is interactive use of the World
-It’s active, ongoing, continuous
-How to use these web 2.0 tools
* YouTube & Teacher Tube
* Diigo (social bookmarking)
* Virtual School Libraries
* Google Reader (RSS)
Pretty impressive! Look at the knowledge I’ve gained in only a few short months (Ok, I can say that now..)
Along with learning some of the tools of the trade, I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for technology and the need to further integrate Web 2.0 into our schools. I’m so inspired by the many wonderful, creative, user-friendly web 2.0 tools that are available.
But, I didn’t always feel this way…
Hesitant and reluctant are how I’d describe feeling in the beginning. Being so unfamiliar with being ‘out there’ on the web, I was worried about the impact this might have (all the online ‘urban myth’ stories kept circling in my head…)
One key moment for me was early on in the course when I read a post by fellow student and blogger (yes we are now!), Sheila, where she described, very eloquently, feeling exactly the same way.
I felt relieved and comforted that I was not alone. Instant connection. (Thanks Sheila!)
If I could feel this in a moment, what could I potentially feel after doing this (bogging and reading bogs) on a regular basis? What about student learners? I thought of the connecting opportunities that would exist for them. I needed to get over my ‘fear’ and get out there!
Assured and resolved to learn more are how I’d describe feeling now. Assured that I can safely have an online voice (thanks to security features and privacy settings) and very resolved to learn more about web 2.0 technologies.
(I laugh at how ‘out there’ I am now—anyone counted how many accounts you’ve signed up for since September??)
Highlights are many, but one that stands out for me was finally getting my podcast to work and being able to embed it onto my blog (this was almost a lowlight had I let my frustrations get the best of me!) Listening to my daughter as she read (and read, and re-read) a speech she wrote, seeing her face light up as she heard it coming through my blog post and knowing others would be listening. All excellent reminders for me of why learning these tools is so important-- powerful, motivating and relevant learning.
A recent highlight has to be getting comments from some big name edubloggers on my blog—
Will Richardson, Judy O’Connell and Doug Johnson. Very inspiring and hugely satisfying to know how passionate they are about supporting and encouraging newbie bloggers. I was very impressed and thrilled to be making these connections.
Finally, being able to read and share other’s thoughts/ideas, while going through the same learning process together, was by far the biggest highlight. Knowing that someone was feeling the same frustrations with a particular tool, or excited by the potentials of another, was inspiring and motivating. Also, the wealth of ideas, links and inspirational quotes was incredible. I’ve stored and bookmarked many, thanks to you all!
Lowlights/frustrations included having some major issues with my computer (it completely crashed on me) and my huge lack of expertise in this department. This served as a good reminder of why some barriers still exist for technology integration—great when everything is up-to-date and operating smoothly…
Overall, my biggest frustration was not being in my own classroom or library so that I could try out these new tools as soon as I learned them. My own children were helpful in my experimentation, but this was way different than being able to implement these technologies in a classroom setting at my own convenience.
The good news is that, starting in January, I’ll be teaching in a K/1 classroom two days a week. (I’ll be tapping your brain Danielle and hoping to set up some ‘blogging buddies’!)
Where do I go from here in terms of learning about and integrating technologies?
Well, in true web 2.0 fashion, as Richardson suggests (p.132 Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts..) I’m not finished. I hope to continue interacting with my thoughts and ideas about the various tools through blogging, as well as keep on collaborating with others, being an “active participant in my own learning” and “sustaining my own personal learning network”(p 136).
I’ll continue to ‘spread the word’ in my little corner of the world and share the bountiful merits of this new Read/Reflect/Write/Participate Web (p 137).
Good luck to you all and thank you for your wonderful support and contributions…it’s been great connecting and collaborating with you!!