Week 5’s performance task was to “research online collaborative projects that you might be able to use in your classroom” and write a reflective blog post on “how technology is changing the learning landscape and global education”.
I found an
incredible amount of great online collaborative projects for classroom teachers. Two projects that I particularly liked dealt with tracking and comparing global water usage and Monarch butterfly migration. However, I sort of struggled on what could work for my particular situation: Primary librarian with 30 minute fixed schedule class that includes book exchange. The library program at my school is still fairly new – 2 yrs – so there is still alot of groundwork being set as far as collaborating with classroom teachers in my own school, leaving out the world. However, I envisioned things that could work once things settled down and we knew what books we had and where to find them. Ideas that could work: global collaborative book clubs or literature circles. I would like to get a “Battle of the Books” program going and there could be global team study groups. That sounds like fun although I have no idea in the world how it would work but worth a try none the less. Once the library program gets more settled, there could be opportunities for collaborative research projects and more traditional projects that are re-imagined to allow for new media and collaboration (old ideas in new ways). I think the only limits would probably just my own mind and my inability to make up my mind. Anything could be possible.
For schools that have tech resources and dedicated people implementing, technology has completely changed the learning landscape and global education. When I was in elementary school, we did have a computer lab but it was used almost not at all. There was no one to teach us. Now, each of the classrooms at my school have computer pods (3 student computers) and the Y6s have 1:1 net books. Teachers are expected to model & teach IT skills. (Although the students are, at times, teaching the teachers.) Students are blogging and sharing and commenting – as I am now – and it seems almost second nature to them which it is definitely not for me. I wonder if they’ve ever had to fill in a bubble sheet in their life? Would they even know what a bubble was? All their standardized tests are done on line now.
Technology makes everything so immediate and so close and the ability to collaborate so much easier. Although the learning landscape may look different, the purpose is still the same – increased learning and knowledge – it just comes via a way more social and collaborative package.