Tomorrow I will make a presentation with Susan Carter Morgan at the annual VAIS conference. Our presentation will focus on using online tools in the classroom. Instead of talking about WHY we will share HOW we use various online tools to enhance the learning opportunities in our English classes.
So, in a nutshell, this is the WHY for me.(Click each image for a larger view)
Effective learning of any concept involves three distinct stages. These can occur in any order, but in the traditional classroom tend to begin with information, then some manipulation of that information, but rarely are there opportunities to reflect on the learning experience. This reflection is crucial is determining if the concept or skill is mastered or worth further exploration. The process could go in the opposite direction. Starting with reflection: What do you want to know? or What do you already know about _____?
In my English classroom, these are the types of activities that I primarily used before web 2.0 tools:
Now, with free online tools, the variety and possibilities are greatly expanded in my classroom.
(Click for larger view)
The learning experience is not changed, it is enhanced through variety, authenticity, and many more opportunities for reflecting on one's own work as well as on the work and ideas of others.
I enjoy teaching with these new resources and have been very satisfied by the impact they have had on the effectiveness of my teaching practices.