In this chapter I expect to learn about new literacies and how to incorporate these new styles of writing into the classroom.
This chapter discusses many new technologies available to students today. Some of these I am familiar with already, but many I have never heard of or used before. I think it is exciting how much information is available to students and how many creative ways there are to use technology in the classroom.
Some of the new technologies that I have begun to use as a student are internet searches, blogs, on-line classes, library databases, on-line presentation builders like Prezi and youtube.
I have found that as a student, I don’t tend to use a new technology until I have an assignment that forces me to use them. After struggling initially with the new technology, I usually become quite excited about the possibilities of the new tool.
This happened for me with Prezi.com. I saw another student use it and was quite impressed. On my own, I tried the site, but gave up quickly and went back to my familiar Powerpoint. Then in another class, the instructor gave a tutorial and required us to use prezi in an assignment. The first few attempts were frustrating, but once I learned how to use it, I found I liked it and have used it on my own since then.
This blog is another example of learning a new technology while learning content in the classroom. I have been interested in creating a blog for a long time. However, until I had to do it as an assignment, I never made the time. Now having had a little experience with blogging in this class, I feel a bit more confident.
I would like to think of ways to integrate technology into my classroom when I become a teacher. I think it is a great way to help students who haven’t used new technology to start to use it and also a way to guide those students who currently use the new technology recreationally to find academic uses for it.
I have seen teachers use Moodle in their classrooms and would really like to learn that. The teacher I have seen use it put everything from the course syllabus, daily assignments, study guides, and links to additional information and games. I think this would be an excellent to use technology in the classroom. It provides an organized storage of class information that can be access after school by both students and parents.
I think one thing that teachers do have to be aware of, however, is that there are still some students who don’t have access to internet at home. I guess a caution is to always make sure there is time for those students to use the internet in the classroom or at the library.
One of the ideas in the chapter that was intriguing was teaching students to embed hyperlinks in their writing and then discuss the difference between pen and paper writing and electronic documents with hyperlinks. This could really motivate students to delve more deeply into subjects as they connect to additional information through hyperlinks.
A converse way that I once used new literacies to engage students was with a class I was subbing. In that class we were reading through text from a textbook. I was reading it out loud to the class and we came to part where the text direction to a section with additional information. As I turned to that page, the class protested that they never read that stuff. I explained that it was just like clicking on a hyperlink on a webpage. We can click and get some additional information and return to the original text. We “clicked” over to page and read the additional information. The students seemed to grasp the idea when it was explained that way.
There are so many resources available to teachers over the internet now and even through the creators of textbooks. I think the big challenge will be to make a commitment to integrating technology and choosing a few new ways with each unit.
Because I am fairly new to most technology, I am planning to take courses as I begin to teach in order to become familiar with the new technologies and get ideas on how to use it in the classroom. This way, I can get caught up and keep current with new trends in technology.