When I began teaching at the University of Indianapolis in 1985, I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams that today, 27 years later, I would be: checking E-mail and responding to student question via a Smart phone, accessing some of the greatest lectures from some of the most prominent experts in the world via the Internet, teaching Online classes with students from all over the world from the comfort of my home, talking and actually seeing students via Skype as we discuss class projects, or reading blogs and wikis as a way of keeping current in my field. I was even very surprised to find an updated version of the original Bloom’s taxonomy that incorporates the aspect of digital resources.
It was a real shocker to me when I started realizing that my classroom was filled with digital natives often referred to as the “net generation,” that were not even born when I began teaching at UIndy. This was a wake-up call that led me to delve into the technological tools that can adequately meet the needs of today’s students. I have always liked to utilize creative and authentic strategies to enhance student learning, satisfaction and outcomes. I have found that I can incorporate these new technologies into my teaching to make the content come alive.
To this end, I utilize a plethora of Web 2.0 tools in my teaching. I have had the great fortune to be able to attend and be a part of the yearly “Technology Camps” sponsored by UIndy. At camp I have learned about many cool Web 2.0 tools that I would highly recommend: collaboration tools (Google Docs, DropBox, PB Works, VoiceThread), communication tools (Skype, Animoto) concept mapping tools (c-map, Inspiration), presentation tools (Prezi and PowerPoiont), aggregators (Netvibes) social bookmarking, virtual worlds (Extranormal, Second Life), Social bookmarking (Delicious, Diigo, lectures by experts (itunesU, teacher tube, You Tube), digital scrapbooking (Glogster), various iphone apps and more. Students are amazed at the plethora of sites to make learning more interactive, authentic, interesting, and just plain “fun.” I would encourage you to check out these great sites. Happy surfing.
- Julie Gahimer, PT, HSD
Associate Professor, University of Indianapolis