Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chapter 8: Communicating and Networking with Websites, Blogs, Wikis and More

Q: How can teachers use wikis to promote collaborative learning?
Collaborative learning environments are defined as "settings where teachers and students work together to investigate curriculum topics and share academic information"
Wikis are perfect examples of collaborative learning environments as they allow multiple users to maintain and contribute to the website.
Teachers and students can use wikis for projects and to share information with each other and others in the school. Parent's could also view the wiki to check on assignments and their childs progress and participation.
The difference between a blog and a wiki website is mostly that a blog is maintained by one user opposed to many with a wiki. Blogs are usualy informal compared to a wikis formal tone.

Tech Tool
Edmodo is a free open source software microblogging tool. The website allows teachers and students to connect in a safe environment.
Image Credit: Edmodo

Edmodo allows teachers and students to connect and share information outside of the classroom and is set up to look like a social networking site, which really captures the attention of students.
It's many features allow teachers to give polls, beging discussions, and track student progress and participation. The microblogging site also offers a merit system and can be peronalized with educational apps.
Probably one of the most important benefits of using Edmodo is that it allows teachers and their students to connect with other classrooms and schools.
I would be very interested in using this website in my classroom because most popular social networking websites are usually banned, making it impossible for teachers to connecdt with their students that way.

Wikis, blogs, websites, instant messaging, discussion boards, and emails are all great ways that teacher can use to communicate with students outside of the classroom. Websites and wikis can incorporate all of these elements in one place, making for a streamlined, efficient, user friendly experience which is always important when getting people to consistently use a service.
These communication platforms also open  the possibility of learning from and networking with other classrooms and schools aroudn the world.
It is also important for teachers to teach in the students world. Students today may not remember a world without these technologies. It is the world they will be living in and working in as adults, so we must teach them how to thrive in it.

1 comment:

  1. Great post - we have been living/breathing in a technological world and communication is definitely a part of that! It is good to hear that your interest in blogs, wikis and websites will find a place in your future classroom - there is so much benefit, especially in their integrative nature.