As I converse with my colleagues on a regular basis I find that many people are willing to infuse technology if given resources or a direction in which to go. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that some people just need that little push in order to take the step needed to "teach the future of our world" to the students. "Web 2.0" seems to be what I have found in many educational technology circles to be a trend coming to the surface over the past few years as I read blogs, articles, and books. This includes social networks such as facebook, diigo, and delicious where people can connect to each other and find out what is happening. The sites are not just information transfer but rather a two way forum that can have endless possibilities. These are terrific sites and can also be infused into the classroom if you are savvy enough to do so. There is a site however that can be a great resource for teachers (although navigating through it to find the right thing for a specific classroom may take time) and I have found that many of the Web 2.0 applications are great!
The website is:
Go2Web20- The Ultimate Web 2.0 Directory
This is basically a directory where teachers can search through hundreds of applications and see which ones fit best. I feel as educators it is our responsibility to seek out and research the possibilities that are out there. Too often we get "stuck in a rut" when it comes to educating and in turn we fail miserably in preparing students. How can we prepare students if we are unwilling to prepare ourselves?
Today was a great day in my class because I decided to use a "real time" polling software to discuss what we are learning. The students absolutely loved it and took so much out of class that I was simply astonished! The maturity and honesty in their answers were fantastic and would not have been the same if we had discussed in a "normal" way. Just by incorporating a piece of technology into class the learning that took place was out of this world! I was pumped!
(Website used: www.polleverywhere.com)
Again, to me this demonstrates the importance of moving forward in our thinking, teaching, and learning in general. Simple ways of adding technology, such as websites, programs, computers, or wikis can sometimes be the best ways to reach the students where they are.