Sunday, June 8, 2008

RTL & Encouraging the Exploration of Web 2.0 for Language Learning Purposes

As a Web2.0-enthusiast (who is gradually becoming a rabid fan), I find it exciting to be am Puls der Zeit, to know that I am taking part in some of the most current trends in information organization.

As a German teacher (and one who aspires to be gainfully employed this fall!), I like to reflect on educational technology in the context of language learning. In general, I think a learning environment should should have plenty of stable anchors in set curriculum, strategies, and rules, but be open and fluid enough to send out just as many feelers into the changing present (the harbinger--forgive the weak metaphors--of the future.)

Calling on Web2.0 technologies from the middle school onward is called for: schools should play a heavy part in helping students to become responsible digital citizens. Yet...:

I cannot help but get easily distracted myself when on Facebook, to take up the most dominant example. How can I expect students not to be distracted by status updates and new profile pics of their friends? I can't. The plethora of distractions within Facebook is too strong a deterent to productivity -- within the confines of school time, when teachers have the obligation to facilitate exciting *and* productive lessons.

(Homework might be another issue. UdutuTeach and SuperCool School
are two Online Learning platforms fully integrated with Facebook. To be more precise, I believe that SuperCool School was developed specifically for Facebook. It is a positive change if/when school can address and communicate with students in relevant ways that make ideas stick.... The idea of a PLE, a Personal Learning Environment, is indeed an exciting one. But I am not sure if Facebook can ever become a platform which is harmonious with teachers' concept of homework, either.)...

More on Web 2.0 and language learning soon, with specific examples for language learning....

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