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Cognite is a digital learning environment that allows students, teachers, parents, and administrators to collaborate electronically from any computer with internet access. Vigo County School Corporation in Terre Haute, IN has adopted this software as a way to share resources, communicate, and work together outside of the classroom.
Bill Bruce, the technology director for Vigo County School Corporation, stated that the use of Cognite will allow all of the district’s digital resources to be easily integrated into a single interface; which in turn will reduce costs. The goal is to eventually use this collaborative technology at all grade levels in the district.
After reading the article and learning more about the Cognite program, I’ve concluded the program seems to be much like oncourse. I am pleased to learn that school systems in Indiana are taking advantage of this type of technology. This type of collaborative technology opens the door for positive communication among students, teachers, administrators, and parents.
The article discussed the growing trend of social networking and the possibility of incorporating social networking into the classroom in order to enhance learning and bridge communication between students, teachers, parents, and administrators. The article also listed some pros and cons to using social networking for educational purposes.
Although, the use of social networking in the classroom can be beneficial, it must be done professionally and correctly. As the article mentioned, teachers have lost their jobs for disclosing personal information on their social networking sites and allowing their students access to this information.
I feel that social networking, if used correctly, could be a very useful tool in the classroom. If teachers would like to set up a blog or use a site, such as facebook, in order to be connected to their students strictly for educational purposes, then they should create separate pages from their own personal ones. Teachers need to keep the relationship with their students professional, especially when using social networking sites. Using social networking as a way to answer homework questions, and to communicate with parents and students can greatly benefit the overall atmosphere of the classroom by bridging the gaps in communication and involving everyone in the education process.
The article greatly details how the use of wiki technology in the classroom can enhance the learning experience for students while also allowing parents to view their child’s work and be actively involved in the entire process. David Lindsay, the man who discovered wikis in 2005, gave many examples of how he has used wikis in his classroom. Some include: sharing the students’ work with their parents, allowing students to collaborate on class assignments, and giving parents and teachers the opportunity to view the progress of a student’s and also give feedback.
Lorna Larson, an ESL teacher in MN, also stated ways in which she incorporates wikis in her classroom. She advised teachers to not lose sight of their purpose for incorporating this type of technology into their classrooms. She noted, “Technology can be a great facilitator, but knowing the learning objective is the first critical step.”
I never thought of the many different ways wikis can be used to enhance learning in the classroom until I read this article. I simply thought they were to ease the burden of group projects by making collaboration more convenient. I particularly liked Lorna Larson’s advise to teachers. I will be sure to keep this in mind when I’m planning for my own classroom one day.
There are many types of collaborative technology that can be incorporated into the classroom. I think, if used correctly, they each can be beneficial in their own way. One of the most important factors when deciding which technology to choose is to determine the ultimate goal of the technology. Incorporating technology into the classroom just for the sake of it would not enhance learning at all. There must be a sound reason.
Aronowitz, S. (2010). Indiana k-12 school district moves to collaborative learning system. the Journal , Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/11/17/indiana-k-12-school-district-moves-to-collaborative-learning-system.aspx
McCrea, B. (2010). Wikis: pulling it all together online. the Journal , Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/10/20/wikis-pulling-it-all-together-online.aspx
Wells, C. (2010). Social networking: the essential balancing act in schools. the Journal , Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/11/17/social-networking-the-essential-balancing-act-in-schools.aspx