleagues do also. It’s a great way to get back to information later. However, cognitive development isn’t always at the forefront of these tags. Maybe a form of self-evaluation if the teacher facilitates and gives feedback on the tags?
However, I love wikis. I love learning from wikis. I love watching my students create wikis. I love evaluating wikis. I love having my students work with wikis. Wikis are a learning experience of collaboration. Students can input information, change information and then start all over again. My students collaborate on Presidential Campaign Wikis. They help each other, learn from each other and work with all sorts of web 2.0 tools in the process. And through the social environment, cognition for each student is increased.
“Blogs give voices to the masses.” This quote epitomizes what is going on with the web right now. People that would have had to have coding HTML skills can now find a webpage that allows them to share their thoughts openly. People now, more than ever, can read and analyze the opinions of others around the world. It allows for reflection, which is one of the basic pieces of learning. So in this case, I completely agree with its place on Table 1 – processing, self regulation and reflection.
- What do you see as the most significant insights about application of technology into the classroom based on this chapter?
I really enjoyed the tips for using Web 2.0 tools at the end of the chapter. As a (fairly) new teacher, I’ve been exposed to many of the web 2.0 tools out there. But I still get nervous changing an entire lesson if it isn’t going to go as planned. I use wikispaces a lot. After a three week project, one that I also completed with students for the last two years in a row, on the day students were to go onto my wikispaces and view all of the other political parties created, wikispaces had shut down the ability to openly share webpages without paying a fee. It’s disheartening to think that a web 2.0 program that I took so many hours of my life to plan and create a lesson for, has changed its ways. It makes us less likely to use these tools because of how unreliable they can be.
The one tip at the end of the chapter was the best. Get the students excited! The more they believe their work will be shown and reviewed and discussed, the more likely they are to get involved and engage in learning.