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.