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Errin Gregory

Engaging Students in Learning History - 3 views

Caroline Bucky-Beaver

Footprints in the Digital Age - 0 views

  • It's a consequence of the new Web 2.0 world that these digital footprints—the online portfolios of who we are, what we do, and by association, what we know—are becoming increasingly woven into the fabric of almost every aspect of our lives.
  • A recent National School Boards Association survey (2007) announced that upward of 80 percent of young people who are online are networking and that 70 percent of them are regularly discussing education-related topics.
  • By and large, they do all this creating, publishing, and learning on their own, outside school, because when they enter the classroom, they typically "turn off the lights" (Prensky, 2008).
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  • This may be the first large technological shift in history that's being driven by children.
  • The new literacy means being able to function in and leverage the potential of easy-to-create, collaborative, transparent online groups and networks, which represent a "tectonic shift" in the way we need to think about the world and our place in it (Shirky, 2008). This shift requires us to create engaged learners, not simply knowers, and to reconsider the roles of schools and educators.
  • Publishing content online not only begins the process of becoming "Googleable," it also makes us findable by others who share our passions or interests.
  • Although many students are used to sharing content online, they need to learn how to share within the context of network building. They need to know that publishing has a nobler goal than just readership—and that's engagement.
  • These new realities demand that we prepare students to be educated, sophisticated owners of online spaces.
  • More than ever before, students have the potential to own their own learning—and we have to help them seize that potential. We must help them learn how to identify their passions; build connections to others who share those passions; and communicate, collaborate, and work collectively with these networks.
  • Get Started! Here are five ideas that will help you begin building your own personal learning network. Read blogs related to your passion. Search out topics of interest at http://blogsearch.google.com and see who shares those interests. Participate. If you find bloggers out there who are writing interesting and relevant posts, share your reflections and experiences by commenting on their posts. Use your real name. It's a requisite step to be Googled well. Be prudent, of course, about divulging any personal information that puts you at risk, and guide students in how they can do the same. Start a Facebook page. Educators need to understand the potential of social networking for themselves. Explore Twitter (http://twitter.com), a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to exchange short updates of 140 characters or fewer. It may not look like much at first glance, but with Twitter, the network can be at your fingertips.
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    Very interesting article regarding our need as educators to teach students how to build their own PLNs. Teachers need to lead by example. He gives quick tips in the end on how to establish a PLN.
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