Because of our broad and varied backgrounds and interests, I think each of us took something different away from this weeks readings. I think that while our topics were varied we are all in agreement that the collaborative nature of Web 2.0 tools are convenient and are great at bringing learners together to share their knowledge!
Perspectives on classification and application of various Web 2.0 tools.
Debra agreed with the classifications of Web 2.0 tools discussed in the Hsu et al. chapter, she pointed out that there should be more categories than what was listed. She discussed how her school district uses Google Docs as a collaborative tool and the advantages of using it for both teachers and students. Her ability to assist students in “real-time” is a big advantage when she can actually “dialogue with students on corrections”. Beth agreed about the use of social bookmarking tools and Lindsey wanted some more information on Debra’s district’s use of Google Docs. Their discussion about the use of Google Docs is a great way to see the collaboration and sharing that blogging brings about.
Significant insights about application of technology into the classroom
Debra pointed out that she thinks the most significant aspect for her is the “sharing of each other’s ideas” and the ability to “publish on the web in a cloud technology”. Coleen expressed the wish for more educators to do this but voiced that teachers fear the loss of privacy with cloud technology and added that she plans to start blogging outside of the PSU blog space.
Kimberly was struck by the metaphor “the new Web has, therefore, morphed from an individual’s toolbox to a societal sandbox.” The metaphor is a great way to describe the evolution of the Internet. She also discussed the Hsu et al. chapter’s mention of how the Internet has “moved from a searchable repository of information to a depository of information”. She was able to use the metaphor to discuss learners collaborating and learning from others that without the Internet and Web 2.0 technologies would not have been possible. Shannon agreed with this thought and commented on LinkedIn and the ways that professionals use the tool to meet and network. Debra appreciates the fact that people regardless of age, race and gender can collaborate without barriers.
Coleen and Shannon both posted about the Horizon Reports and agreed that neither had heard the term “folksonomy” used to describe tagging before. Coleen discussed Twitter and offered some insight into the uses of hashtags for categorizing within the tool. Shannon and Kimberly both commented that this information was really useful because neither were sure about the use of hashtags. Kimberly also commented on the “varying levels of expertise in shared interests” and how tagging can bring them together as a community.
Debra and Shannon commented on the use of YouTube videos for teaching and learning. Debra was excited to think of a teacher teaching not only their students but students across the world and Shannon was thankful for the videos as a student trying to pass economics.
Coleen was particularly interested in the use of learning analytics that was discussed in the 2011 Horizon Report. She discussed and shared a video on how universities were developing early warning systems using learner analytics to help detect issues with learners before the learner fell behind. She thinks that “when the technology is used in such a way to leverage what it is good at, then curriculum could be improved, teaching can be improved, and deeper learning occurs.”
Shannon discussed the technologies from the Horizon Reports specifically mobile technologies, eReaders, game-based learning, and gesture-based computing. She shared a YouTube video about the uses and applications of mobile phones. Shannon and Debra discussed gesture-based learning and how it could be used in schools, especially elementary levels. Kimberly commented about convenience factor for using mobile technology for education but had some reservations because of small screens and not being ready to give up paper books. John stopped by to comment on “ending old habits” and moving beyond paper into electronics.