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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Guest Blogger: Web 2.0

My current class has a HUGE focus on technology (in case ya didn't notice).  I have actually been surprised by what is considered technology and what isn't. Did you know a CD is technology? Totally does not fit my definition!

This more accurately portrays my vision of the new web. It is a tool we use as a global society to interact and communicate with one another. What is your definition?

A friend of mine, Eve Pearce, sent me an email and asked if I would post one of her latest articles. She is trying to break into the freelance writer profession and desperate for room for her voice. So I agreed to share my blog with her today. I hope you enjoy her information below....

As the world witnesses more and more advances in technology, educational possibilities will continue to grow. Arguably one of the most important technological innovations of the last decade is ‘web 2.0’, which is a term used to describe websites that utilize technology beyond the static pages that were previously used. 

This technology has allowed teachers to engage pupils using podcasts, phone apps and other computer-related media. It has enabled them to teach maths, science, English and various other subjects in a way that is both fun and effective. 

Research conducted in 2011 cited by computer chip manufacturer Intel concludes that almost fifty percent of teachers who use web 2.0 technology in the classroom find that their students experience increased levels of motivation as a result. Thirty-nine percent of the teachers also stated that using this technology increased pupils’ academic engagement.

Improving Motivation at Every Level

This study is not the only piece of research that has demonstrated the motivational power of web 2.0 technology in recent years. A survey aimed at measuring the educational impact of this technology upon pupils in western Massachusetts found that the overwhelming majority of teachers in the area believed it to have improved the motivation of the children in their classes. 

Seventy-six percent of the teachers reported that it had made low achieving pupils more motivated, seventy-three percent believed that it had made medium achieving pupils more motivated and fifty-nine percent stated that it had increased the learning motivation of high achieving pupils.

Active Learning

As well as increasing students’ motivation to passively absorb information, studies also suggest that web 2.0 technology can improve their motivation for carrying out specific tasks to the best of their ability. A study carried out by Savilla Banister of Bowling Green State University published in the International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning concluded that podcasting book readings and reports that children perform can increase the degree to which they are motivated to exhibit attention to detail when carrying out these tasks, as it enables them to perform to larger audiences.

Another report published in the journal entitled ‘Unexpected Outcomes: Web 2.0 in the Secondary School Classroom’ states that integrating web 2.0 technology into lessons can also improve pupils’ motivation to perform tasks related to maths and science. 

This research was based on a study conducted in schools in Great Britain. It implies that teaching staff should perhaps be hired based upon their familiarity with the latest computer technology in addition to their overall teaching skills. It is therefore not surprising that many recruitment agencies specializing in teaching staff are listing ‘strong IT skills’ amongst the other criteria that are required for this role. 

At some point in the future it is likely that a knowledge of web 2.0 technology will become a necessity for anybody wishing to gain employment in this area.

Possible Explanations

A report by Kaylene Williams of California State University and Caroline Williams of the University of Wisconsin published in the Research in Higher Education Journal states that a possible reason for the ability of web 2.0 technology to increase pupils’ motivation to learn is that it draws upon their experience and language base. It is becoming increasingly ‘cool’ for young people to know about the latest technology, meaning that pupils are likely to already be familiar with the terminology and jargon associated with the internet and are liable to have at least some experience of browsing the web. 

This means that they are likely to be motivated by the fact that they already possess knowledge in this area, which will make them feel as if they are not going into a subject blind.

A simpler explanation is that the use of web 2.0 technology allows for more interactive and varied methods of learning that tap into pupils’ need for new and innovative methods for being taught information. 

A child is more likely to be enthusiastic about a task that involves an app or a computer program than he or she will be in one that relies solely upon a pen and paper, as technologically advanced media tend to be more captivating and exciting. They facilitate increased pupil participation, as opposed to children sitting and passively listening to their teachers explain the ins and outs of a subject, and are a useful tool for making learning fun.

What are your thoughts? Do we need technology in the classroom? What are your favorite resources?

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At January 1, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Blogger Mrs. Dwyer said...

OMG, yes! My favorite technology tool is our Mimio. It's a magnetic bar that you attach to the whiteboard. It basically creates an interactive space without having to wheel a big honking board into your room. Kids coming into school now are so technologically savvy, they already know how to and expect to interact with technology in the classroom!

There are ipad apps for babies now. Being that our students are being introduced to technology so early, we'll be at a complete loss if we try to teach without it.

Mrs. Dwyer’s A+ Firsties

At April 3, 2013 at 7:36 AM , Blogger Jaly Can said...

Great looking urban art. I am so glad to get a peek at it!

At April 3, 2013 at 7:48 AM , Blogger Jaly Can said...

If you look closely at our new urban art collection you'll see elements of design made popular by street art.


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