Friday, March 4, 2011

Journal 1 - Do Web 2.0 Right (NETS-T I, II & IV)

Light, Daniel. (2011). Do Web 2.0 Right. Learning and Leading, 38(5), Retrieved from

Summary:  In his article "Do Web 2.0 Right," Daniel Light, working with colleague Deborah Polin, investigated and analyzed a wide variety of American educators utilizing Web 2.0 tools in their classroom.  In doing so Light and Polin determined which uses of Web 2.0 tools benefited student learning and which uses did not generate the desired student participation.

Light and Polin designed their article to address the three major points that make the use of a Web 2.0 tool beneficial to the classroom.  The first of these points is to institute daily practice of the tool.  According to Light and Polin Web 2.0 tools are not as effective or beneficial if only used sparingly.  Instead they suggest the tools should be utilized daily, such as creating blogs to serve as daily journals.  The second major point to use Web 2.0 tools effectively is to make the audience matter.  Using blogs as daily journals, Light and Polin suggest, is an exceptional idea.  However these blogs should be kept private in order to promote true and honest responses from self-conscious students.  The final point that makes a Web 2.0 tool beneficial to the classroom is one that promotes appropriate behavior, a point that has the potential to carry over into a student's personal life.

Question 1: How do I as an educator make Web 2.0 tools, particularly blogs, appealing to high school level students?

Answer 1: When I was in high school I can recall students having a wide variety of personalities.  A Web 2.0 tool that is highly customizable has the potential to make every student enjoy using that tool.  For example a blog that allows a custom picture for the background, custom colored text, and the option for media allows any student to make their page his or her own.  By empowering a student to make something of their own a teacher gives that student a sense of ownership and that student wants to see their project succeed.

Question 2: How can students who come from low-income families utilize Web 2.0 tools when their families do not have the resources?

Answer 2: Throughout my lifetime I have had numerous friends who come from nearly ever financial background.  Using a technological tool in the classroom has the potential to embarrass a student who does not have full access to technology in his or her home.  However the amazing thing about technology is its capability to exist anywhere.  A student can visit a local library or the school's computer lab to visit the Web 2.0 tools I will utilize in my classroom. Further as computers and the Internet become less expensive the amount of families without both resources will continue to plummet allowing even more integration of Web 2.0 into the classroom.

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