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EDTC 6535 – Week 1 Reflection

October 4, 2010

The information covered this week in the readings was interesting to me, as I had little concept of the meaning of Web 2.0 or Education 2.0 as I went into this unit. The definitions provided and the general information was quite informative, but I’m still struggling to envision how such technologies might be utilized within my classroom. I have experimented with many of the resources mentioned in the articles, though some were completely new to me as well. I found that the article “The Five Keys to Educational Technology” (Aziz) was helpful in moving towards understanding with regards to my quandary.

In “Five Keys”, Aziz explains that the implementation of technology needs to be “considered”, meaning that there must be some for of leadership and assessment built into the process of implementation. This addressed a major concern of mine, in that I consider technology in the classroom to have an huge potential for distraction. Students need to be held accountable even when using new technologies. I agree with Aziz’s conclusion that technology needs to be implemented appropriately, and in such a way as to effectively enhance the educational process. Now I want to know what that process should actually look like in my classroom.

I would also like to take a minute to reflect upon the statements made by Will Richardson in his podcast. Richardson made some good points, but also made some comments that I do not necessarily agree with. I was intrigued by the ideas of using social networking technologies to connect with and learn from educators near and far, in fact, I think that this would be a very interesting and engaging form of professional development. I was also intrigued by his enthusiasm for collaborative learning, and the idea that it needs to extend beyond the classroom. I agree that we are moving more and more towards a pluralistic society, in which students will need to be prepared to engage with others from around the globe, but I was still let wondering what role I (as the teacher) need to play in this concept when it comes to technology in the classroom. Sure, I agree that communication and collaboration is a good thing, but – realistically now – what does that have to do with implementing blogs or using twitter in my class? Just how “thin” do my wall have to be? I value the face to face interactions that my students have in the classroom so much more than the posts that they place online. Moreover – and this is where I have some trouble with the idea of the value of social networking in education – such technologies (blogs, twitter, etc.) provide what I like to call “internet anonymity”; the idea that you can hide behind your username. Students need to know what it’s like to interact with real people in real situations, how to speak in front of a crowd, how to write, revise and edit, and how to do traditional research, so – as their teacher – where should my priorities lie?

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