The digital world is constantly expanding, impacting all aspects of how we live, work and learn. In the process of creating my blog, using WordPress, Voki and Prezi, I developed an awareness of how technology impacts teaching. Specifically, I became aware of the benefits of blogging in classrooms, allowing for peer collaboration that utilises individual students’ strengths.
The digital world has indeed impacted education. How information is accessed, lesson content, and a classroom’s physical space are all ways the digital world impacts education. Generally, students’ home lives are rich in technology therefore they expect their schooling lives to be the same (Howell, 2012, pp. 59-63). Today’s students are unlike previous generations. Howell (2012) states they have “been born into a digital world” (p. 57).
“Today’s kids hate being talked at. They hate when teaching is simply telling. They hate lectures and tune them out” (Prensky, 2008, para. 22).
Using WordPress, Voki, and Prezi to create my blog tested my digital fluency and made me re-evaluate where I stood in the digital divide. Previously using WordPress for business, I never considered it could be an effective tool in classrooms. I had never used Voki nor Prezi before and approached the tasks with trepidation.
My experience using Prezi left me feeling frustrated, inadequate and wanting to quit. This correlates with Spencer’s (2017) description of what happened when he introduced creative technology activities in his classroom: “Students were frustrated. Many of them gave up and I decided that we were better off keeping creativity on the sidelines’” (para. 11). However, I pushed through and completed the task, developing new skills along the way. This experience gave me insight into how students without high levels of digital literacy may feeling during classroom activities that focus on technology and the need to provide scaffolding to assist them.
Furthermore, blogging in the classroom benefits student learning. Creating and publishing a blog develops literacy skills, allows for peer collaboration and provides opportunities for students to become ‘digital content creators’. Howell states “blogs work well with independent and group learning” (Howell, 2012, p. 157). Different aspects involved in blogging provide opportunities for all students, with different learning styles, to participate. Moreover, students’ empathy, tolerance, acceptance, and self-confidence are all enhanced by collaborative learning (Woolfolk, 2010, p. 323).
Understanding the role of technology in teaching and learning is essential for educators. The digital world is ever-increasing, impacting on education in several ways. Utilising different forms of technology assists students in developing digital literacy and digital fluency.
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Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Victoria: Oxford University Press.
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Personal journal writing [Image]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.myrkothum.com/the-benefits-of-writing-a-personal-journal/
Prensky, M. (2008). The 21st century digital learner. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner-technology-2008
Spencer, J. (2017, March 20). Helping students develop creative fluency. [Weblog]. Retrieved from http://www.spencerauthor.com/2017/03/developing-creative-fluency-in-students.html/
Woolfolk, A. (2010). Educational Psychology (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson