Blog Post #6

I would love to have a class website as a teacher! I love playing around with the blogging platforms I have seen (so far, these have included Tumblr, Blogger, and now WordPress), and I think that making an easily navigable, aesthetically pleasing, and up-to-date website for the students and parents to update would make teaching meaningful on a new level; it could reach into the home life of students in a different way than homework does.

Course websites allow all the important information of a class to be in one, always accessible format. Homework assignments could be listed there, so no one could say they forgot to write down the assignments! Project outlines, a list of readings, possibly even .pdf versions of excerpts of readings could be uploaded to the website. Students could even upload their work onto the site, and maybe their fellow classmates could peer edit their work. I think class websites offer many opportunities to further education.

The only potential downside others could see for this is that the website would be making the students less accountable for their work; normally, if a student forgets a homework assignment, they are punished for it with a grade of zero, and will possibly be motivated to do the work from that point forth to avoid the zero again. However, I think it is important that the students do not have to fall back on this excuse; now they always have the chance to do the work (assuming they have computer access).

As far as how I will use technology not only for my students, but also to develop my professional skills as a teacher, I know that there are many ways that technology can help me further my knowledge of education. Social media, like Twitter and blogs, have already proven to be wonderful ways for teachers to hear about other educators, different “webinars” (seminars conducted online, in video chats, for example) available to learn new skills and ideas, and share knowledge about the career and the changing system. I think that the importance of technology is mainly how it keeps teachers connected, like in the social bookmarking tool Diigo that the podcast mentioned, as well as Twitter, blogs, webinars, and so many other resources we’ve learned about. Keeping the flow of ideas open between educators of all experience levels is the key to great teaching.

I actually liked working on the wiki assignment for this week. We were lead to PBworks to create a wiki with a few of our classmates, as a chance to work with wikis as well as complete our understanding of how to properly evaluate the credibility of a web resource. At first, I was pretty overwhelmed with getting used to a new website, but eventually I figured out how best to make the wiki at least a little pleasing to the eye. I really enjoy design work. I liked how easy it was to play with links to other pages on the wiki, and I liked seeing the changes my classmates made; it was so cool to see everyone collaborate.

I would definitely try to use wikis as an English teacher. Maybe I could make an assignment similar to the one my groupmates and I made, in which we practiced evaluating web resources. I’m sure the students could benefit from wikis for group projects; they make collaborative work so much easier as the students can use them on their own time, and I can track the students’ activity to see who worked and who didn’t.

Images of our group wiki page and my individual page are attached; thanks for reading!

groupwiki1groupwiki2Individual wiki, page 2 Individual wiki, page 1

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Comments
2 Responses to “Blog Post #6”
  1. I definitely agree that the Wiki was overwhelming at first! I think you’re right though, Wiki could be super useful in a classroom. As an English teacher I think you would be able to get so much use out of Pbworks so it’s a good thing you know how to use it now 🙂

  2. cnc11c says:

    Yes, the wiki was overwhelming! I also agree that web tools are great for an English class because they assist you in being creative and knowledgeable.

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