Today I was reading a post from Mr. Webb's Blog about different ways that he using technology to extend his classroom and collaborate with other classrooms across the world. In his post he mentioned that
"Technology can be a powerful tool for students"and I believe that he is dead on with this statement. He is currently using technology to help his students explore different cultures, and also share the cultures from his country with other classrooms. I believe that this is such a worthy activity for the students to perform. I know for myself personally, reading about different cultures in books never helped me understand them. I did not truly understand and have an appreciation for other cultures until I had the opportunity to interact with them. Think about how far ahead of the curve his students are by doing this activity. These intermediate students are taking place in something that I was not exposed to until I was 18 years old.
At the top of the page is a quick screen shot from a conversation that I had with one of my students via Ning. For those that are not aware of what Ning is, it is a website that provides safe and secure social networks. I have used this to place all of my students in social networks where they can share pictures, videos, blog post, and even chat with each other. As you can see from the picture I was communicating with one of my students via chat, and I was able to remind her about he science fair project, and also share a blog post from Mr. Webb. Can you imagine what it would be like it you could connect all of your students using this technology? Meaningful and worthwhile discussions could continue outside the classroom as well as inside the classroom.
For myself, I am a personal believer in a "no walls classroom". Meaning that a classroom should not simply be contained within four walls, but we can share so many more worthwhile experiences with our students by extending the classroom past the normal 50 minutes a class session that we traditional use.
This is also worthwhile, because this is technology student will continue to use as they continue their education. I am currently pursuing my masters of education and I am currently using educational social networks on a daily basis. I have been using such technology since I began my undergraduate work.
At what point is the educational world going to catch up with the technology world? Thoughts?