Monday, April 4, 2016

From the CETL Library: Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms

In a world of ever-growing technological opportunities, it can be overwhelming to consider implementing Internet technologies within your courses.  This book by Will Richardson offers thorough explanations on how to utilize a wide variety of technology-based tools to strengthen the teaching and learning experiences within your classroom.  Just glancing at the table of contents illustrates several different technologies that you may not have previously considered using as learning tools within your classroom.
These include:  

  • Weblogs – a way to consider blogging with your students
  • Wikis – an easy collaborative tool for sharing and editing
  • Multimedia Publishing – including podcasting, video & screencasting, and live streaming 
  • Social Networking – effectively using Facebook and Ning

These topics are then broken down into subcategories, each one contemplating the execution within your classroom and the effects that you can look for through their use. 
The final section of the book is reserved for discussing the impact of these tools on education.  Richardson considers the relevance of these tools as well as their effect on the learning process, the overall mastery of a subject, and the significance Internet technologies can have on students in their future careers.   He writes that within their careers, students will most likely be asked to work with others both close to them and from around the world.  They will be asked to read and write in linked environments so that they can perform, research, analyze, write about, and share online content.  “Compare that to an educational system that, by and large, asks those same students to work independently on paper for a very narrow audience (usually the teacher who gives the grade), and the disconnect becomes painfully clear.”

This book is written for novice or experienced technology users.  Richardson’s real-life classroom examples and how-to tips make it a great resource for those looking for relevant ways to incorporate technology and collaboration within their courses. 
Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms can be found in the “Instructional Technology” section of the CETL library.

Written By: Jessica Moser

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