Friday, February 29, 2008

Plugging-in to Web 2.0

When did I fall so far behind?

For many years, I have been used to leading the way technology-wise in my school. This week it became clear that while I may be leading the way there, the rest of the world has forged ahead. I am not sure when it happened, but I have missed a few boats recently.

I have been generally aware of blogging for about a year now, and more vaguely aware that some people were blogging about education related stuff. I was not really aware that so many people were using blogging in the classroom. I have had a very vague concept of wikis as websites to which multiple people contribute, but only for a couple of months. Many things (Twitter, VoiceThread, and others) remain terms that I run into in the blogs that I have been reading, but that I really know nothing about.

How did the web become Web 2.0 without me noticing? I could blame the fact that I have been busy with my new teaching position, but that’s not much of an excuse. I could claim that it all takes too long on dial-up and we can’t get high speed at home, but that’s just another excuse.

So I did something about it.

I have spent quite a bit of time this week reading about wikis and blogs and how various people are using them with their students. It seemed a good place to start catching up. Firstly, I was humbled by the thought that these so quickly passed me by as I sat, complacent in the knowledge that I was making great use of the technology at my disposal. Secondly, I was reminded that I need to keep reading, keep learning, and just plain keep up in order to offer my best to my students. Thirdly, I was fired up. Learning something new that has broadened my horizons has got me excited about what I will do next.

I don’t have many students – just three at the moment, but I am making plans. Plans for getting my students connected with their peers around the world, maybe even collaborating with them. Plans for my students to be able to share their work with an authentic audience beyond the walls of their tiny classroom. Lots of plans.

I wonder how soon I can get started…

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