I have recently been reading the book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms by Will Richardson. The book discusses Web 2.0 tools and their uses in education. The final chapter of the book talks about big shifts in education that have occurred as a part of the Read/Write Web. The shift that struck me the most was the first shift- “Open Content”. Richardson describes education of the past where schools and teachers “owned” their content through the textbooks they used, along with films they showed and resources in the library that could be accessed. This is very different in education now where it only takes 2.8 seconds for a student to “Google it” and find any information they want. This is a dramatic shift in education. I found the following picture the other day and it fits perfectly with this topic-
How funny and true is this picture? It speaks exactly to this big shift in education. I grew up in the era where we used card catalogs and did research in actual encyclopedias (remember those?). It was towards the end of high school and beginning of college that technology found its way into my learning and school.
This shift has affected my teaching in many ways. From even before I actually started teaching, I was using the internet to find ideas for lesson plans, videos to watch, images to share, and anything I could use as a teacher. This is very different than the resources my teachers had when I went through the education system as a student. I think this shift of open content will continue to affect my teaching because I will continue to use the internet to search for resources. I now am a part of social groups and listserves that are specific to high school science education, which allows me to find resources in a more direct way. I am learning more and more about how to incorporate this shift in my teaching and to teach my students differently than how I learned in high school. Through the use of wikis, blogs, websites, and other resources my students can learn science in a collaborative, inquiry-based way with the help of technology. It is much easier for students to find answers and information to questions they have with the use of technology that was not available several decades ago. I am excited about the future of technology with these Web 2.0 tools that making education better for students.
Richardson, W. (2010) Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Third edition, Corwin Publishing.
Image retrieved March 26, 2013 from: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/c0.0.340.340/p403x403/486059_458973554172725_1155529184_n.jpg