Teacher, can I major in Web 2.0?

28 May

Why, certainly, my child. Certainly.

People are always going on about how the world’s (mainly younger) inhabitants are turning into desensitized, selfish, and ignorant robots because of growing developments in technology. Some people think kids aren’t reading enough because they spend too much time online. Many of these people also think that Twitter and Google and social media shouldn’t be at the center of schools.

I say why not? These are the ways kids have started to learn naturally–in a dynamic, collaborative, social, web 2.0 kind of world. Let’s be honest, no one should still be doing book reports, and isn’t there more to learn when kids can hash out and peer edit their works via blogs and wikis and learn about collaboration, creation and editing? Aren’t those skills kids need today? Of course it is still important to be able to critically read and comprehend some of the complex and symbolic works that make up the almighty English literary canon, but why not go about it in a way that also infuses technology and online collaboration? Who says school work has to stay in the school when it can involve the global community? Oh my, I’m getting excited now.

Okay, I went on a bit of a spiel there when really it all just stemmed from my wondering if the same sort of people-rely-too-much-on-technology! attitude saw a similar peak when stories, history, education, and communication shifted from being primarily oral in nature to largely text-based? Were there dissenters who said “people will stop talking to each other and just read books (newspapers, scrolls?) all day! This is a disgrace to our social nature!” ?

I don’t know. Probably. Just something that was on my mind.

See my inspiration here: Teach Paperless Blog


5 Responses to “Teacher, can I major in Web 2.0?”

  1. megansiegel May 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    I wrote a term paper on this exact subject. In fact, I may have written four 🙂

  2. Ute May 28, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    You know what my thoughts on book reports are. 😉 I think however that to make the interactive aspect work, you need to assure that the students know how to fact check. You can pull anything from the net and be done with it in 10 minutes. That doesn’t mean, it’s true. So what you need to do before you can apply research, is to teach sound research methods. And you need to teach a whole lot of teachers to keep up with current technology developments.

    • megnorris May 28, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

      “You can pull anything from the net and be done with it in 10 minutes.” And that is exactly what students will do if we don’t set our standards and expectations high enough. Obviously a part of learning and being media and digitally literate is learning to to read and evaluate information and sources. Also, we need to start letting kids use wikipedia. It’s the most collaborative and democratic source of information we have right now and should be praised and used rather than looked at as “anyone can just go post stuff on wikipedia.” 🙂

  3. Chelsea June 1, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    i’m just imagining someone going on a tirade about reading books. XD

    but yeah. at this point, you’re not properly preparing children if you’re not teaching them how to utilize the internet.

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