Reading all of the articles on blogs and wikis has me thinking a lot about ways to incorporate them into the classroom. I really liked the idea of creating a(much like Dr. Ransom has) for newsletters and goings-on in the classroom.
I mean, imagine having a place where the teacher can write an introduction to the classroom, maybe write about the units being studied. It would be a great way to get parents involved. In another class, a parent mentioned she’d like if the teacher sent resources for books to read with her kids that enhanced what the child was already learning. The Blog would also be a great place for parents to ask questions in an open forum where everybody could read.
I’ve been thinking, too, of different ways to get students involved. Maybe picking a student a day to write a “student experience” post to write about their impressions of what they’re learning. Other students could comment and discuss. Much like the blogs we have going on now, but it would also help the parents connect with the student experience. It would also be a great way to check in with students, their progress and impressions of the lessons.
Another great advantage seems to be the ability to connect with other teachers. One of the overwhelming parts about being a teacher, especially in a “Web 2.0″ world is that it’s a completely new experience. I can’t just rely on the old methods that I learned under. Being able to connect with other teachers, be able to say,”Hey, I tried this, it worked great!” or just to get feedback and have a great number of resources, seems to be very powerful. The idea makes me a little less apprehensive going forward.
One of the readings I had (title and author to follow, if I can find it) revolved around the idea of “authentic learning”. The author talked about the relevancy of having students write just for the teacher. It’s not realistic if they’re writing for one person all the time. Blogging could help writing skills (and reading skills) while working with an authentic audience. Not to mention that it would open up opportunities for children to form intelligent and respectful discussions, especially when they’re in disagreement.
These Web 2.0 tools seem to create an opportunity for some authentic learning experience, which is one of the goals for which I strive.