Thing #2 – Reflections on Web 2.0

Upon watching the video entitled “A Vision of Students Today,” my first reaction was disgust.  The part that disgusted me was the sign that said, we are multitaskers, and then the one that said, we have to be.  I think it is utterly ridiculous that students feel that they have so much to do, and that they allow themselves to have so much to do, that they can’t concentrate on one task at a time.  Students (and regular people) today often have way too much on their plates to actually enjoy life.  I have noticed both in and out of school that people are less responsive and thoughtful when they are ‘concentrating’ on multiple tasks at the same time.  This is for the simple reason that they aren’t actually concentrating.

I had a much better reaction to the article “A Day in the Life of Web 2.0.”  There were many things in the article that I felt were good, a few things that I think are bad, and a few things that I’m not quite sure of yet.  I can honestly say that I haven’t used any web 2.0 technology in my classroom.  I have a class website where I post information and assignments, but nothing that is interactive.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to integrate some web 2.0 technology into my classroom come the fall.

One thing that I think I might be able to use is the wiki study guides that were discussed in the article.  I like the idea of engaging the students in creating a guide of what to study since that alone is studying.  I often find that students do no use study guides I create, but I think if they (or their classmates) create the study guides they will find them more accessible.  Another thing that I’m sure will not happen is podcasts and videocasts.  I think it would be incredible to have a videocast of each class I teach available online a few days after each lesson.  I don’t think I’ll have a video setup like that any time soon, but it would be great for students who are absent, for ESL students, and for parents who want to engage with their kids more.

One of the things that I did not like was the story about a girl texting her group partner during school.  Texting is the last thing that we should be promoting in school.  I cannot think of a good reason for it to be acceptable.  I was also questioning just how long all of this takes to set up each week.  Posting plans and looking at other teachers plans would take a good chunk of time that I’m not sure many teachers have.  It would produce great results, but at what time cost?

I like the idea that students are able to think about topics through blogging and that it gets them interacting with the material, but I hate the fact that this thinking is never put into a formal report.  I don’t think we should be actively trying to destroy tradition just because it’s easier.  Kids need to know how to formally present their thinking even if the thinking does not occur formally.  Let me know what you think about this.

I can’t say how I’m going to use web 2.0 in the classroom just yet, but once I discover more of the options available to me, I’m sure I’ll think some are great, and some are really bad.  I hope I’ll be able to use some of this technology for my own education (other than videos which I already use).  Again, I’m not sure how yet.

3 thoughts on “Thing #2 – Reflections on Web 2.0

  1. “Disgust” Great word choice!
    Here’s my view of multitasking.
    First off, I know I do it, to get more done. I watch TV, read, laptop it, seemingly simuultaneously mbit I quicklty from 1 to the next.
    Kids, in a world now that expects it.
    How else can they get A’s? Too simplistic but lets run with a solution in our class design.

  2. “I don’t think we should be actively trying to destroy tradition just because it’s easier. Kids need to know how to formally present their thinking even if the thinking does not occur formally. Let me know what you think about this.”

    I like what I know and don’t trust what I don’t.

    Academically, I’ve gotten to this point with certain tools that, to my mind, work.

    These tools are new and could/should work but they seem to take so much time to learn.

    Who teaches the students how to do what is taking me hrs. to learn?

    Perhaps they’re just waiting for me!

  3. Okay, so while they (the students) are waiting, put them to work! Heidi, Jen R. and Jen B., and I just came back from a great conference with the Alan November team, so I am sure you are going to hear a lot more. But let me just suggest a thing or two to Chris, John and all of you, that came out of the conference.

    How about assigning the role of scribe everyday to a student, whose job it is to take notes for the class, they get reviewed in the last few minutes, and then posted to the class site?
    OR
    Finding an overwhelming amount of lesson plans on the web? Point your students in the right direction and let them find their own project.

    There is lots to say on this subject. We’ll talk later!

    Leslie

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