Internet has become a new platform for users because it has become easy for anyone to create, upload and share information with Web 2.0 technologies and we are more connected than ever.

Internet has become a new platform for users because it has become easy for anyone to create, upload and share information with Web 2.0 technologies and we are more connected than ever. It's an umbrella term for developing social software applications such as social bookmarking, podcasting etc. which facilitates creativity, collaboration and sharing between users. Web 2.0 is read and write web. It's real time and live connection between users and a good revolution of Web 1.0. It enhances creativity, communication and collaboration; the words we use in education. We all use Facebook, Youtube, Google or blogs that let us create community. They are all Web 2.0 tools that we are familiar with.

I believe as teachers, we are about to have the biggest discussion on education: How do we learn? Some of us have already explored the potential of social networking, media-sharing and other Web 2.0 tools though they are not designed specially for learning; and it's getting more popular everyday among our students. They have been using Web 2.0 for a long time. They write on blogs, upload photos and videos, build personal profiles and interact with each other everyday. They all have their Myspace and Facebook accounts and this makes it easier for us to use this technology at schools because our students are already familiar through their own experiences and they are already motivated to use them.

Here are some reasons why to use Web 2.0 in our classes:

* It increases the creativity. Any student can write, film and publish a video or an audio. Youtube and Google video are used by our students everyday. They watch more videos on Youtube than they watch on T.V. or cinemas.

* It's collaborative. We can easily create social networks and communities of interets. I believe Wikipedia and Ning are the best examples for this and they are all free.

* It promotes student centered learning. It allows users to become the producers of the knowledge. It enables us to share our work with other audience. For example, E-pals project is considered to be the world's largest online classroom.

* It provides many opportunities for language practice. Students can play with language and the context and it is more informal. They can get involved in the writing process by posting blog entries, editing to other pages, creating their own e-portfolios.

* It engages students. In fact, technology is always engaging. When we use these tools in classes, it doesn't seem like a required assignment for students. It also helps us to motivate our shy students to participate more in our lessons and the willingness to create and share is a great opportunity to learn and participate.

* It creates freedom and independence in learning which we can't find in our traditional education systems. Internet is avaliable 24/7 and this encourages our students to share information to a greater extent which is not avaliable in our classes. It also reminds us that learning is not only limited to school boundaries.

* It helps our students to become familiar with technology by engaging.

* We can find more authentic audience. When students do paper work, teachers or other students can see it but when it is online, many other people can read, comment and contribute so Web 2.0 improves communication skills because students have a wider audience.

As teachers we need to find our own ways to use these technologies in our classes and consider the security issues and the copyright. I believe new technologies will come up but teachers will always be in the centre of education because our students will need our guidance more than ever. Teachers will be the ones who encourage and motivate the students to become better learners.

In my next blog enty, I will share my ideas on two popular Web 2.0 tools: "Personal Blogs" and "Collaborative Wikis".

Please have a look at this video. It would be great to read your comments and opinions.

With my regards,

Özge

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Comments

I love what you wrote and could not agree more:"As teachers we need to find our own ways to use these technologies in our classes and consider the security issues and the copyright. I believe new technologies will come up but teachers will always be in the centre of education because our students will need our guidance more than ever. " Plagiarism is a huge issue for my students. Most of them admit to having cut and pasted essays or other homework assignments from websites. Several pointed out that they do this less now that teachers are becoming more tech-savvy.Also, we need to teach students critical thinking skills: how to understand, interpret, evaluate, and select from the enormous quantity of information that is available to them. 

As Webgina points out, now that teachers are becoming more tech-savvy plagiarism is actually becoming less of a problem than it was before the birth of the internet - certainly in English language teaching.

If a teacher is suspicious that work has been copied and has access to the internet then it is a very simple process to run any particularly 'outstanding' sentence through google and the offender is often caught immediately.

The more tech-savvy students are now actually returning to the more traditional method of copying from books as these can't be 'googled' and thus immediately revealed as plagiarised.

Max

Hi Ms. Özge  First of all, I’d like to extend my deepest thanks to you for this nice and important issue. Really, internet has made things easy to us; for both learners and teachers.   As an English teacher, I do much agree on what you posted in here. We can find many useful things on internet and it make the teaching/learning process be more enjoyable and more interesting.  Thanks for your efforts   Have a nice time!  Wishing you all my best   Best Regards,  Sir Profenglish  English Instrutor West Bank / Palestine  

Sir Profenglish

Master’s- English

 

  For decades, researchers have been discussing the advantages and disadvantages of technology but there is still no a conclusion.

Using internet on education has never sounded right to me because filtering of information becomes harder and harder. we can not expect our children behave like adults. this is wrong. They should be guided and banned to have the freedom while accessing.

On the other hand, socilazation is lrgely prevented with the long hours that our chilren spend in front of a screen. They go through mingled emotions. We must let them taste the warm smile of the teachers in return of a correct answer.

I agree on the fact that the student must be the center of learning process but the role of the teacher must not be undervalued and while doing this, i would prefer my child feeling the true love of his teacher breathing the fresh air of the classroom deeply in his lungs.

thank you very much for letting me express my ideas on this discussion board.

Max, you mentioned that students are going to books to plagiarise, however, with new Google Books this is becoming less of an option now as well. I have caught students who did this and thought they were being clever but I outsmarted them (hehe). Kirk 

Dear All,

Thank you so much for your comments.

I have mentioned the importance of integration of technology in our curriculums on my both blog entries. I believe, this integration can not be considered without teachers in the classroom. Teachers should teach and guide students how to use technology in meaningful and effective ways because technology can not teach students how to question, how to be critical thinkers or to socialize. Teachers will always be in the centre of education. Certainly, technology will not replace teachers but teachers who use technology will replace teachers who don't. (Ray Clifford,Defense Language Institute) What do you think? Using technology or being a techie teacher can help you to stand out from the crowd and you can be recognized. This is what has happened to me.

Özge

 

 

When we consider the developing technologies, being a "21st Century Teacher" becomes as important as being a 21st century learner. I believe 21st century teacher is the one, who is collaborative, flexible, adaptive, visionary, risk taker and ready to meet the challenges of technological changes and integrate it into the curriculum.

About plagiarism, this is something we can't stop but I think using Web 2.0 technologies can change it to some extend because students have to create something when they use Web 2.0, it may be a video, audio or a slidehow. Web 2.0 helps students to take the first steps of creating something unique of their own.

I would like to share "Ten Big Myths about Copyright" which answers ten questions about the copyright issue and the Internet publication.

Özge

 

 

 

Hi Ozge,

I couldn´t agree more  when you say that the 21st teacher should be collaborative, flexible, adaptive, visonary, risk taker and ready to meet the challenges of the technological changes and integrate into the curriculum. I loved the video you suggested, it tells so much about mismatch between the educational system and the 21st century students and neeeds. However, we can say that this mismatch has been on for a long , long time ago. Surprisingly though it may sound, while watching the video " A vision of students today" I could relate to some of the students remarks, even though I was a 20th century student. We also wasted much of our time with useless issues at school and still do at University! So it´s high time our society start rethinking about its teaching policy one which is more connected to the worlds´demands! I´ve been following your blog and have been learning so much... thanks for all the great entries.

Love,

Monica

 

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