This past week, I was provided with an opportunity to bring two students down to CBE’s ILC and present on the work my students are doing with Web 2.0 tools at Clarence Sansom. This year, I introduced a new locally developed course called Web 2.0. This course centers around 6 essential questions for the learner and is designed to support student-centered, inquiry learning. Our 6 essential questions are:
The overview for this course is as follows:
Module 1: Course Introduction:
- Course outline and computer lab expectations
Module 2: Digital Citizenship
- Brain Pop activity on Social Networking
- Students review the website http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html to become familiar with the 9 themes of digital citizenship
- Students participate in a D2L discussion forum on digital citizenship
Module 3: Web 2.0 Definition & Toolkit
- Class discussion of what the term Web 2.0 means
- Web 2.0 entry survey
- Web 2.0 D2L discussion forum – introduce yourself
- Examples of Web 2.0 sites for education
- Web 2.0 D2L discussion forum – most popular Web 2.0 site
- Begin to create personal Web 2.0 toolkit
- Contribute one Web 2.0 tool to class toolkit via Google Forms
- Web 2.0 infographic assignment
Module 4: Web 2.0 Instructional Sheets
- Web 2.0 instruction guide assignment
- Examples of instruction sheets and classroom gallery walk
Module 5: Web 2.0 in the Classroom
- What Web 2.0 tools are we allowed to use?
- Submitting a Web 2.0 proposal assignment (aligning with CBE PIA guidelines)
- Design a class activity that incorporates a Web 2.0 tool
At the symposium, the students and I displayed a trifold highlighting our 6 essential questions, the survey results of our course entry survey and samples of their infographics on their chosen Web 2.o tools to explore. Here is a picture of our trifold:
Initial survey results from the course yielded surprising data. First of all, students ARE interested in Web 2.0 tools and how they can support their learning. Mostly, they want to learn about social media Web 2.0 tools, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Google+. In addition, they have much more access to technology that I had initially anticipated. Thus, the CAN access the tools, they just don’t know how to USE them in a way to support their learning.
The students that I brought to the ILC volunteered to present on their chosen Web 2.0 tools to explore and hopefully have integrated into their classroom by the end of the year. The first tool on display was Skype. At the ILC, we had a laptop open and another student Skyping from home. Both students engaged in conversations with teacher, learning leaders, specialists and directors. They mentioned how this would be a great tool that could bring experts form the workplace into their classroom more easily. They were also given suggestions of how to use it for global causes and to connect with classrooms around the world. The next step for these students will be to create an instruction sheet and propose an idea to be presented to their teachers. Below, you will find a photograph if their infographic that answers the 6 essential course questions:
The second student has chosen to propose the web tool of Voki. Voki is a program that allows students to building personalized talking avatars where students can chose what the voki says. While a class account can be created, it is not necessary if you can finish your voki in one class. From here, you can embed the voki into a webpage. If you sign-up for an account, you have more options. While down at the ILC, the student presenting this tool also learnt that this tool supports more than one language – so, for you language teachers out there, this could be an excellent application to add to your toolkit!. Here is the infographic for Voki:
The Web 2.0 Symposium was a great event for both myself and my students. Not only was I able to connect with other educators and receive suggestions on how to improve my course, but my students commented on how they appreciated the real-life experience to speak with other teachers. They felt the opportunity to present their ideas made their learning meaningful to the real world, and commented that it was nice to see just how much teachers do care about student learning.
I am thankful this opportunity was provided to myself and my students. If you are interested in learning more about this locally developed course, I am willing to share any and all of my resources. Also, if you have suggestions, I would love to hear them!