Wiki? Blog? Podcast? Before taking this course my experience with these Web tools had amounted to a single visit to Wikipedia. Over the past eight weeks I have learned the basic skills necessary to create each of these Web technologies, albeit at a very elementary level. However, being a novice teacher, what I am most excited about and have gained the most from is the ability to see what other teachers are doing in their classrooms. The willingness of these professionals to share their ideas, experiences and resources has provided me with a vast source of support and information on all aspects of teaching, including the use of technology in my classroom. I also will continue to broaden my knowledge of instructional technology through the use of websites, professional journals and professional developments opportunities as well as through the courses I am taking.
How will I eventually put all this new found knowledge to practical use in my classroom? I am very lucky to have available a mobile laptop cart with 24 laptops and wireless internet access. One of the biggest problems I have is getting students to study for tests and quizzes. Maybe by having my students create a wikipedia that they could add to throughout the year and use as a resource they will be more inclined to study. Another way I hope to put the laptops to good use is by using them to motivate students in the remedial math classes. These are very small non-credit classes for students performing below grade level. However, students will often refuse to do any work thus defeating the purpose of the class. Perhaps, through blogging, if there was an audience for their work, and collaboration with other students in same situation this would provide the encouragement these students need.
Technology has made the world a smaller place. As educators, we have a responsibility to teach students skills they will need in a globally oriented work environment. Integrating Web technologies into a classroom is one way to achieve this.