It’s Friday again and time for another update. This week I have read several articles about Social Networking and MicroBlogging and there uses in the classroom. The first article, Examining Social Software in Teacher Education made some good points about social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Writely. What I really got out of this article is that these sites have many uses in the classroom. One of the points that really stuck with me was, “Social software acts as a space in which collaborative and cooperative learning can occur.” I could not agree more. Most people see social networking sites as a way of wasting time, or playing on the internet, and it can be. But, used the right way social networking sites can have a profound effect on students. It is pretty easy to say that kids like technology, the internet, social networking, and of course their friends. Why not put all of those together to achieve the highest level of engagement. I know when I am teaching a unit and we are using sites where kids can interact with each other, the engagement level goes way up and the student work goes way up as well.
The second article I read this week had to do with how technology is changing the way libraries work. It discusses the different uses of social networking such as blogs, wikis, and podcasts in a library setting. For instance, it discusses the uses of blogs and how different libraries are using them. Some are using them strictly as informational services. These informational services include library announcements, closures due to holidays, library events and lists of new books. Some libraries have begun to use blogs in other ways such as in library service, and a feedback tool. I think this is similar to the way that blogs are used in education; some are just starting out, posting assignments and such, while some are having students write their own blogs.
The third article I read again deals with the issue of social networks in the classroom. I found myself chuckling a little while reading this article, especially when it talked about how readers on the internet navigate their way through information. They use such strategies as looking for key words, and links. My “LOL” moment came when I found myself reading it online doing the same things the author spoke of. Of course I then printed it out and read over the whole article again to make sure I didn’t miss anything!