Why Web 2.0 in Our Schools?

Here are some more fresh voices from participants in the Laptop Learning Initiative . . .

TIFFANY: I know that a lot of the National Honor Society students that I have take challenging classes, have an after school job, are involved in sports and/or clubs around the school, and many of them also participate in community activities. It would be amazing for them to be able to have a lesson/lecture/supplement to their class time that they could listen to whenever they could. I think that “future ready students” are able to learn in a variety of different contexts. We have several students taking online courses at WCHS and many of them say that they enjoy the ability to do the school work when they can.

JEN: I am really excited about what podcasting can do for my students. Using an audio recorder I can record my lectures, notes, class discussions, etc. then post them to my webpage for student use. Also, online I have found several sites that provide free podcasts of famous historical speeches to audio recordings of important documents.

LAURA: I feel very fortunate that Carteret County Schools sees the merit in providing technology facilitators with laptops so that we can have information at our fingertips as we collaborate with the administration, faculty, and staff in their office, classrooms, planning rooms, etc. Working in a middle school, I believe that there is a huge value in audiocasts for educating our students. For this generation, multitasking is natural. They have radio/MP3 players on while doing their homework. Many students aren’t as excited about reading as I would like them to be, but when asked what they think of listening to it or using an interactive textbook online with the possibility of audio and/or audiovisual presentation of information, they are excited. Having MP3 players for students to use would allow them to listen to books, debates, and discussions, quietly, at their own pace, anywhere. In addition, teacher web pages with an audiocast would give students that are absent an opportunity to hear the lesson in the voice of their teacher—a great personal touch. For students with learning disabilities, I believe audiocasts would help to level the educational playing field. Students engaged in education, in a style they are used to, is the key to their success!

MARY: I am very excited about the journey we are about to begin. I think the journey begins with us as technology facilitators/media coordinators. It is our job to learn and in turn get our teachers excited about the possiblities. Then it the teacher’s jobs with our help to get our students excited about learning. As I am writing this I was reminded of a powerpoint slide I viewed at workshop I attended Monday on brain research, it showed a horse in front of a watering trough and the statement read “How do I make the horse thirsty?” I truly believe that the use of technology will and does make our kids thirsty for learning.

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One Response to Why Web 2.0 in Our Schools?

  1. Lisa says:

    I fell in love with Web 2.0 over a year ago when David Warlick visited our county and introduced it to us. Having a blog gives me a voice in the world, whether or not anyone reads it is another matter. Sometimes finding something interesting or clever to say is an issue for me. Using an aggregator has brought the blogosphere to me and I have found some blogs that stretch my horizons when it comes to technology in education. There is so much more to learn but I have to agree with Will that our students are doing the backstroke in the social Internet already (not his words but my paraphrase) while many educators in my acquaintance are stuck on worksheets, static webpages, and email as their communication tools of choice. There is a lot of potential to harness the emerging technologies of Web 2.0 and make them serve our objectives as educators–to teach children. We also have a responsibility to teach our students how to use these tools. Will spoke of not putting a child in a car and giving him the keys. No, you have to teach them and that is what we’re supposed to be all about.

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