Web 2.0, as it has been termed, has spawned a multitude of new and exciting ways to utilize, work with, work in, communicate and collaborate within the Internet.   One the biggest influences web 2.0 labeled applications has is with turning how we communicate with one another, on its head.  With the development of applications such as Facebook, MySpace, Blogging, Twitter, Delicious and the like, it has made building “your web” a reality.  No longer does it require you to understand programming, web design, and access protocols.  If you have access to the Internet, you have access to create your own image, your own world and share it.  As mentioned in The Horizon Report 2008 Edition,

We are seeing a shift in focus; where the primary purpose of the web has been seen as sharing files and applications, there is a growing sense that the real value of the network lies in the way it helps us create, identify, and sustain relationships. This seemingly subtle change—from an emphasis on file sharing to one on relationships— will have a profound impact on the way we will work, play, create, and interact online.

As educators this new and exciting way to socialize and educate goes far beyond the pen pals days, notes tied to balloons and even email.  We have before us an opportunity to bring the world to our classrooms as well as open it to the world.  How can we do it, how does it work, what do I have to be worried about, will I really have the time?  These questions have and continue to plague technology integration in education.  However, we must, absolutely must, work to answer them or we will have our students answer them for us.  As a teacher, it is not only our duty to “teach,” but also to learn, and with technology it may not be such a bad thing to have students, help answer these questions.  I cannot think of a better way to motivate learning then using the everyday technology tools students’ use, such as Facebook or Blogging.  With Facebook a teacher has the ability to create a “web space” for their class where students can collaborate on projects, homework or have extended discussion.   Blogging offers topic discussion and evaluation, promotion of ideas and insights on any range of topics.    These tools and ideas are just a drop in the bucket as to what can be had by embracing technology…

Mike

Advertisements