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How can the web help educators?

Thanks to Heather Johnson for this excellent guest post on how to bring IT into the classroom.

Web 2.0 has created many opportunities in all different kinds of fields since its inception within the past decade. The educational field has not been dismissed from the phenomena as there are many creative ways that educators can incorporate the capabilities of Web 2.0 in their lesson plans. While this may seem new to many teachers out there because it is, there are many ways that a student’s learning experience can be improved through Web 2.0. Here are a few examples of how this emerging industry can help educators in the classroom by making learning interactive and fun:

1. Set up a blog for your class. If you create a blog for your individual classes your students can have a forum where they can talk about issues in the class outside of school. Be sure to set up guidelines that must be adhered to if students are going to write in the blog. It has to be taken seriously and school rules must be followed. Students can talk with each other in this forum about upcoming projects and post general questions for all to consider.

2. Teach computer skills even if you’re not a computer teacher. Students need to learn how to use computers properly and search the internet for information these days. There is no getting around it. When students reach college they’ll be left behind if they don’t know how to perform their research properly. Take a few minutes every now and again and show your students how you would use the internet to do research for you own papers.

3. Post class lectures online. Develop a web site for your class and post key lectures online. This is a great way for students to study for an upcoming exam and helps the student that drifted off during the original lecture. It’s also a great tool for you as a teacher to observe your own teaching style and find out what works and what doesn’t.

4. Use a wiki as a textbook. This is an emerging teaching technique on the college level where a professor produces a wiki that the students actually take ownership over. They are able to post questions and learn more from each other than they ever would in a traditional classroom.

5. Post class materials on the web. In addition to posting lectures online it’s a good idea to post copies of handouts that students can download. If you’re comfortable posting class notes on the site then go ahead and do that too. Just be careful that your students aren’t solely relying on these tools to get through your class and are then zoning out in the actual class meetings.

This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who writes on the subject of Obtaining a Teacher Certificate. She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

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