Well this is it folks…my “final” post in my Adventures in Web 2.0! It has been a fun journey that has barely felt like work (but don’t tell my professor!). I have sincerely enjoyed the challenge to not only understand and explore a variety of web 2.0 tools but also create them and consider them within my position as a teacher-librarian. I am so pleased with how much I have learned these past four months that I just cannot keep it a secret. So I have a four-fold plan:
- Keep current in web 2.0 technologies
- Spread the good news of web 2.0 with my colleagues
- Integrate a new tool each month into my school library program
- Develop some web 2.0 tools for my personal use
And just how will I do this? Here is a little more detail:
I think keeping current is essential as I anticipate new web 2.0 tools will be developed and useful in the field of education as well as new ways to use the tools I learned about in this course. I have three ideas for keeping current on web 2.0 technologies. First of all, I am going to continue to follow the Women of Web 2.0 podcasts posted. I like the idea of listening to these podcasts while doing housework – kill two birds with one stone! I will give it a shot. Secondly, I am going to continue to build my RSS reader on Pageflakes and continue to check it on a regular basis. This is easy to do as my Pageflakes reader is set as my homepage for my internet browser. Thirdly, I am going to join a list serve. I am not sure which one yet and would love your opinions on which one you think would help keep me informed about new and improved web 2.0 tools. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Spreading the good news:
As I outlined in great detail in my post last week, I am planning on starting a “tech café” where I host teacher to teach and support them in learning new web 2.0 tools. Please check out my post from last week for more info on this!
I set the goal of using a new web 2.0 tool each month starting in January in my school library program. This is a realistic goal that I think will allow me to make the tools useful and not overkill. I think the first step I will take is setting up a blog for our new Surrey Picture Books of the Year nominee unit. There are 10 picture books that I will read to the classes in the new year and after reading and discussing each one, students will work together to post their comments on our school library blog. To do this, I need to create a new blog dedicated to this project. I plan on using blogger for this and setting up a shelfari on the blog to showcase the 10 picture books we will read.
Revolutionize my social life!
One way I have not been able to use these web 2.0 tools yet is in my social life! I am really excited to integrate these technologies into my personal life as I think they will increase the amount of people I can be in communication with. I already have begun this on facebook but would like to expand my use of voicethreads, blogs, photosharing and videosharing, and even podcasting to send messages, be in conversation with and keep informed my out of town family and friends. My in town friends may also benefit from me using my facebook page more often and being able to send them information and messages in a variety of means.
I have had so many positive experiences this term in creating web 2.0 tools that I am excited to explore them further in the ways I have outlined above but also in my next endeavor in my masters program – the capping paper. This is a paper that is aimed to summarize a key learning from my masters program and I have chosen to write it on digital literacy. This topic spawned from my excitement of using web 2.0 tools and beginning to understand the importance of digital technologies our own work and the lives of our students and their future.
But in an attempt to keep it real here, I did have a few lowlights in this experience. I continue to find the sheer volume of tools, widgets, applications, etc. overwhelming. However, throughout this course I feel like I have developed strategies to overcome this feeling. I have become a more advanced searcher using google, University databases and other search engines. I have found it easier to learn from examples other people have used in their work, on their blogs, to see how the tools work before viewing an online tutorial or other informational source. For example, I regularly referred to the blog of a previous student in this course to see how she used a variety of tools and how she posted them. See Ronda’s TL blog at http://rondastlblog.blogspot.com/. I also found it helpful to view my current classmates’ blogs and read their posts that coincide with my learning. Although I did not often get a chance to leave comments for them, I learned a lot from them even after my blog posts had been put up.
Another lowlight during this course for me was the lack of time to implement these tools as I was learning them. I have been so enthusiastic about a variety of tools that at times I wish I could have implementing them into my teaching immediately. But instead, I have chosen to wait to the end of the course, after exploring all the tools, to be able to choose the correct tool for each learning situation and have the time to implement them to the best of my ability. So this is where I want to implement my four-fold plan and it is realistic in the next few months that I will have time to do so.
All in all – highly recommended experience! This course was practical, applicable to my situation and along the way I was supported with as much support from my colleagues and professor to be successful. If you get the chance to take such a course – go for it! This is only the beginning for me!