When I think about the reading and the discussions in the class so far I can’t help but be surprised about all the way the tools that I already knew about can be used in an educational way.
Some are more obvious, for example Wikis can be used as a great work space for the students to work together online to create a resource for all the students. Richardson went into great detail on how wikis can be used in school. They can link to other sited from the wiki to show where they are getting their information from or to show where the reader can find more information. Others surprised me, flikr and other photo sharing sites in particular was mentioned in chapter 2 of the Schrum and Levin. I never thought that a photo sharing site could be useful to a classroom in anyway until they mentioned documenting field trips. It made me think about the class I’m observing this semester because they are going to the American Natural History Museum tomorrow. Using flikr the teachers could let the students explore the hall they like take pictures of what they found interesting, take notes then as an assignment they could create a sideshow with a voice over explaining what they are seeing.
Finally, when I was reading the Richardson chapter on blogs, I did get nervous at the idea of every student creating their own blog. Unfortunately, blogs can be a very easy place for kids to bully each other and in my experience people seem more willing to bully online than offline. From a management perspective keeping track comments on all the students blogs all the time would be very difficult for the teacher, but it would also be necessary if the teacher is requiting the students to make a blog. It might be better to have a class blog where each day a different student can post something but there is only one blog and the teachers account has admin power and the students only have users. This way the teacher can make sure everyone is being respectful. Once management issues are taken care of then blogs are a great way for the student to use what they have learned can connect it with the outside world.