Week 4: Educational Applications of Web 2.0
Tagging, collaborative writing tools, and journaling each offer a different set of benefits for students. Each requires students to organize old knowledge while constructing new knowledge and evaluating others shared knowledge.
In my own classroom, I often incorporate collaborative writing, requiring my students to work together on a project (whether it be a research paper or a presentation) and to combine their knowledge and opinions in an organized manner. These Web 2.0 tools that students utilize, such as GoogleDocs and Wikis, allow them to access each others shared projects and provide feedback to one another. I found figure 1 in the Hsu chapter from this week’s reading to be very interesting in that the cycle of growing and improving on oneself never seems to stop in the diagram. Cognitive tools which provide information to students allow them to increase their own individual understanding. When combined with collaboration tools, students are easily able to share their new knowledge with others in order to receive feedback and further improve their new knowledge. The process of giving and receiving feedback and interacting with one another using these collaboration tools has no clear end.
Although I have not used blogs in my own classroom, I was intrigued by the examples provided in this week’s reading. I keep portfolios of Math work in my classroom by utilizing a notebook routine with my students. I love the idea of blogging to provide students with an organized way to store their learning and growth throughout the school year. Blogs easily allow reflection as the archived posts can easily be accessed.
The final sentence that stood out to me from this week’s reading was actually buried in the recommendations at the end of this chapter. Motivating students is one of the most difficult parts of my job as a teacher. Web 2.0 tools allow students to share their learning and creations with real audiences. This alone will often motivate children to put forth effort towards completing a school assignment in order to share their work with others and received positive feedback and appraisal from someone besides their teacher.