Thinking about the Web and how much it has changed the last ten years has me thinking about a question that was posed in the commentary, “Web 2.0 and Classroom Research: What Path Should we Take Now?” by Christine Greenhow, Beth Robelia, and Joan E. Hughes: What path should education take now? In their commentary they discuss how the web is no longer a place where students just read online information, rather where students read and create all within the same space.
This space that they discuss has changed the way teachers form their pedagogy, as many educators are shifting towards the social platforms available to create a social learning community that takes place both inside and outside the classroom. These “social operating systems” (Greenhow, Robelia, Hughes, p. 255) have changed the landscape of how teachers conduct their class using the web. Such communities are Edmodo, Moodle, Google+ and Google Classroom to name a few. Education is quickly gearing towards cloud computing, making class instruction and resources available to the students anytime, anywhere.
Within these social learning communities, or social operating systems, students can share what they are learning and reflect on how they can use this new knowledge in their everyday lives, or to create an opinion on a particular issue. This can be done by the teacher posting discussion questions within the community for students to respond via a discussion post, or through a blog post on the students’ own blog. I have become a big believer in implementing blogging into my teaching pedagogy in my short time in the IT&DML program at the University of New Haven. I feel this way because I learn best by responding to a few prompts made by my professor, and reflecting on what I have learned from the resources provided to formulate my own viewpoint within a blog post, allowing me to enhance my digital identity within my own personal learning network. Students can share their opinions with others in the class and comment on their posts, fostering collaboration and the appreciation of other opinions outside of classroom.
I believe that teachers should be studying new ways to enhance their teaching pedagogy to engage students in the class no matter where they are. I feel teachers should take advantage of any professional development where they can learn about the great advantages using cloud computing provides. Google Apps is a great tool for teachers and students to use, as they no longer have to rely on saving their work locally, being able to create and automatically save work in the same cloud. Students can share their work with others through peer edits and group work.
For the remainder of my time in the IT&DML program I see myself continuing to add to my technological skill set by utilizing the tools learned from my coursework into my own class practice. I look forward to making blogging a big piece of the learning experience for my students, as it has helped me become a better writer and digital citizen; listening to others and sharing my thoughts on their work. Our path of learning is an endless journey, and it is up to me as a teacher to continue honing my skill set to best prepare my students to succeed in the ever changing digital world that we live in.