Wiki’s, Podcasts, and Classrooms

When I first learned that we were going to create a wiki lesson in my graduate program I felt a little uneasy. I had never heard of a wiki, let alone, create a lesson on one. However, the more I learned about the site, the easier it became. Navigating through the site took a little bit of exploring and undoing, but after a while, I learned what it had to offer. Since I am familiar with blogging I found the linking button to be my favorite. I love to incorporate other resources and can attach them into my wiki without writing the complete URL. I struggled with the detailed part of the wiki lesson and making sure it looked inviting and kid friendly, but I liked the idea of giving it my own touch.  The idea of having a website where my students can have all of the resources, assessment, and project information in one place is what influenced me the most. Many times I have had students ask me for another copy of the rubric, or to explain what they were doing. This wiki will allow me less time to answer questions like those, and more time spending with each student reviewing and challenging them on their project.

My peers encouraged me to seek an option of integrating student comment and posting of their projects. Originally I was going to have students present their projects, but the idea of having the students post their projects on the wiki will help integrate the 21st-Century skill of global communication.

Podcasting is very new to be. I knew how to access a podcast through Itunes, but had never created one myself. I am happy to announce that it was much easier than anticipated. I think podcasting is a great way for students to review the information taught in class. For this lesson, in particular, I used a podcast to review what an allusion is in Greek Mythology, however, I find that podcasting would be a great way to have my absent students learn what they missed if I recorded myself during a lesson. Since I am familiar with many educational technology platforms, I am able to have my students create their projects with these.

My wiki itself is an example of the 21st-centruy skill of communication and collaboration as I focus on using a variety of digital media to enhance my student’s learning (Technology Proficiencies, 2015). With the incorporation of podcasts, my students are learning marketable skills and how to effectively educate themselves (Tomaszewski, 2012). My current situation at Walden University, as I continue my education, is an excellent example of life skills my students will need to learn and understand. The lesson’s assessment has a component that allows student choice with digital-age communication and facilitation of learning (Technology Proficiencies, 2015). Dede in the video Today’s Students (2015l) explains the impact technology has on our students by stating that each generation of kids will be different because each generation has new media and technology. Since each generation is different, we as teachers need to treat them differently by teaching them differently. These different forms of technology build and establish life skills for students that they will use in future careers and survival in this technologically advanced world (P21, n.d.). Recently a colleague of mine expressed her concern when I explained that paper has become obsolete with the advancement of the Google Classroom and its apps. I replied with a general glimpse into the future of communication via email rather than paper, skype calls rather than business trips, and texts rather than notes. Our students live in a different world than most of us grew up, we must prepare them for their future.

I now see myself using wikis and blogs in my classroom. If you asked me three months ago, I would have laughed, but now that I have been exposed and worked with it, I find it easier than imagined. I also find that a blog helps me stay in constant communication with my parents, while a wiki allows my students to be exposed to a global world, but also stay in constant contact with what they are needing to learn and resources on how to help. Podcasts will be a great addition to my classroom blog, but something I find I might need to perfect before I begin using them this next school year. Overall, I find this to be an excellent and beneficial experience.

***Check out my lesson wiki (made for 4th grade and up): https://sites.google.com/a/homerschools.org/mrs-nelson-teaches/educ-6710 

Resources

Laureate Education (Producer). (2015l). Today’s students [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

P21. Framework for 21st century learning. Retrieved July 29, 2016, from P21 Partnership for 21st Century Learning, http://www.p21.org/about-us/p21-framework.

Tomaszewski, J. (2012). Podcasts: 21st Century skills across subjects. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/student-podcasts-expanding.shtml#sthash.hs8IdDnB.dpuf.

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