Monday, August 19, 2013

Chapter 5: Web 2.0

Digital Connections in the Classroom (Marcovitz, ISTE, 2012)

I think this quote from the end of the chapter is pretty important: "You want to get wedded to your learning outcomes and goals, not the tools. If a tool makes it easier for your students to learn, use it. If it doesn't use something else...In other words, think about your goals, not your tools. Then look for tools that help you achieve your goals" (p. 108).  Throughout the chapter, there were lots of great tools introduced and explained. However, you can't just use a tool for the sake of saying you used it. It has to fit in with the curriculum, it has to fit in with the objectives. 

Once again, it was said to start small, even create small things on your own, before diving in deep with your class. This year I plan to work on blogging in my classroom, starting small of course. I plan to do some journaling, using kidblog (I was introduced to this during an afternoon session of STI) and blogger for my classroom blog to post about our learning each day (my transparency). There are ways to use blogging to access higher order thinking skills, but for now I will start with this platform and let it grow from there. Both of these things, journaling and keeping a timeline of events, are things I already do in my classroom, now I'm just finding technology to expand/enhance these aspects. 

As I was reading, I remembered some of the tools from STI. There were also tons more listed that I'm eager to check out. It's "scary" just how fast Web 2.0 is expanding, but it's exciting because of all the cool tools that are right at our fingertips as well. 


  1. As Ilyse mentioned, it was a good feeling to know that I had heard of most of the tools mentioned in this chapter, either from STI or from other courses. As technology changes and improves so rapidly, I hope I am always able to stay current.

    I liked that Marcovitz made the distinction that Web2.0 is all about making the internet more interactive and customized to your needs. As my school ventures further into customized learning, I wouldn't be as successful without some of the tools suggested in this chapter.

    I have used Edmodo and Moodle as a central hub of our class to organize all the materials and resources, but this year I am going to start using a program called Educate that allows me to link all of my resources to learning targets in our curriculum. My former team teacher and I organized an integrated unit entirely on Wikispaces so that our students would have an easier time interacting with each other. I have also used Jing and the QuickTime video recorder on our laptops to make instructional videos to share with learners. I do a lot on Google Docs with my colleagues and I have all my students write their lab reports on Google Docs so that I can give them feedback easier and monitor their progress. This summer I taught a Math Methods course online and we did all of our discussions via VoiceThread and all the participants had great things to say about it, including that the video and voice features made them feel more connected/invested in the course.

    I used KidBlog with my science students a couple of years ago I did not take Marcovitz advice about making sure that the technology I was using achieved specific curriculum goals. I had learners just explore science concepts of interest to them and blog about them. It was definitely an interesting project, but I did not have specific enough parameters.

  2. That is why you can't chase tech and the latest device or program. Its not about a program its about the goal you need to do.

  3. So, as I was reading the chapter, I was making mental notes and highlighting the text on points that I want to write about. I just read Ilyse's post, and found those were the same points I was going to make!

    I highlighted the quote about choosing a program that meets your goal. That is really important to keep in mind when implementing technology into the classroom.

    I really enjoyed reading the section abut blogging because that is what I am doing for my project. It gave me some good ideas and suggestions, but also made me realize to not get in over my head.

    It was neat to have learned about a lot of the programs mentioned in the chapter during STI. One piece that surprised me was the microblogs (even though as I kept reading I have checked out the twitter4teachers at STI). I don't have twitter. Do any of you have twitter that is related to school?