We are just one click away from the limitless possibilities and information that internet has offered us. For many of us today, the Web has become number #1 source to look for information because it contains a trillion of links, billions of web pages being created everyday, one billion people connected to Web and each other. There is no doubt that ‘Web’ has changed the whole society, it has changed the way we live, the way we communicate, collaborate and interact. We are all online and connected as we never used to be. (You can watch World Wide Web in Plain English)
It’s 100% true that all emerging technologies and the new face of Web has already impacted the way we teach and the way the students learn. Many of us, as teachers, have already become familiar using ‘Web’ in our teaching and in the way of becoming life-long learners and it is obvious that developing a ‘Teacher 2.0′ career will become more important and popular in the following years as our students are engaging themselves more in technology everyday.
Developing ‘Web Literacy’ is sure to increase the success in teaching and learning. It will sparkle our imagination, increase our creativity and collaboration.
Here are my tips for newcomers where and how to start + how to become more comfortable with Web:
* Explore some wonderful blogs to get acquainted with Web: There are so many fabulous bloggers around on Web that I’m addicted to read their blogs. I learn a lot of stuff everyday and I’m amazed at their enthusiasm and their ideas and creativity. Here are some of my favourites. (Unfortunately not all)
Nik Peachy ‘s Quick Shout : You can find so many links and opinions on how to use these links in education. Nik has a wonderfully rich blog that will keep you engaged for a long, long time.
Nik Peachy’s Daily English Activities: You can find simple online activities that you can do each day to help to improve English and the digital literacy. I consider this blog as an amazing online resource.
Larry Ferlazzo’s Blog: I consider Larry as an internet phenomenon. On his website+blog, he has thousands of links with all the applications, pros and cons. I admire all his work.
Free Tech 4 Teachers: You can find so many ideas for applying technology in education and so many links with all reviews.
C4Lpt: Jane Hart provides us with a range of free resources about learning tools and emerging technologies.
NCS-Tech: Kevin Jarrett has been blogging since 2003 and you can find shares his valuable ideas and I consider his blog as a wonderful source to learn and improve.
The English Teacher Online: Another wonderful blog; full of inspiring ideas, thousands of followers and a lot to learn from.
* Become a member of a social network: Social networking means building and maintaining online communities of people that share the same interests and activities and maintain this network for mutual benefit using web-based applications. They have encouraged people to communicate to a wider audience and share and spread their ideas.
When you belong to a social network, you can benefit from ideas of other people who share the same interest with you on particular topics easily, it can also be a good way to improve yourself and listen up other ideas. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Youtube, GoogleDocs, Flickr, wikispaces, ning etc. are some examples of social networks. Here comes Social Networking in Plain English to find out why social networks are so popular and some networks to join:
Classroom 2.0: is a social network for those who are interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies in education. A lot to benefit from.
EFL Classroom : is another social network where you can meet and collaborate with teachers all over the world and learn a lot about emerging technologies.
i-Earn : is a social network that enables teachers use the Internet and the other technologies to collaborate and enhance the learning.
Webheads in Action: is a ning where you can learn about events, trends and many more about teaching and technologies.
The second step should be to create your own social network with other teachers. At my school, we have been using this wiki for more than three years, we keep on posting links, updating portfolios, keeping people informed about the events and the news on ELT and technology. We have learnt a lot from each other.
* Sign up for online courses & conferences & workshops: Thanks to internet, it’s easier and cheaper for all of us to improve ourselves and reach the information anymore. There are many online courses and discussions, webinars, virtual workshops around web about technology and new emerging tools that we can benefit from . Here are my suggestions for where to start:
The Electronic Village Online Sessions:It’s a professional development project and a virtual extension of TESOL Convention. . It offers language teachers world-wide the opportunity to be part of this sessions. The six week of online sessions take place in January-February. You can sign up for sessions and you attend collaborative online discussion sessions and hands-on virtual workshops. I learnt everything about Web form those sessions. Thanks to the lovely and helpful moderators. You can have a look at the previous years sessions here.
K-12 Online Conference: This is a conference by educators to educators about integrating emerging technologies into teaching and classroom practice. This year’s conference theme will be ‘Bridging the Divide’. I can’t wait for that. You can also see the last year’s archives on the same page.
More will be on my next post…