Chapters 1 & 2 – The Read/Write Web

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When Tim Berners-Lee began developing the Internet in 1989, he had a vision of it becoming a large, collaborative space.  While in the beginning it wasn’t quite the collaborative space he desired, it has clearly grown to be that way in the years since.

Richardson makes a strong case for the use of online collaborative tools in the classroom.  And I agree that having so many tools to work with our students is incredibly beneficial, not just for students, but for the teachers as well.  It allows us to reach all of our students, as well as see where some students may need extra help.  It also allows more avenues for students to work together and to learn from each other, rather than being solely reliant on the teacher for learning.

Though technology will become more and more prevalent in the classroom, there are still concerns.  When you can publish anything with the click of a finger, it is important for students (and teachers) to think about what they are putting out there.  Students are less likely to consider the consequences of posting something that could lead to unwanted attention, or affect the lives of students in the future.  As educators, we should be aware of what our students are putting up and help them to make good decisions, as well as protecting them from those dangers.

Richardson also mentioned that there is a gap between those who are “digital natives” and those who are “digital immigrants”.  This can be especially acute in the classroom, when often the students have a better understanding of how to use the technology than the teacher does.  As educators, we need to work to bridging this gap and not be afraid of new technology or things that we don’t know.  We should aim to be learning at the same time our students do, so we too can continue to grow.  As we educate ourselves, we can make better, more informed decisions on what tools are appropriate for our students to use and guide their use.

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2 thoughts on “Chapters 1 & 2 – The Read/Write Web

  1. Abby Lenneberg

    I like your point about using the danger of putting thoughts out too quickly, and the opportunity to use school to teach students how to properly consider the consequences. What are some ways that you think we can really emphasis the importance of “thinking before you click”?

    I agree that it is important to bridge the gap between the digital natives and immigrants – additionally, I think that this should be done before bringing technology into the classroom. Its unrealistic, however, to think that we will ever be as tech savvy as the younger generation. At what point do we decide we are fluent enough in these technological mediums to bring them into our classrooms? I think its definitely a tough decision to make and one that we will certainly all struggle with.

    • I think to stress “thinking before you click” you can show contrasting examples. Show students one posting where clearly the author didn’t put a huge amount of thought into what they posted, then show an example of a more thoughtful posting. I think it will help students to really think about what they want to say, and hopefully ensure that students don’t post something that they will regret later.

      I agree, we will never be as tech savvy as our students. I think for us to bring a certain technological medium into the class, we have to be reasonably comfortable using it ourselves, and answering basic questions about its use. It may still be rough-going for a while, even with a level of comfort using it. But I think it ultimately an individual decision about how comfortable you are with the technology, and if you are ready to implement it in the classroom.

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