Web 2.0 is amazing and is the key to 21st century teaching and learning. It contributes speed and connectivity to so many activities as teachers are able to associate and connect various subjects and activities throughout the learning process. The online tools can be harnessed to change and expand the whole process and experience of learning.
Blogs allow teachers and students to share and discuss information on the Web. The ability to download information and listen while working, walking, driving or exercising allows all to multi-task and utilize time more efficiently and effectively. Syndication using RSS enhances communications, lesson planning and course development. Text messaging allows users to communicate quickly, quietly and concisely, and so on the new technology evolves.
The “digital learners” will use the new tools to approach learning in a way not available in the past. Boredom will be replaced by a new world of information with the technology geared toward the aptitude and pace of the learner.
These tools provide ways to learn for those who are not close geographically to a college or learning facility. It provides an opportunity for the pace of learning to be different for each student, and for the creativity to be optimized as the methods can be varied depending on the needs and abilities of the learner.
Having recently moved out of the Atlanta Metro area, the online offerings are an avenue for me to complete courses critical for certification and to stay current on the technology offerings. In the past it was difficult to complete courses when you did not live close enough to attend on campus. This technology allows learning day or night, on any day of the week , and reduces the time pressures.
One of the biggest challenges for educators will be to “keep up” with the students in technology and to incorporate it into the classes to make learning interesting, relevant and challenging. The students have grown up with the technology so the teachers and administrators have to work hard to offer lessons which are current and include technology.
It is an exciting time to be involved with Web 2.0 and to include it in our teaching and other ventures. There will be no “going back.” Looking forward provides opportunities we never imagined in our professional and personal lives.