After reading the article “A Day in the Life of Web 2.0” by David Warlick, I have a somewhat better understanding of the extensive impact that the various Web 2.0 tools and concepts are having within a middle school setting. (Please be gentle and patient with me ….. remember, I left the public school system 10 years ago so, sadly, I’m sure I must rank as the most pitiful and least “tech-savvy” person in this class!) Not sure my post will measure up to the ones I’ve read thus far, but … here goes ……
As I read this article, I found myself reflecting as to how I might be incorporating the Web 2.0 technology in my classroom IF I was still teaching middle school business.
Here are my random thoughts –
Students may have completed an interdisciplinary unit wherein they created a power-point presentation illustrating the sequential steps of a recent science experiment to share with the class at a later date. The presentation could be recorded and posted in an audio file as a class podcast to which the parent(s) could subscribe. Hopefully, as suggested in this article, such a strategy really would persuade the parents and students to increase their communication about school.
As students complete each computer activity in the business curriculum, they could share their most significant challenge(s) during the activity through blog posts. I hope that this strategy would encourage students to write in more depth.
As a means to better prepare for the introduction of a new concept and/or application, I could save and tag websites which feature online tutorials for the new concept and/or application. If any of the tutorials are later used by the students, they could post a blog about the tutorial’s strengths and weaknesses. I also like the idea of using wiki sites as resources to customize a course (or unit) textbook.
To enhance the Careers Exploration unit within the business curriculum, individuals from selected fields would be contacted and invited to be guest speakers. These presentations could also be recorded and posted in an audio file as a class podcast.
For each unit in the curriculum, those students with special needs or limited English proficiency may best be served through the use of voice recognition software programs.
And now — here I am — a Preschool teacher! Quite different from middle school! I’m not sure which level requires more patience. Fortunately, patience is one of my strong virtues (around children anyway!). Anyway, at the Preschool level, I feel that blogging would be a great way for the teachers and parents at my school to communicate about neat destination ideas for field trips, guest speakers, and/or special presentations that correlate with the theme for a given week. Also, podcasting of those special performances by the children, ie: annual circus performance during Circus Week, puppet shows, etc. etc. for later viewing by the parents.
Hopefully, the variety of digital conversations and all the interactions resulting from these scenarios would provide the insight needed to realize the ongoing impact of technology and encourage everyone in the network (students, school personnel, parents, district leaders, and community members) to collaborate to establish and implement ideas to further transform and expand the learning experience.