Integrating Technology in the Classroom

The web as platform AKA Web-based applications is a staple of Web 2.0 It is hard keeping up with all the changes. Even though we must find a way to experience these tools as a teacher in our professional practice before we are able to take them to the classroom. I try to stay current by reading edtech blogs inside of my aggregator bloglines. I also try to listen to podcasts that showcase edtech in k12. Moving at the speedofcreativity is one of the best. More recently I have been participating in Webcasts like edtech weekly. These are interactive podcasts. There is audio streaming, usually involving VOIP like a Skype conference. At the same time there is a chat room going on, known as the back channel. The conversations going on here offer just as much as the actual information presented or speakers. At the same time there is desktop sharing. I seen the use of programs like yugma. For me lately I have been involved in the use of twitter. You are sharing what you are doing with your social network. Conversations develop in a more dynamic fashion compared to your traditional Blog. In creating content I think that wikis are my next step. I am looking at developing resources for the different curricular areas for my grade level. In using these technologies with students, the classroom blog is my comfort zone. My students are starting to contribute to our blog. I am facilitating the content like pictures, audio, and video. So what are the implications for the classroom. The operating system doesn’t matter. The web has leveling effect. It is no longer a Windows or Mac world. Students are creating content. The teacher and textbook are no longer the only channels for knowledge. Learning is now extended outside of the classroom walls. By the same token we must try to find ways to keep our students safe out in the World Wide Web. It is a delicate balance that we as 21st Century Teachers are beginning to navigate.

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