Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why Use Web2.0 in Your Classroom?

So, I know I promised to start looking at actual uses of technology, but I was thinking discussing why we might want to use them might make more sense. Then I started thinking and realized that I probably should talk about why I use web2.0 technologies in my classroom. So here goes ...

As a teacher, I believe that one of my most important duties is to prepare my students to creatively contribute to our society. The society they will build does not yet exist. The memorization of facts that may become obsolete will not help. Instead students need to become learners, they need to be taught how to teach themselves. Eric Hoffer sums up this beautifully with his comment:

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."

I was talking with a friend the other day and reminiscing about programming on a Commodore 64. We started wondering what we did back in those days to find information, before Google. We couldn't remember. The Internet has completely changed how we access and store information. The memorization of information is no longer as necessary as it once was. The teaching of information gathering and processing is now vital.

Web2.0 has the power to put the content of the Internet, the information, back into the hands of the users. We live now in an age where Wikipedia is touted as being as accurate as Encyclopedia Britanica, where blogs and tweets are becoming many peoples main source of news.

How do we prepare our students to exist and contribute and build this brave new world? How do we help our students understand the responsibility they have to add to the ever-building content on the net? How do we help them to see what is true and what is hyperbole? The same way we always have, through effective modeling of best practices. I believe that as a teacher I must show my students how to navigate and utilize these new tools, how to mold and direct them, how to learn from them.

This is why I choose to teach web2.0 ...

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