Today, almost everything can be done on the web. Hungry? Order food online. Need new clothes for your job interview? Order clothing online. Bored? Stream a movie or watch videos online. These and many other forms of internet usage are common to this date. This is the internet generation, whether you accept the time is up to you. I, however, except the challenge of the internet.
In the video, “An anthropological introduction to Youtube“, Wesch states that, “the web is about linking people in ways that we’ve never been linked before”. This is one way of looking at the internet and understanding its benefits socially and even within the classroom.
Welsh also explains later throughout the video that copyright allows for collaboration from all around the world to occur. Through this trademark symbol and online ruling system, people are able to share and use resources from all around the world. Youtube, for example, is a popular forum that allows for this sharing to occur.
Youtube received many views daily, however, 18-24 yr olds are most popular viewers on the site next to the younger demographic. In this generation, children grow up learning and watching things from this forum and many others combined. Now after knowing all this information, implementing the web into your classroom may feel overwhelming to you as you have to ensure internet safety of your students and be able to find and share appropriate content.
Twitter is another Internet forum that is being used within the classroom and as a professional learning tool. TwitterChats, exposure to information and people are just some of the uses of twitter.
Within my own classroom, the internet will be present. I think, for my future classroom, there will be new ways of learning. For example, using Minecraft to learn math. For schools in general, the use of technology has to be allowed, yet guided. For example, my high school. When we walked into the classroom in the morning, we would have to put our devices away in a cubby supervised by the teacher at the back of the room. Not only this, but our computer labs had all been removed and we had been given one laptop per classroom to try and regulate usage. This teaches children that media and other forms of internet should be feared or to be cautioned however, this should not be the case. I believe that by opening chances to use the internet in the classroom, the more a student learns from others and even on their own.
Now instead of focusing on the web inside the classroom, how about the classroom inside the web? Online-school has become a booming thing over the last few years. This may be due to the lack of schools in an area, lack of classes offered, the personal issues of the students, and really the list goes on. The ways that the web positively impacts our education is endless!
So what does this mean for me?
It means this: In my classroom I will use technology for a number of ways to enhance my students learning. If a particular website or app is of interest to them, I will look into ways to incorporate it into my lesson. I will also be on the hunt for online sources for my students as well. I will rethink the idea of school and the digital world as they are two pieces of the puzzle of education. In this day-and-age we cannot separate the two pieces because the digital world is everywhere now and is truly nothing to be afraid of — as long as you know how to use it properly. By using it properly and teaching internet safety we can balance the challenges and possibilities that technology brings to the classroom.
Twitter is one tool that I have come to love. I have begun to understand the benefits to using the application, however, I can only visualize using the forum with older grades. High School and Post-Secondary levels of education would be the only levels that I could see getting the best use out of this app. I had recently partook in a TwitterChat, Saskedchat, and was throughly pleased with how well it had worked. With this chat there was a mediator, in my specific case it was Dr. Verena Roberts who mediated, who asked questions and got the conversation going. Your job, as a follower of the chat, was to answer the questions being asked of you. For example, if the question was “Q1: what is your name?”. You would tweet back with “A1: My name is John Smith” with the inserted hashtags to allow for the tweet to be posted in the TwitterChat. This is a wonderful forum for personal and professional development!
Below I had attached some articles that give lists of websites and apps to use within your classroom.
- 75 Digital Tools and Apps Teachers Can Use to Support Formative Assessment in the Classroom
- 43 Apps, Games, and Websites Transforming This Year’s Classrooms
- Best Apps and Websites for the Flipped Classroom
- Teacher Recommended: 50 Favorite Classroom Apps
Also I have added below a list of some TwitterChats that are happening if you are interested in trying them out!
- #Nt2t – Saturdays at 7am SK time (8am CDT)
- #whatisschool – Thursdays at 5pm SK time (7pm EDT)
- #hacklearning – Sundays at 6:30 am (8:30am EDT)
- #COLchat – First and Third Monday of the month at 7pm SK time (9pm EDT)
- #bcedchat – Sundays at 8pm SK time (7pm PDT)
- NYedchat – Mondays at 6pm SK time (8pm EDT)
- #ATAssess – Every other Tuesday at 7pm SK time (9pm EDT)
- #822chat – Tuesday and Saturday at 8:22am SK time (10:22 EDT)