[Response to Chapter 1 in Richardson’s “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms”]
I think this chapter really delved into the issues that though many may be hesitant to try out new web 2.0 technologies in the classroom, especially with such focus on state mandated tests, these technologies can be implemented into the classroom with success.
On first blush, the tools on this new Web may not seem well suited to a climate of standardized test scores and government accountability…In reality, however, these tools have considerable relevance to state and local core content curriculum standards, and there is much reason to believe their implementation in schools will better prepare students for a slew of new literacies and competencies in their post-education lives (6).
I think this point is really critical when one is considering the pros and cons of introducing web-based technology into the classroom. Besides, “all around us kids are creating content in ways that most adults haven’t yet tried” (6). With that said, we need to be able to step outside of our comfort zones to best meet the needs of our students.
Though I do think schools need to have some sort of structure when deciding what is and is not allowed in schools as far as Internet access is concerned (and after all, there are national laws that regulate this!), I do think there should be more flexibility before a website is just banned and considered “useless.” This thought arises after Richardson mentioned that some blogging sites, for example, are blocked from the school (when there are some legit, focused, and appropriate blogs that can be used in the classroom).
As I’ve mentioned before, yes, traditional classroom values should never be forgotten, but as educators, we can’t be afraid to try new things and remember that we are all learners in the end!