Using Web 2.0 Sites for Book Projects By Erlyn Fukushima April 2010 Touro University EDU 710
Introduction There are many obstacles teachers of today face, including having to meet the needs of the 21st century learner. This generation of digital natives relies heavily on the use of technology. Using Web 2.0 sites is one way to engage these students. This project seeks to utilize these web sites to publish and discuss book reviews by students, instead of the traditional pen and paper reports. By effectively using these sites, students will actively learn; develop their writing skills, hone digital literacy, and work collaboratively.
Statement of the Problem Students today cannot imagine life without their cell phones, the use of a computer, or the ability to play video games. How do we effectively harness this interest in technology and relate it to that of their education? In the report, published through the Henry K Kaiser Family Foundation, Generation M²: Media in the Lives of 8 -18 Year Olds, Victoria J. Rideout et all found that “8 – 18 year olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). And because they spend so much of that time ‘media tasking’ (using more than one medium at a time), they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes (10:45) worth of media content into those 7 ½ hours. (pg. 11, Jan. 2010)” We, as teachers, need to keep students motivated by using what keeps them interested the most – technology and the internet.
Background and Need Most of today’s teachers are digital immigrants - not born into the digital world but have many or most aspects of the new technology (Presky, 2001). Because of this, teachers need to make their curriculum relevant and teach in ways that are effective and meaningful to our digital native students. Teachers need to stay abreast of what is current and meet the needs of our students. “Children who are heavy media users are more likely to report getting fair or poor grades (mostly C’s or lower) than other children. Indeed, nearly half (47%) of all heavy media users say they usually get fair or poor grades, compared to 23% of light media users. (Rideout, V., et al, pg. 13)”
Purpose of Project Web 2.0 sites allow users the freedom to organize, create and modify content that can be published on the internet. These sites can also be used as a platform for discussion and allow the creators immediate feedback on their created content. How effective are Web 2.0 sites for a middle school English class? By allowing students the ability to create on such a huge canvas as the internet, this project helps augment their technology skills, and gives them the freedom to produce a project that is as unique as they are. Students will work collaboratively and provide immediate feedback to their classmates. Blogging will help develop writing and language skills, and provide (as well as accept) positive criticism. All the work they do for this project will only help strengthen the skills they will need in their future educational endeavors.
Project Objectives After learning about Web 2.0 sites, students will create and post their book reviews on the internet using Web 2.0 sites, such as PBWiki, Shelfari, GoodReads, or blog about their books on appropriate blogging sites. Students will comment and provide some sort of feedback on other students’ wikis, blogs or in the place for comments at each site. Teacher will assess success of project from: - student self-reflection - student feedback - checking website regularly Teacher will comment on students’ work directly on their Web 2.0 sites. Teacher will create a wiki page, and self reflect on any problems and successes she encounters from her assessments.
Definition of Terms Blog or Web Log – A blog (short for "web log") is essentially an online journal or diary where one can post messages, photos, music and video on their own. (http://absolute-digital.co.uk/glossary.php) Blogger – A contributor to a blog or online journal. (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/blogger) Blogosphere – Blogosphere is a collective term encompassing all blogs and their interconnections. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blogosphere) Digital Native – A digital native is a person who has grown up with digital technology such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones and MP3 players. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_native) Digital Immigrant – A person who was not born into the digital world but has adopted many or most aspects of the new technology. (Prensky, 2001) (http://absolute-digital.co.uk/glossary.php) Web 2.0 – The term given to describe a second generation of the World Wide Web that is focused on the ability for people to collaborate and share information online. (http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/W/Web_2_point_0.html) Wiki - a website that allows the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki)
Summary Infusing Web 2.0 sites into our curriculum can only help keep our already technologically experienced students motivated to learn. The creativity it provides for them, on a medium that keeps their interest seems like a logical choice teachers must welcome and embrace.