Technology Guide
Technology Guide
Introduction

Blogs

Google Applications

Wikis 

Introduction

What is the purpose of using Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, Google applications and wikis for education?
 
Students entering the global workforce require holistic thinking and cross-cultural communication skills (SUNY Levin Institute, 2011).  To effectively communicate with other cultures, students require a technology platform that crosses the economic and geographic divide.  Free Web 2.0 tools provide the bridge for facilitating collaboration between students in the United States and students in other areas of the world (Asia Society, 2011).  By sharing work online, peers across the globe can access and modify materials to create diverse learning environments.  Peter (2010) claims “the growth of technology” is not a “limiter in the educational process, but an opportunity to grow, to engage, to reflect, to think, to problem solve and to heighten and refine collaborative and communication skills.”
 
What are collaborative learning tools? How is coursework shared online?
 
Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, Google applications and wikis are collaborative by design.  Numerous students can enter comments, contribute learning materials and update existing content simultaneously on a shared web platform. Online internet accounts are used to access the software. The software is accessible twenty four hours a day and is impervious to time zone changes. The internet software is also available to a wide range of devices such as laptops, net-books and smartphones.
 
What are other advantages of using online tools?
 
As evident in the newspaper and publishing industries, journalists and authors are distributing content using new online mediums such as blogs, wikis, websites and e-books.  By incorporating online tools inside or outside the classroom, students are able to experience internet publishing first-hand.  Internet publishing is conducive to multimedia and builds students’ digital literacy skills. Jones-Kavalier and Flannigan (2006) state “literacy includes the ability to read and interpret media (text, sound, images), to reproduce data and images through digital manipulation, and to evaluate and apply new knowledge gained from digital environments.”
 
With online tools, students can incorporate text, images, charts, maps and videos to support and strengthen their assertions.  This provides a structure for improved communication by permitting students to share ideas in multiple formats.  For more information about using technology to enhance global skills and learning, read the Asia Society article at the following link – Use Technology to Develop Global Competence.
 
 
Reference List
 
 Asia Society (2011) Use Technology to Develop Global Competence Retrieved May 31, 2011 from http://asiasociety.org/education-learning/resources-schools/professional-learning/use-technology-develop-global-competence
 
Jones-Kavalier, B. and Flannigan, S. (2006) Connecting the Digital Dots: Literacy of the 21st Century Retrieved May 26, 2011 from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/ConnectingtheDigitalDotsLitera/157395
 
Peter, D. (2010) Strategic Thoughts About Technology Retrieved May 26, 2011 from http://quality-instruction.blogspot.com/search?q=collaborative
 
SUNY Levin Institute (2011) Global Workforce Project Retrieved May 26, 2011 from http://www.levininstitute.org/academics/globalworkforce.cfm