Unit 3: Possibilities & Benefits
Reflection on Web 2.0 Communication Tools
In the last unit, we explored some of the numerous web 2.0 tools available to students and educators today. Before we begin to focus on specific questions and possibilities, please watch the following video which provides a good summary to our ideas Social networking sites have educational benefits
The different sites explored in Unit 2 included just a few of the modern methods of communication and networking. Creating electronic pen-pals, blogs, and branching out educationally on social network tools all allow students increased communication opportunities in the target language.
Now that you've been introduced to the reasons for changes in our classrooms and the 21st century learner and some of the tools available, let's reflect on their application in the classroom:
- What topics do you usually cover in your class(es)?
- Could these topics be addressed via any of the communication tools we explored? Which ones?
- Is there computer and internet access available in your classroom or in your school?
- How often could students get online within class time?
- How much homework do you usually assign?
- Could online assignments be required? Offered as an extra assignment?
Many teachers are hesitant to implement new technology into their lessons and requirements because they are unsure of how to do so. The elements of course and lesson design will still apply, but these tools open up the options for activities and enrichment. Whether web 2.0 tools are used in the classroom or at home, clear guidelines and expectations need to be conveyed and well as goals of the activity. Students want to learn through practical ways, so by explaining the objectives of the communication activities, students will understand the purpose to the activity and can then take their learning into their own hands, practicing the target language using their tools and methods.