Should students be active contributors as well as passive ‘absorbers’?
If the main purpose of Web 2.0 technologies is collaboration and communication, then I think it is almost rhetorical to ask this question. As Bronwyn stated in her second blog it is more effective to be an active contributor whilst using this technology. According to E.M Robinson for effective communication to occur the message “... must travel in a two way pattern...” Modern theories of learning also emphasise the idea that learning is a constructive process, where students build relationships and create new connections, which implies an “active” process rather than a passive one (Starko, 2005). Vygotsky also believed that language and socialising played an essential part in learning (Woolfolk & Margetts, 2007). I also believe that Web 2.0 technologies such as Blogger, promotes creativity and goal oriented processes, which offer more prolific opportunities for learning (Starko, 2005).
For example students set up a blog where they can write their weekly journal entries or write an opinion piece (active contributors), provide opportunities for other students to respond to their entry (active contributors), add images, videos or photographs (active contributors), create lists of new spelling words, links to pages they find interesting, adding gadgets such as weather or paintings by their favourite artist (active contributors).
There will be times where students will be on the other end of the computer and won’t be creating the information, or responding to someone else’s information perhaps while"google-ing" for a project. However, I believe we must educate our students to question and to critically, hence ‘actively’ not passively absorb information, especially now when everyone can and does publish on the web.
Starko, A. (2005). In A. Starko, Creativity in the classroom (p. 16). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrance Earlbaum Associates.
Robinson, E. (n.d.). Becoming an active rather than a passive student. Retrieved July 25, 2009 from http://www.helium.com/items/657387-becoming-an-active-rather-than-a-passive-student
Woolfolk, A. & Margetts, K. (2007). Educational Psychology. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.
What are some of the dangers of using Web 2.0 technologies in your classroom?
Web 2.0 can bring a new “modern” world of interaction, communication and collaboration to the classroom. Since these ‘new technologies’ are creeping into our lives and our students’ at a swift rate, we, as teachers, must prepare our students to be literate in the use some of these technologies. Not all of these wonderful (mostly free) tools are appropriate to be used as school, and even the ones that are, can potentially be a risk to the student community.
To minimise this risk I believe that it is the role of the teachers and the school as an organisation to first and foremost instruct our students in using Web 2.0 technologies safely and responsible. But what does it mean? It means that as part of learning to use the internet teachers must develop a “contract” to which students must be bound. This contract must include a clear set of rules such as: visiting “appropriate” sites, appropriate language to communicate via the web, respecting other’s opinions, keeping our confidential details safe, treating others with respect and respecting someone else’s privacy
Eventually it is our responsibility as teachers to monitor closely what our students do, to do damage control when something happens and to maintain open channels of communication for our students and their parents. I think that we should encourage our students and their parents not to be scared of new technology we only need to be prepared for it. For more information visit the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. (2009, March). Cybersafe Classroom. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from Department of Education and Early Childhood Development: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/management/elearningsupportservices/