We made it! The end is near and it is time to look back to all that I’ve learned throughout the semester. I can honestly say that this semester has been one of the most challenging for me, and this class has been a breath of fresh air. The tools that we experienced and the discussions we had about them stretched my mind and the way that had previously thought about Web 2.0 tools as a whole.
I’ve really come to understand that the defining feature of Web 2.0 is the shift from one-created content to many-created content. I did not understand the true meaning of Web 2.0 or its significance in Constructivist learning thought. The ability for the user to create his/her own content and become the authors of their own learning is vital for Constructivist type learning to take place and Web 2.0 tools allow for exactly that.
I think the most important tools that we covered are the Wikis and Blogs (and other similar tools that allow for web -content creation, learning, and collaborating). These tools have found their way into the mainstream of society as being knowledge bases and vital sources of information. It is only logical that these tools should also be relied heavily upon for teaching and learning.
I also think (as bad as I hate to admit it) that social networks can play a huge role in teaching and learning. As our chapter indicated though, teachers and educators must proceed with caution when dealing with students in this brand new arena as many legal and social issues can arise.
We covered many tools that can only serve to enhance students’ experiences but may not prove to be as vital as Wikis and Blogs. Podcasting, online presentations, mobile websites, and others are the first that come to my mind that could be very useful but not foundational for transforming students’ educations.
I am completely sold on two of the tools that we covered. Twitter and Diiigo are now and will be in my list of “daily-used tools” from now on. These have proven to be very useful for my daily web searches and research. The ability that I have to bookmark and return to pages from anywhere has been a true “life-saver” on many occasions. I have learned a tremendous amount from people’s tweets and been kept up to date with many of my favorite brands without making any extra effort to find out information. All I have to do is follow them on Twitter and check back every now and then.
I am glad that I chose to take this class this semester and am looking forward to watching the tools that we learned about take stronger root in education. I’m excited to watch how they evolve and what comes after them.