Global changes have transformed our school systems into borderless pedagogical realms where zeitgiests like Google and Wikipedia have truly changed what it means to be a student in the 21st century. If we admit that when we first want to check out some new concept or idea that we:
1) Google it, and than a majority of the time we...
2) read the Wikipedia page first,
then it is time to stop criticizing our students for doing this as well. Instead, we need to acknowledge the practices and processes that our students now use, and build upon them. No longer can we define schooling as 1950s schoolhouses looming over Middle American neighborhoods. Students have embraced a tech-literacy that much of today's teacher population has overlooked, ignored, or has failed to embrace as wholeheartedly as our students.
Teaching literacy is no longer just about teaching two of the three "R"s
w R iting, and
a R ithmetic ,
it now includes a whole swarm of information and techno-literacies. In other words, educators in the 21st century need to be teaching information and techno-literacies to help better teach the various literacies associated with reading and writing. No longer can we expect our students to move from classroom to classroom to the tune of bells signalling shifts in discipline. We must follow the pedagogical processes outside the classroom and into the ever-growing curriculum surrounding our students daily lives of wireless connectivity, synchronous global information, social networking, and virtual workspaces.
Online chat system that allows users with gmail accounts to “chat” with one another.
Requires both parties to agree to the chat.
Can reply to an email in “chat” mode.
During virtual office hours I answer the largest and smallest of questions.
Students can talk to one another online and answer questions themselves.
Student comment: “ I use gTalk to help get a hold of my classmates when I need help. It’s really beneficial when you need to exchange ideas for projects or homework. gTalk makes communicating with others easier and faster so it’s more convenient for me to reach people .”
My online class suddenly had “hallway chatter” like a regular brick ‘n mortar class.
A powerful discussion board through Google that allows students to continue discussions outside of the classroom with other students in other sections of the same class. This can be set as a closed system where users must be invited to use it and/or even view the posts.
I have a “live” Google Group that’s an extension of the classroom. We have 200 students in 8 sections and they can all interact here.
Google Groups is still a little clunky for students who are afraid of technology. It does not default to a threaded discussion; however, the power of Google is that they are in perpetual beta with constant updates.
Getting the “Better Gmail” addon for the Firefox browser will force a secure “https” session.
Getting Wired w/ [email_address] Google Groups
Getting Wired w/ [email_address] Other Google Apps Labs iGoogle Reader Presentation Scholar Notebook Pages Web Alert News Alert Orkut Picassa Mobile Video/YouTube Google Apps are in perpetual beta. You will see new apps pop up & change weekly. While the primary tools are stable, they're continuously improved upon!
fyi…delicious.com is not technically a Google App!
Have you ever saved favorites on your home computer? Have you ever wished you wrote the web address down before leaving the house for the library?
Delicious is an online bookmarking site that allows you to sync all your computer browser bookmarks to one free, online account. This account had strong tag options, and had as annotation field. Delicious is also "social" that allows for easy sharing with anyone as well as specific individuals.
I have student researchers begin building their annotated bibliographies while the site information is still fresh in their minds.
SR@gmail students (80% will use after end of class) :
“ Tags, and the ability to search them, cross-reference them, and view them as clouds .”
“ I liked that all the information that I needed was in one place .”