As educators we need to get past our “fear factor”, (Kist, 2010, p. 4) about the social web and accept the responsibility of including opportunities to complete “daily work in multiple forms of representation”. (p. 8) In order to improve the skills our students require to take advantage of the opportunities of Web 2.0 tools and move them into a more globally connected future this uneasiness needs to be reduced. Web 2.0 tools present the user with multiple opportunities to actively participate in “information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration”, (Web 2.0, n.d.) as opposed to passive reading and viewing of material and limited modes of demonstration. Overwhelmed by the power and potential of Web 2.0, I embrace my need for learning and I hope by gaining experience with the technology this fear will dissipate. I hope to develop a level of comfort using Web 2.0 tools for searching, researching, collecting, publishing and presentation and finding tools I can use both personally and professionally.
The Peel District School Board Director of Education writes that students “learn naturally through collaboration, problem-solving and exploration. They use technology seamlessly to communicate and to find information. So, our teaching and working needs to be flexible, creative, challenging and authentic” (T. Pontes, personal communication, October 4, 2011). I hope to offer technology options to meet these needs in my school as well as share my learning with teacher librarians through blogging and professional development opportunities.
I am looking forward to exploring, learning about and participating in using these Web 2.0 tools: media sharing, image interaction tools, podcasting, video editing, social bookmarking, blogging, and web-based aggregators and RSS feeds.