by Jongpil Cheon
The faculty members in instructional technology program were invited to visit some classrooms by a technology support team of a school district. All the classes we visited in two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school were using a Smartboard and clickers (classroom response system). In the discussion session, the main request from the technology support team was that these tools should be in pre-service teacher curriculum. I understand that these tools become more popular and we need to teach how to use the tools. However, all classroom activities were still teacher-centered except that the students chose their answers with clickers or pointed at something on the screen in front of the class. I felt there was a gap between real classroom settings and research findings. I started thinking about how to narrow the gap in a practical way. There should be something we could provide for teachers rather than journal article. That’s my initial thought.
Web 2.0 has been a big word. As the owner of this blog stated, Web 2.0 tools have three big features: a) easy to learn, b) variety of tools, and c) low cost and networked community. There are many websites introducing Web 2.0 tools such as http://www.go2web20.net. In addition, some sites focus on classroom tools such as http://www.classroom20.com. However, there are a few websites that introduce currently available technology tools for K-12 classrooms with useful categories and application samples. Therefore, I opened a wiki space (http://tools4classroom.wetpaint.com) to collect any available tools including hardware and software as well as website using Web 2.0 technology. I asked my students to add a tool they know. It is the beginning of my own project. The main goal is creating a resource to support effective Web 2.0 technology integration that would be the second edition of teacher technology handbook (http://teacherhandbook.memphis.edu). I am seeking ways of categorizing various tools based on a teacher’s point of view. Furthermore, an evaluation system such as a benchmarking system can be implemented with another Web 2.0 tool.
If you have time, please add a tool to the wiki space, and let me know any useful website about Web 2.0 technology integration to classroom. You are more than welcome to suggest a categorizing method as a comment.
(Last, congratulations on launching a blog! I hope this blog will be a resource and a communication point in the instructional technology field.)
Guest blogger: Dr. Jongpil Cheon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership in the Instructional Technology program at Texas Tech University. He taught elementary schools in Incheon, Korea, and has served as an instructor at the Incheon Education and Science Research Institute, Incheon, Korea. Dr. Cheon has received numerous honors, such as being named outstanding doctoral student at the University of Memphis, and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. He has contributed to several instructional technology books and has many presentations and publications in the fields of adaptive learning system, online instruction and interface design. He has also served as a system manager in Advanced Instructional Multimedia Lab at the University of Memphis, and developed numerous websites, instructional technology integration manuals, and Web-based courses.