Thursday, September 30, 2010

Schools still conflicted over Web 2.0 tools

This article discusses the use of Web 2.0 tools, such as blogging, social networking, and collaborative authoring software, in classrooms. While some schools are working to adopt these technologies, many schools and many individual teachers are resisting.The principal investigator for the Consortium on School Networking (CoSN) says that one main reason for that resistance is that teachers have to cede some control and let students explore their own learning, which can be very difficult. He also points out that many Web 2.0 tools do not fit neatly into established classroom practices. Rather, teachers must start to think differently about learning and the roles of teachers and students, which is a huge challenge. While the usefulness of Web 2.0 tools in actually teaching content can be fairly debated, the point that I find unquestionable is that kids need to be taught in an environment that is "in tune with the world in which they live," which now includes vast amounts of technology. If school is completely irrelevant to students' lives, they will either lose interest in school or be unprepared for the real world.