Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Education Technology Weekly Reading Response - Final Week

What is your reaction to the 10 Big Shifts in Education? Which shift(s) will be easier and harder for your to integrate in your future teaching/classroom? Please explain.

I definitely agree with all of Richardson ten “Big Shifts” that the new Read/Write has brought to the contemporary classroom (2010). I think that the two themes that run through all of the Big Shifts are (1) the new possibilities for collaboration, and (2) the idea that learning is now never ending, it can take place anywhere and anytime and between any groups of people. Personally, I am a big fan of the collaborative aspects of learning that the latest social program allows us. The most important part of all this is the idea that students can now share their work with authentic audiences and get relevant feedback from someone other than their teacher. Because of my enthusiasm about this type of information sharing many of the Big Shifts will be easy for me to incorporate in my future classroom. Since my content area is science I can see myself utilizing Big Shift 1, “Open Content,” by bringing my students to scientific journal websites in order to find up to date research and discoveries that may have an impact on their own lives. I’m also excited about Big Shift 2, “Many, Many Teachers.” The internet provides us with a portal to connect with my great people online and there are plenty experts in the field of science that are willing to share their expertise with our students if we only ask them to do so. I can’t wait to have my students share their research with an expert and see their reaction to the critiques that she gives them. I think it’s an awesome opportunity for students to create relationships with people who have chosen science as a profession, and I believe my students will benefit immensely from these types of interactions. Finally, I am excited to have my students utilize Big Shift 3 and 6, “The Social, Collaborative Construction of Meaningful Knowledge” and Readers Are No Longer Lust Readers,” respectively. To me these Big Shifts represent not only an opportunity for students to share their work and their opinions with authentic audience but they also get to argue and defend their work and their opinions with people from around the globe. In this way students will be able to gain deeper understandings and broader perspectives of the concepts that we cover in the classroom. When used in appropriate ways the internet can be a powerful forum for discussion and enlightenment.
Some of the Big Shifts however I think will be much harder for me to incorporate into my style of teaching simply because they are “too new” to me. The ideas present in Big Shift 8, “Writing Is No Longer Limited to Text” says that student no longer need to write their lab reports with pen and paper but instead they could blog about it or better yet podcast it. I don’t know how comfortable I am with these new forms of text because I never had the opportunity to use them when I was in middle and high school. It will be hard for me to break away from the way that I think school work should “look like.” However I am confident that as I explore these new avenues of communication I will feel more comfortable about bringing them into my classroom because a “teacher who uses interactive media professionally will find they rapidly develop learning styles and strengths similar to those of their students” (Thatcher in Richardson, 2010).

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