Food for thought:
“The web influences people’s way of thinking, doing and being, and people influence the development and content of the web. The evolution of the web from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and now to Web 3.0 can be used as a metaphor of how education should also be evolving, as a movement from Education 1.0 toward that of Education 3.0. The Web, Internet, Social Media, and the evolving, emerging technologies have created a perfect storm or convergence of resources, tools, open and free information access.” (Jackie Gerstein)
This is a powerful quote that should resonate with present educators. The technological advancements have been so drastic in this lifetime that it has become a bit difficult to keep up with all of the tools that are at our disposal. Once we have mastered a new social media app or educational tool, a new and better one has been created. In this regard, it can be a daunting task to think about utilizing Web tools within our classrooms.
Daniel Nations states in his article, “This allows websites to harness the collective power of people because the more difficult a website is to use, the less people that are willing to use it.” This notion is so true, especially for a number of educators I have talked to about using tech tools in their classrooms. Teachers are easily overwhelmed by these new tools and lack the proper training to use them, so they decide to stay safe and stick to what “worked” for them in the past. Wouldn’t it be great if students got to see their teachers take new risks, whether they are successful or not? We grow as students and professionals through trial and error, but we are so focused on getting things “right”, that we are too scared to try new things and fail with them and ultimately learn through that failure. Such a gross word…failure.
In another article entitles The Role of Web 2.0 Technologies in K-12 Education it is stated, “Continued exposure and familiarity with free, online tools will enable students to develop valuable communication skills in a 21st century environment.” We need to enable this exposure so students can garner confidence and a literacy with the free tools that are offered so they may reap the benefits of them in the future, in jobs and classes that they will eventually have or take.
What we need to keep in mind is the fact that we do not need to use ALL of these tools. The beauty about Web 2.0 and 3.0 is that they have this abundance of tools that are at our disposal, as educators…..and a number of them are FREE. That’s right folks this is a great time to be a teacher! Free internet and supplemental tools to support your learning environments and harbour engagement within our schools, for NO MONEY DOWN!
The vast amount of choices we have is quite incredible. I, for one, could definitely improve upon the number of online tools I use in my classroom. This past week the group that presented gave our class the opportunity to try an online tool that could be used in education. I was paired with a tool called Timelinely, I had never heard of this online tool before… With this tool, you are able to take a video from “The YouTube” (A term my father-in law uses) and paste the URL into Timelinely. From here you are able to add any comments, Gifs, photos or other videos into parts of the main video you are using from YouTube. It’s actually a pretty incredible tool for students to utilize to show their learning and comprehension in a completely plugged in and unique way. This is a tool I am going to challenge myself to implement at some point this year within my teaching.
Everyone would benefit from the many tools that are available to us over the internet. With practice and continued exploration of some of the programs that are available, we are equipping the youth of today with tools they will be able to master and use in their tomorrow.
In moments where I am introduced to new aspects and tools of the Web 2.0 and 3.0 that I am happy to try new tech tools that will assist in delivering an engaging education. They might not work, they may fail miserably with one group and completely succeed with another, but it’s important that I try some new things as an educator to stay relevant and create engaging lessons for the students that enter my class.