I often feel disappointed when I hear teachers discuss how they can’t find web resources for a topic. At times, teachers expect an ICT Facilitator to find these for them. Finding free resources sure is a lot easier now, but I am referring to going beyond Google. Do you have time to go beyond page 1 of 1.5 million sites (but that’s another blog entry)? What are some other alternatives?
Of course, video helps a lot now with YouTube, TeacherTube, SchoolTube and Vimeo readily available. I don’t know why I feel sad when teachers don’t use or search these options. Your internet connection isn’t so good for viewing? You don’t like the ads/comments that appear? You don’t like the related videos that appear? These are all valid points but then why not use Tooble or KeepVid to download the video onto your computer or embed it onto your own site (great reason to start a blog or wiki)?
Better yet, if teachers are struggling to find resources, why not get your class to create their own resources and then upload them to these sites, or to Slideshare, or to Issuu, or to a wiki, or to Voicethread? To me, they would be perfect opportunities for class projects as well as for assessments. Fair enough, it may take some time to get it set-up but in the long run, wouldn’t time be saved?
Students could have a sense of ownership and leave a legacy of knowledge and learning behind once the unit is finished and then students in the following years could use it or expand on it. Viewers may then rate it, comment on it, embed it or reuse it themselves. The author then slowly builds a network if they comment back and learning continues outside of the classroom. Teachers could then share it with their followers on Twitter or on a Ning they belong to. You see, not only does this benefit the student, but also the teacher. Teachers could use these sites as a source of inspiration to generate ideas or to find examples of and create a digital portfolio or an online presence.
(Hey wait a minute, this kind of sounds like authentic learning.)
If teachers are going to simply create text projects, why not upload them to Issuu or file2ws or to a class wiki or blog at least? That could involve peer editing wouldn’t it? We hear know and see that media collage is dominant, but at times teachers are the last ones to adapt. Why is that? Simple answer: Fear. A lot of teachers don’t wish to put their stuff out there (though we’re one of the first to snatch them up). They feel exposed. Naked. We are the knowledge kings and do not wish to be discovered as false prophets. Sorry, I sound negative and this wasn’t meant to be a rant. Give it some thought. Start small.