Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Inspiration: Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms

After reading this weeks article I found a few questions I would like to answer:

How do we need to rethink our ideas of literacy when we must prepare our students to become not only readers and writers, but editors and collaborators and publishers as well?

This class has taught me what the 'new' ideas of literacy is. Livingstone addresses three different types of Literacy: "Literacy is a form of knowledge with clear continuities across communicative forms (print, audiovisual, interpersonal, digital)." "... a situated form of knowing that bridges individual skill and social practices that is enabled (or impeded) by (unequally distributed) economic, cultural, and social resources (or capital)." "...comprises a set of culturally regulated competences encompassing both that which is normatively valued and that which is disapproved or transgressive" (Livingstone, 106). Literacy doesn't just mean being able to read books anymore, it means to be able to understand the concepts that are in front of you.

What we, as educators, need to identify is that students may not know how to properly utilize the internet as a legitimate education tool, like Tara McPherson addresses in her article A Rule Set for the Future. I believe it is important for teachers to understand the ways in which students utilize their internet, from social networks (facebook, myspace etc.), to bloggs, to wiki's, I believe it is important that educators stop turning their backs on this technology and try to understand it better. And more importantly, understand it the same was as their students do. If teachers can keep in touch with the technological advances of the Internet, then they can inform their students and direct them to appropriate programs or websites that may help in their studies.

I started using the internet when I was in grade 6. And since then, I have always used it as my primary source of research. As a University student, I am now first to search on Jstore or other online sources, when doing research projects. I find that using the internet is much easier then going to my local library and trying to search for the right book. And even when you find what you think is 'the right book' you have to READ the entire thing just to get a few quotes to back up your thesis. Instead, I prefer to go online and read short papers on my topic. I feel that highschool students feel the same way, and it is important for teachers to understand that we are living in a quick-fix, fast-paced world and so our students need to learn how to research properly.

How can we as learners begin to take advantage of the opportunities these tools present, so we may understand more clearly the pedagogies of using them in the classroom?

I think the answer is clear. We need to take part in these same activities that students are, in order to better understand their positives and negatives. Furthermore, we need to learn how to utilize these tools as education tools and understand the value of these applications through the eye of an educator. And finally, we have to TEACH our students how valuable these tools can be and use them within the classroom for instance:

Give students a website to visit. Then get them to edit 4 paragraphs of that website and submit it to the teacher.

Brownie Points Text References:

"Literacy is, fo rTed, part of a social practice, not just a cognitive skill." (Livingstone, 105)

1 comment:

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Miriam

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