When I reflect on the experiences of this course, I find that the most positive activities were the social media and bookmarking tools that we were exposed you. From the beginning, the course focused on responsible action in any online setting. Digital Citizenship reflected the ideas and themes of responsibility and “proper” actions while interacting with the Web in the same ways we as a society are called to act in our “regular” lives. In other words, digital citizenship is not that much different than what is expected of adults in this American society. The responsibilities of maintaining an online presence will only increase in the coming years and decades. In education, this will require a comprehensive plan to train students in the ethics of the 21st-century era of a technology-infused world. Students will need skills and have an understanding in order to work effectively and safely online. As a result, there is much work for every adult, particularly those in education to take leadership roles in teaching young people.
Web 2.0 tools were applications that provide two-way communication between the user and Web activity. These tools offered new experiences for users, and the interactions go farther than simply reading from a website. These new 2.0 tools could mean “wearable” technology such as clothing or watches. As with any other advancement, these tools meant more interaction, however, they required increased understanding and knowledge about technology in order to use these devices effectively. These devices put an increased burden on private networks such as schools and other institutions to provide essential bandwidth to users. For example, students come to school with three or more devices all requiring connection to the Internet, which necessitates a need for more access and large enough network to offer service for these devices.
Establishing a connection with an online community such as a Professional Learning Community was one of the more difficult challenges of the course. Connecting with others in person, or “networking” is something I enjoy. However, in an online situation, it seems to be inauthentic and troublesome to me. However, I tried, and connected with a couple of groups that were interested in the same topics I am. For instance, I found a community in technology education through Twitter. I follow that group and even made a post or two. Reading the updates and taking part in the discussion of a Professional Learning Community is something I feel I can do to learn and increase my involvement in an online community for my career.
Diigo has changed the way I interact with the Web. Although I was exposed to a similar tool years ago, I failed to consider the possible advantages in using such a tool. The online tool, Diigo, offers the ability to complete many tasks such as saving websites and recording notes and important text on the website. I can use the tool for many different purposes, such as finding technology websites for a course, searching and finding the employment pages of schools where I would like to work, and cooking websites that offer the kinds of recipes that I like. Not only can these sites be part of my “saved” Diigo site, but I am able to group these sites by topic. So, my technology education sites are not among the cooking sites. Diigo allows me to separate professional from personal interests.
Being intentional about finding technology websites was a large reason why I started with Diigo. When I went to search information about technology I found that many others shared similar interests as I do. There are limitless possibilities for the use of Diigo in education, technology, 21st-century learning, etc.
In the future, I will assign new teachers I work with to establish an account with Diigo and use the social bookmarking tool to help one another become more familiar with using technology in daily life. In addition, these websites searches can focus on teaching and learning, and for those in the cohort of new teachers, they can use Diigo to learn about the mission of the school, i.e., the Jesuit mission and philosophy. Much of the training I complete with these individuals in this cohort revolves around the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm, a series of characteristics that define Jesuit philosophy in the classroom. Diigo can help explore this topic as well as other pedagogical philosophies.
In the end, Diigo has become a popular and useful tool that I will continue to use for the classroom and my personal life.
The Classroom Performance Systems offered by Pearson, LLC, allows for the use of “classroom clickers” by teachers interested in raising the level of communication within the course. These clickers can be used from 2nd or 3rd grade through graduate education. Uses include questioning students with multiple choice or true/false inquiries, taking polls in class, or many other ways.
The instructor can use the “clickers” when starting a lecture to gauge knowledge or as a formative assessment tool to check understanding and extent of learning from a unit of study.
The Pearson Classroom Performance Systems offer “ExamView” or a question generator software system that can provide instructors with hundreds of questions for a chapter or unit of a textbook. These are valuable questions that upload quickly and easily to the software system used with the “clicker” technology.
Together these two advancements in education, the “clickers” and the questions from “ExamView” combine to create powerful and meaning interaction with students in the 21st century classroom.