Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Final Thoughts; But Not The End of the Journey

I came into this class hoping I wouldn't be bored. I know that sounds sort of presumptuous, but I had a lot of experience and knowledge of many of the web 2.0 tools that we discussed. While the web tools were part of my kitchen drawer of junk, I wouldn't say they were organized in any fashion and they also weren't being used regularly.  This class forced me to go beyond the flickr, wiki, ning comfort zone and try other things.  I think the rediscovery of Twitter, Voicethread and blogging will be the 3 most useful things I learned along with a better understanding of RSS feeds and the way to follow them.  I want to TWEET, TWEET, TWEET and follow more people who can help me learn new things.  I think the fact that we have school accounts for Voicethread will be very powerful and exciting.  I didn't know we and the students did.  I will incorporate Voicethread even more.  I considered possibly using it as an exam tool for digital portfolios.  More to come on that.  The other part that I loved most about this class was the time to try things.  Because it was assigned I was more likely to carve time out to try and to explore and to experiment by building new ways to complete old concepts. 

Some of the challenges for the future will be to continue to carve out time and take risks as a teacher.  There are a lot of time constraints on us and each time you throw your class a curveball with learning to do something new it adds time onto the process of how to learn a concept.  I don't have any issues with student engagement in any of my digitally based classes.  It is rare that students are "goofing around" while surfing because there is a novelty to what it is they are being asked to do.  I keep changing it up adding new things to their web 2.0 repetoire including wikis, nings, voicethreads, animotos, moodle and more.  I wonder if they will still be engaged in 2 or 3 years when we're all teaching online, the mac lab is old and slow (sadly that day will come) and it is rote and ordinary to use the internet to learn.  It will again come down to teacher risk taking and reinventing the way that we hook the kids and get them to stay with us.  Curiosity and creativity will always be the driving force in education regardless of the tools we use to learn and develop our students.

1 comment:

  1. Kudos, Jeanne. You have been an engaged student in the class (in spite of other distractions). I have truly enjoyed reading your posts and I hope you will continue blogging. You are a gifted artist, in words and images. I hope you will begin (or continue) to tweet, as it is a powerful PLN. Happy trails!