3.3 Information Technology
Candidates demonstrate their ability to design and adapt relevant learning experiences that engage students in authentic learning through the use of digital tools and resources.
For a number of years now, the term “authentic learning” has been an educational buzz word. As new technologies have emerged, they have been lauded as the perfect venues through which authentic learning can occur. After all, we are teaching a new digital generation. While nearly all technology is “engaging” for students, it is our job to ensure that the students are using the technology as a vehicle and that they are engaged in the learning itself, not just enveloped by the fancy tool. When I took the course Learning Technologies, I was exposed to a wide variety of Web 2.0 tools and had the opportunity to explore their potential role in the educational community. While each of the tools had some possible uses in the field of education, I found that in many cases their application was limited in usefulness. Those tools that I found ideal for student engagement in authentic learning I showcased in my Screencast on Linking Flickr Notes and my Voicethread on Educating Students with Social Media.
The screencast focuses on one specific Web 2.0 tool – Flickr. The Flickr Notes system can be used in any subject area classroom as a unique way to annotate and image and link to possible bookmarks and resources. What I found to be most “authentic” about the use of this technology in the classroom is that fact that it showcases information in a nonlinear format, which allows the students to explore and take in information entirely at their own pace and an order of their choosing. This allows for literal self-directed learning – an important piece of the authentic educational environment.
My Voicethread showcases a selection of Web 2.0 tools that I found to be most conducive for use in the classroom. These include GoodReads, Diigo, and Google Forms. All three of these Web 2.0 tools allow the students and teacher(s) the capability of interacting online. GoodReads and Diigo are both venues through which sources (books, and websites respectively) can be shared and reviewed. The students can add selections and comments to lists and bookshelves created by the teacher or the school librarian. Google Forms allows for a new level of participation from the students in the classroom by permitting them to anonymously contribute to discussion by responding to teacher-created prompts or questions.
These artifacts have many strata of connection to the ASL standard 3.3. My use of digital tools and resources is evident in the outer packaging of these two artifacts. They were created with the Web 2.0 technologies, Screencast-o-Matic and Voicethread. They not only demonstrate a wide variety of digital learning experiences in my repertoire but in fact represent a method of disseminating these ideas to other educators.
Screencast - Linking Flickr Notes
Voicethread - Educating Students with Social Media
Digital Story - Black American Stereotypes and Caricatures