Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Time to reflect

It is the end of our new-technologies course and wow I have learned a lot! Prior to this course I thought that integrating ICT meant using the smart-board to play some games and getting the children typing their assignments up on word! I now know it is so much more than that.

What I have loved most about this course is being exposed to the world of Web 2.0 tools. I have a constructivist teaching philosophy and believe in the power of collaborative learning. Web 2.0 tools go hand in hand with social constructivism, as students are no longer passive recipients of information while using the web. I now have an array of tools that can enhance my constructivist practice and connect my students with the rest of the world!

Tools I now feel competent using include:

- Podcasts and avatars
- Blogs
- Wikis (visit my Wiki experiment at BiodiversityToday)
- Smartboards
- Social bookmarking and word-clouds
- Digital story-telling

Can't wait to use them all in my future career!

The Blogging Experience
Initially I was quite reluctant to have a blog, but the experience has proven very valuable. Not only did the weekly task of completing a blog keep me on top of my course-work, but it provided a forum to reflect and receive valuable feedback from my peers. The blog experience allowed our class to collaboratively learn about technology while in the comfort of our own homes. Needless to say I learned as much from my peers blogs and feedback as I did from making my own blog posts.

Blogging is certainly something I would introduce to my students in the future. Not only does it promote reflective thinking and collaborative learning, but it is easy to use and engaging!

To summarise, the technological world we are heading towards can be scary, but it is the way of the future. As a teacher, it is my responsibility to equip my students for the world they are entering, and it is a technological one whether we like it or not. While the tools themselves may be awe-inspiring, intimidating or scary, the pedagogy that underlies their use in teaching remains the same, so why not embrace it.