Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wrapping Up "Digital Media in the Classroom"

This will be my last "official" entry for my Digital Media class although I plan to continue discussion of many of the topics that were raised in the last few weeks. This wrap up is really more a beginning than a conclusion.

It is my intent to continue to explore how social media and Web 2.0 tools can, and should, be implemented in the classroom. The essential question posed by this class was basically: which of the broad spectrum of digital learning technologies and tools provides the greatest possibility for transnational education across cultural boundaries? I would argue: All of them. What do I mean by "All"? Technology is ever-changing. You have to continuously learn and read and participate and connect, just to keep up. The answer is that every single technological innovation has it's place in education. Schools are the feeding ground for the next generation, the generation that in turn creates, uses, enhances and integrates the next technological innovation into their own lives.

So, the next question is one of HOW. How do we help propogate this circle of innovation? Through communities of inquiry. This class was an example of such a community. Each of us maintained our own blog with our own perspectives, while simulataneously discussing pertinent topics on the class main blog. We asked questions of the technologies and their usefulness in the classroom, and we shared our own reflections and feedback on practical (as well as visionary) implementation. Exactly what we have done here, is what educators should be doing with students. Get them to think critically and make use of all the tools and resources (digital and non-digital) at their disposal. Get them to think about school as a microcosm of the real world, not an imaginary world where nothing real is accomplished.

This clip ties together my learning from this Digital Media class with the intent of the blog.

You can also listen to this in my first podcast:

There are several sites that I want to leave you with because they provide avenues for further research.
  • The History of Social Networking Sites - An interesting account of SNS's from the early days of sixdegrees and friendster (both of which I had joined) through MySpace and Facebook.
  • The Tags Within (aka The Semantic Web) - Some call this Web 3.0, but it will only be made possible through the use of Tags. This blog entry describes the history of Tagging.
  • A review of the book Born Digital - which claims that a digital native is one born after 1980. I return to one of my earlier postings on this topic and maintain that I still consider myself a Digital Nagrant, although I might even take one step further towards Digital Native after this class. Oh, I was born in 1970. So, you can see that I wholehardly disagree with the hard line distinction here.
  • Everything you ever wanted to know about Participatory Media Literacy but were afraid to ask.

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