Blog Response #5

Creating a Learning Wiki

“I love wikis. Mainly because they provide an opportunity for anyone or everyone to create an online presence to share, to provoke, to describe, to collaborate. Wikis as we know simply enable anyone and everyone to create content online using easily understandable tools. Many of our P-12 schools are taking advantage of the opportunities for "collaborative construction" that wikis provide. But I love the fact that we can also use them for whatever we need to create online.”

            I think wikis are a great tool for teachers.  This is my first semester in school where a teacher has used a wiki, and I love it.  It makes it easy to follow what is going on in the class, and gives us a place to discuss group projects without having to meet in person.  I have been thinking of ways to incorporate it into my classroom, like posting the course schedule and homework online, as well as having an online discussion.  But I hadn’t taken it further than that until I read your blog.  Now I am thinking about using wikis as a way to keep the parents aware of what is happening in the classroom, to collaborate on projects with other teachers, and as a place to get feedback on current projects that I am working on.


Blog Response #4

When is out of date, out of date?

“I realised that the more I read information and ideas on the web, the more I expect the posts, or entries to be 'fresh'. Why, I wonder. I would have no qualms about reading a non-fiction textbook that might have been published 10 0r even 20 years ago.”

            I agree with you when I read information on the internet I expect it to be only a few days old, a week at the most.  I think it is because we think of the internet more as a newspaper than a textbook.  We wouldn’t read a ten-year-old newspaper to get up to date information on current events.  Today with information changing so quickly we expect the internet to keep up because it is the fastest way to get information.  As well as the easiest place to update current events.  If a book talking about natural disasters had been published a week ago it would already be considered out of date because of the horrible forest fires taking place in California.  However if the same information was published on the internet the author could easily go out and update his webpage to reflect the situation in California.

            I do not think that it is a bad thing to expect web pages on the internet to be updated on a regular basis.  However, just because a page has not been updated recently does not mean it is obsolete.  I think it is still important to examine those sites to learn other people’s opinions about a certain topic.


Blog Response #3


“We need to stop viewing new technologies as bad things that have no educational value. A teacher told me yesterday that there was no educational use for iPods.  Oh my. Even if learners only listen to music while writing, research backs that up.”

            I agree with you that educators need to stop looking at new technology as a bad thing.  Just look at an iPod; you can do so much more with it than just use it for music.  I want to be a French teacher and an iPod would be a great tool for me.  I can have the students load tracks of oral exercises onto their iPod so they can listen to them repeatedly whenever they want.  This freedom would allow me to focus on other aspects of the language in the classroom, instead of having to spend 30 minutes playing a CD with exercises on it.  It would also give the students the ability to listen to the tracks multiple times till they understand what it is saying.  Instead of listening to the track once in class and trying to guess what it is saying.

            Teachers need to embrace the new technology that is dominating their student’s lives.  If they don’t they will soon have problems reaching their students and being able to keep them focused in the classroom.


Blog Response #2

Web 2.0 Professional Developement Resources

Julie Lindsay says: “The skills these teachers and assistants will learn and use will permeate throughout the rest of the school so that by the time the students and other teachers come on board with new modes of learning and retrieving and storing information, the libraries will be able to advise, guide and lead them.”

I found this comment interesting because it did not seem to work this way at my high school.  The few teachers who incorporated technology into the classroom did not always know exactly how the technology worked.   On quite a few occasions students had to help the teacher with a Powerpoint presentation or getting the projector to work.  Anything that was incorporated in Web 2.0 was definitely beyond the teacher’s comprehension and capabilities.  This lack of understanding and ability caused many students to look down on the teachers, thinking that they could not be very smart if they did not know how to use technology.  I believe that if the teachers had a better understanding of the technology they were using they would have gotten more respect from their students.

I love the idea that if you train the teachers in different types of technology then the students will become more proficient in the same technology.  However, I wonder why it doesn’t work in reverse.  Today in most schools the students have a better understanding of the technology than the teachers, but most teachers do not seem to be embracing the technology that is available to them.


Blog Response #1 
Ubiquitous Technology 

I agree with you that ubiquitous technology has changed the way we live our lives. Information is much more readily accessible today than it has ever been before. Instead of reading the newspaper to learn about world events we can get updates sent directly to our cell phones. Communication has also been changed greatly by technology. Now by using the internet you can communicate with people around the world instantly instead of having to rely on the postal system. I also think technology has had a huge impact on the way that people teach. 

In the past college consisted of research papers that required students to spend hours in the library looking through books, and tests that were worth 50% of your grade. Today those elements still exist but now teachers incorporate technology into their classes and the assignments that they give their students. In my French class we use computer software to record ourselves saying a paragraph that the teacher listens too and sends us feedback so we know where we need to improve our pronunciation. In my English class we created a blog where we kept an interactive online journal for the semester. Now not all of my teachers have integrated technology as much as others have but they all use technology in some way. I believe that as technology becomes more ubiquitous it will become a bigger part of the education system.
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