As we learned about the Google applications this morning, I began to realize that I did not even know what I didn’t know about Web 2.0. This course, in general, has been eye opening for me. As someone who is fairly proficient with technology and grew up with computers and the internet, it is clear that I am missing something. In fact, it seems like I may be technologically stuck about eight years back (when I was in college).
As I discussed in my first post, while I certainly read blogs, I had never even heard about wikis and what I knew about RSS feeds was confined to confusion whenever I saw the RSS icon at the corner of web pages.
As I stated before, because I work generally with very young students (grades 1-3) or students with significant disabilities (grades 3-5), I was always generally hesitant to using web technology regularly in the classroom. However, my stance on this has already been altered. While I still believe that wikis and blogs are a bit too advanced for my students, I am already planning ways I can use Google Earth with my students in different capacities (as detailed on the class blog). In addition, the course has already widened my repertoire of educational sites that would be appropriate to use with my students. Spellingcity.com is just one such site that employs multi-sensory techniques that I can have my students use to solidify their spelling words at home or at school.
Most importantly, I am excited to use this technology to communicate and collaborate with colleagues and parents. As detailed on the class blog, I am in the process of setting up a wiki in order to collaborate with the many teaching assistants with whom I work. I also see many opportunities for using wikis as a planning tool for specific students’ programs. For example, I have a few students for whom I provide weekly previews, plans, and updates to many team members. Perhaps a wiki would be a better means of communication than all the paper I put in team members’ mailboxes each week. I would also like to set up a Room 207 website where there will be resources for parents and a blog that gives general information about themes and activities, as well as tips regarding different topics.
In general, having the time to experience all of these tools firsthand has been very helpful. I now feel like I could easily set up a wiki or a blog that would be a functional and helpful to those involved. I also see the benefits of collaborating online both as a reader and a writer. I am looking forward to employing some of the strategies I have learned in the coming school year.