education, technology, and everything else

Getting Comfy with Web 2.0

Posted by Miranda on January 27, 2007

If educators are going to use new technologies in the classroom, they are first going to have to be comfortable with those technologies. I’ve been reading a lot in the past week about using blogging as a tool for education and in class last night many seemed excited about the potential for Web 2.0 tools yet there was also a marked feeling of mistrust of those tools. For instance it seems to me that one of the big features of blogging is the fact that posts can be commented on, that conversations, communication takes place on these things. Yet last night I heard someone say that they’d feel very uncomfortable having anything they said commented on. I also note that hardly anyone in the class has been using their blogs for any purpose at all.

Well, if you don’t use it you are missing the point I think. A blog isn’t just an online journal, although many people use them for that. It’s a communication tool, a learning and teaching tool and if you aren’t willing to have comments then you aren’t willing to learn, you aren’t willing to communicate.

If the purpose of the blog is simply to be a reflection tool, a metacognitive record of what we are learning for ourselves alone, then why on earth put it on the web? Why not keep it on your own hard drive or better yet in a little notebook that you could carry round with you?

If you aren’t comfortable with blogging (which I’m not really, I still find it kind of a chore to tell the truth) then to my mind the only way to get comfortable is practice; to use a blog until it’s second nature to read what other people have to say and comment on it, to put your thoughts out there and let the comments come.

Feel free to comment on my punctuation, I know I use way too many commas.


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